FBI: On Sunday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, a couple from Annapolis, Maryland, as suspected spying after they sold confidential data from a nuclear submarine to an undercover FBI agent . During the complaint, federal officers reported the seizure of an SD memory card with the top secret information inside a peanut butter sandwich.
According to the complaint, the 42-year-old man and his 45-year-old wife Diana had been under investigation by the FBI for nearly a year on suspicion of selling restricted classification data to a foreign country in exchange for cryptocurrencies. A nuclear engineer, Jonathan was assigned to the US Navy’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, at which time he obtained a high-level national security clearance.
The investigation began on April 1 of last year, when the engineer allegedly sent a sample packet of confidential information to an unidentified foreign government. Intercepted by an American agent in the recipient country, the package contained a letter that read: “Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency. I believe this information will be of great value to your nation.”
An indigestible sandwich
Using the ProtonMail encrypted email service, the undercover agent sent the Toebbe an advance of $10,000 (BRL 50,000) in Monero cryptocurrency, known for its high level of privacy and security. A delivery of information to a location in West Virginia was then arranged. It was in this “frame” that Jonathan placed the memory card inside half a peanut butter sandwich.
In possession of the SD card, the FBI agent sent another $20,000 in cryptocurrencies to the couple to obtain the decryption key to access the information. Confirming the legitimacy of the data, FBI and NCIS organized a new shipment, at the price of US$ 70 thousand, this time in a pack of gum, when the couple was arrested.