Man and Wife Caught Selling Military Secrets Hidden in Peanut Butter Sandwiches
I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m truly amazed at just how well our government can go undercover to catch certain individuals doing wrong.
Sure, they can be grossly incompetent sometimes, but sometimes, they actually know what they’re doing.
Just recently, a nuclear submarine engineer in the U.S. Navy, along with his wife, were caught trying to sell military secrets to a foreign power. It sounds like the plot to a good movie, right? I’d watch it. But the details make this even more interesting.
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.