A US Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested and charged with attempting to share the most carefully held secrets and techniques on submarine expertise of the United States to another country, according to the paperwork that was released on Oct. 10.
US Navy Engineer Arrested and Charged
Jonathan Toebbe, a nuclear engineer in the US Navy, was accused of providing another country the information regarding the nuclear propulsion system of the assault submarines, according to Reuters.
United States rivals such as China and Russia have long sought the country's submarine propulsion. It was not clear whether or not the unsolicited provide was to an ally or an adversary.
Toebbe has worked for the Navy since 2017, and he was initially part of the active-duty Navy. He has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, together with expertise devised to study the vibration and noise of submarines, which may give their location.
The materials in question included designs that are helpful to numerous international locations that are manufacturing submarines.
Within the Australia deal, the United States and Britain would assist the country in deploying nuclear-powered submarines, according to The Washington Post.
These submarines are geared up with nuclear propulsion programs that supply limitless vary and run quietly that they can be difficult to detect.
Nuclear propulsion is just one of the many carefully held pieces of information by the US Navy. The reactors are fueled by enriched uranium which can be made into a bomb gas for nuclear weapons.
Constructing compact, secure naval reactors can be challenging for engineers. Till the deal with Australia, the United States had shared the expertise only with Britain since 1958.
FBI's Role in Toebees' Arrest
The investigation into Toebees' case began in December 2020, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI got the package deal that had been dispatched to a different country, according to Politico.
The package had operational manuals, technical particulars, and the proposal for a covert relationship. The deal was immediately intercepted in the mail system and was sent to an FBI authorized attaché.
The FBI got the directions within the package deal and began an encrypted dialog. The sender revealed Navy secrets and techniques in return for $100,000 to be paid in cryptocurrency.
After a series of exchanges, the FBI persuaded the sender to give more information at an undisclosed drop in West Virginia in exchange for cryptocurrency payments. The FBI noticed Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe, at the location of the drop.
Toebbe's wife appeared as the lookout as he left an SD card inside a peanut butter sandwich contained in a plastic bag. After the secret agent got the sandwich, Toebbe was given $20,000.
Brokers arranged one other drop-in Pennsylvania and the third drop in Virginia, the area where they said Toebbe deposited an SD card hid in a package filled with chewing gum.
According to the Bettis Atomic Energy Laboratory, an authorities analysis facility in Pennsylvania, Toebbe had entry to the paperwork and information that he is accused of passing to the secret agent.
Toebbe's sentence is yet to be announced, and the court has not scheduled any hearing for him yet.
The US government has been dealing with leaked information regarding its nuclear weapons. In May, US soldiers accidentally leaked the nuclear weapon stockpile online.
In June, the notorious hacking group, REvil, hacked the data of Sol Oriens, the US nuclear weapons contractor. Because of the constant leaks and hacks, the FBI has stepped in to investigate and arrest those that are responsible.
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Written by Sophie Webster