A former U.S. Navy engineer pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he conspired with his wife to sell highly classified nuclear-submarine secrets to an unnamed foreign government in exchange for cryptocurrency. Jonathan Toebbe, who was ensnared in an FBI sting that saw him deposit the sensitive data via SD cards smuggled in a peanut butter sandwich, a gum wrapper, and a Band-Aid, has been in custody since October. He and his wife, Diana Toebbe, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges related to dissemination of restricted data. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Toebbe admitted that his wife, whose case is separate and still unresolved, conspired with him, serving as his lookout while he left the data at the “dead drop” locations. He is expected to be sentenced to between 12 and a half to 17 and a half years in prison. He will also aid federal agents in locating any classified information he still possesses, and track down the $100,000 in still unaccounted-for cryptocurrency that FBI agents gave him during their counterintelligence operation.
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