Sometimes our government really does amaze me, in more ways than one I might add.
I’m amazed that they can be as tyrannical and incompetent as they are sometimes, but other times I’m amazed at how well they can catch a criminal.
In what honestly sounds like the plot to a good movie, a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine engineer and his wife have been caught and arrested for attempting to sell military secrets to foreign powers.
Well, it gets even more interesting than that.
According to the Department of Justice, the pair sold classified information to an agent they believed was working for a foreign government, hiding the data on encrypted SD cards, which in turn were hidden inside peanut butter sandwiches, packets of chewing gum and Band-Aid wrappers.
The person they were selling to was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, is an employee of the Department of the Navy who served as a nuclear engineer and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He held an active national security clearance through the U.S. Department of Defense, giving him access to Restricted Data.
According to the DOJ, Toebbe worked with and had access to information concerning naval nuclear propulsion including military sensitive design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of the reactors for nuclear-powered warships.
In an undercover sting, the agent paid the couple with $10,000 in cryptocurrency as a good faith payment for the information.
The SD card was encrypted and he needed the key to decrypt it so after the rest of the payment of $20,000 was made, Toebbe sent the decryption key which allowed the undercover agent to view all of the information of the card to verify that it was legit.
This happened on few other occasions, once using a Band-Aid, and another time using chewing gum packaging. Like, I said, this would make a really good movie.
However, this is treason and this man should be prosecuted.