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Naval engineer accused of espionage pleads guilty to conspiracy on Monday

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 16:09:36-05

The naval engineer charged along with his wife last year for attempting to sell nuclear submarine secrets to a foreign country has pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiring to communicate restricted data.

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According to his plea agreement, 43-year-old Jonathan Toebbe agreed to a sentence range of between between 12 and a half and 17 and a half years.

"From on or about April 1 2020, through October 9, 2021 in Jefferson County, West Virginia, and elsewhere, I conspired with Diana Toebbe to transmit restricted data to a foreign nation in exchange for payment with the intent to injure the United States," Jonathan Toebbe said during Monday's plea hearing.

According to assistant U.S. attorney Jarod Douglas, he will also have to cooperate with the government in the investigation and help officials locate and retrieve the approximately $100,000 in bitcoin that federal agents paid to him and his wife.

Toebbe's wife, Diana, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.

Prosecutors have still not revealed the name of the foreign country Toebbe believed he was selling secrets to.

Jonathan Toebbe will remain in government custody pending his sentencing.