When it comes to military prowess, there are few institutions on the planet with a more pronounced supremacy than the United States. Our nation has been at the forefront of military technology for decades, leading to a vast number of global superpowers stressing to play catch-up.
One of the ways in which these laggards are hoping to make up ground is through espionage, often by paying vast sums of money to Americans deep within the military ranks, hoping to glean secrets and schematics.
This week, one of the Navy’s engineers was caught red-handed attempting to profit from his top-secret knowledge.
A Navy nuclear engineer with access to military secrets has been charged with trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, the Justice Department said Sunday.
In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges against Jonathan Toebbe, the government said he sold information for nearly the past year to a contact he believed represented a foreign power. That country was not named in the court documents.
Toebbe, 42, was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday along with his wife, Diana, 45, after he had placed a removable memory card at a prearranged “dead drop” in the state, according to the Justice Department.
Toebbe would go on to make several exchanges with these FBI agents, netting tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
The secrets that Toebbe attempted to convey had to do with nuclear submarine propulsion.
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