Maryland Couple Pleads Guilty To Selling Nuclear Secrets To Foreign Country

Jonathan and Diana Toebbe

Photo: West Virginia Regional Jail Authority

A Maryland couple pleaded guilty for a second time to charges that they tried to sell nuclear secrets to a foreign nationJonathan and Diana Toebbe originally pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to communicate restricted data in February as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Prosecutors said that Jonathan, a former Navy engineer and officer, smuggled classified documents about the propulsion systems of a nuclear-powered submarine and provided them to an undercover FBI who was posing as a buyer for a foreign country. Diana was accused of helping her husband by being a lookout when he dropped off the classified information for the informant.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12.5 and 17.5 years for Jonathan and three years in jail for Diana.

In August, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Trumble rejected the terms of the plea agreement because the sentences were too lenient and were “not in the best interest” of the country.

On Tuesday (September 27), the couple was back in court and pleaded guilty to the same charges. This time, Jonathan faces between 15.5 and 19.5 years behind bars, while Diana is facing at least 12.5 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

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