Navy engineer accused of spying pleads guilty to sharing U.S. nuclear submarine secrets

He is likely to face 12 to 17.5 years in prison.

Updated: February 14, 2022 - 5:38pm

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Jonathan Toebbe, a U.S. Navy nuclear engineer, on Monday pleaded guilty to charges related to selling nuclear secrets to a foreign country. 

His wife, Diana Toebbe, faces the same charges as her husband of conspiring to "communicate restricted data."

Jonathan Toebbee pleaded guilty to Magistrate Judge Robert Trumble in Martinsburg, W.Va., The Washington Post reported.

He is likely to face 12 to 17.5 years in prison. The Post reported that he also agreed to help officials "recover all restricted or sensitive government data, as well as the money that an undercover FBI agent gave him as part of a sting operation to gather evidence against him."

The Toebbes have been incarcerated since October after FBI agents arrested them on accusations of selling government information on naval nuclear propulsion systems and nuclear powered warship reactors, according to a Department of Justice press release. The country the duo allegedly conspired with has not been identified.

The couple initially pleaded not guilty. They were denied release on bond after prosecutors deemed them a flight risk. 

Diana Toebbe has repeatedly asked for bail, claiming that she was unaware of her husband's alleged espionage and that their two school-age children need her to be home with them, the Post reported.

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