A US Navy engineer who hid a reminiscence card loaded with labeled information in a peanut butter sandwich and left it at a “lifeless drop” location has been charged with promoting secrets and techniques about nuclear submarines.
Jonathan Toebbe is alleged to have despatched a package deal of restricted information to an unidentified nation final yr, and later started promoting secrets and techniques to an undercover FBI agent posing as a international official, the Justice Division mentioned.
In change for the data, he obtained separate cryptocurrency funds totalling $100,000 (£73,500).
At one level, the 42-year-old hid a digital reminiscence card containing paperwork about nuclear reactors in half a peanut butter sandwich at a “lifeless drop” location in West Virginia, together with his spouse Diana as a lookout.
A lifeless drop is an old-school espionage trick by which a supply leaves an merchandise of worth at an agreed hiding spot for a recipient to retrieve with out being noticed.
The cardboard contained “militarily delicate design parts, working parameters and efficiency traits of Virginia-class submarine reactors”, in line with federal court docket paperwork.
One other reminiscence card was hid in a packet of chewing gum.
All through, Toebbe had top-level secret safety clearance.
He and his spouse, who’re from Annapolis, Maryland, had been arrested in West Virginia on Saturday.
They had been each charged with conspiracy and “communication of restricted information” in violation of the Atomic Power Act, and are scheduled to look at a West Virginia federal court docket on Tuesday.