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Neighbor says couple accused of promoting US secrets and techniques ‘did not discuss to anyone,’ calls arrest ‘large shock’

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A neighbor of the couple accused of promoting U.S. secrets and techniques stated Jonathan and Diane Toebbe “did not discuss to anyone” and known as their arrest a “large shock” for the neighborhood.

Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear engineer with entry to navy secrets and techniques, and his spouse, Diana Toebbe, had been arrested in West Virginia Saturday on espionage-related expenses.


Toebbe was charged with making an attempt to cross details about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to somebody he thought was a consultant of a international authorities however turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

The couple is being charged with violating the Atomic Power Act, which restricts the disclosure of knowledge associated to atomic weapons or nuclear supplies. 

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Fox Information spoke with Jennifer McCormick, a neighbor of the Toebbes, who stated the couple stored to themselves.

“They didn’t discuss to anyone, even on the block,” McCormick informed Fox Information. “We’ve lived right here over 20 years. They moved right here in 2014 and been up and down this block so many instances, and we’d see them and by no means even say hello, don’t even like, catch your eye.”

Diane  and Jonathan and Toebbe

McCormick added that “they only stored to themselves.”

“This can be a very pleasant, very open neighborhood. We do events on holidays and everyone actually is aware of one another and everyone retains saying we simply by no means knew them,” she stated. “So they only stored to themselves.”

McCormick stated she wouldn’t name them “unfriendly or pleasant” however stated “they only didn’t need anyone of their enterprise.”

“I wouldn’t say they appeared sad, nevertheless it was simply very stoic, you realize, nothing, simply no expression, no hello, no wave—that’s it,” she stated. “It simply, you realize, they only would get of their automotive and go or in the event that they had been exterior, put out the trash, they might simply are available, and that’s it.”

She added: “To not also have a dialog is simply very weird for this neighborhood.”

The FBI visited the neighborhood in West Virginia over the weekend. McCormick stated it was “full insanity.” 

“This entire block was loopy on Saturday,” she stated. 


However because the neighborhood reacts to the Toebbes’ arrest, McCormick stated the final response is that almost all “really feel sorry for the youngsters.”

“You understand, they went to high school right here regionally in our neighborhood, and everyone looks like, what’s going to occur to them?” she stated. “I believe that’s the opposite factor, different than simply how horrific what they did or allegedly did was.”

McCormick added: “However everyone feels actually dangerous for the youngsters. Massive shock for certain.”

Federal prosecutors say the Toebbes ought to stay in custody pending their trials as they face a possible most penalty of life in jail and are at “critical danger” of fleeing.

An unsealed prison grievance alleges that Jonathan Toebbe contacted an unidentified international nation in April 2020 to promote U.S. Navy submarine secrets and techniques. The FBI, nonetheless, obtained Toebbe’s paperwork and commenced speaking with him undercover in December. 

The Toebbes hid knowledge playing cards in objects equivalent to a peanut butter sandwich, a Band-Support wrapper and a chewing gum package deal so the data could possibly be picked up by who they believed was a international spy operative, authorities say. 

Diana Toebbe is accused of “performing as a lookout” as her husband dropped off the fabric. 

Prosecutors allege that Jonathan Toebbe additionally informed his contact person who he may want to go away the nation on brief discover. 

“Ought to that ever turn into obligatory, I might be ceaselessly grateful to your assist extracting me and my household,” the doc quoted him as writing. “I surmise step one can be unannounced journey to a secure third nation with plans to satisfy your colleagues. We’ve passports and money put aside for this goal.”

The couple is scheduled for an preliminary courtroom look Tuesday morning. Prosecutors are reportedly requesting a detention listening to later within the week.


Fox Information reported on Monday – after reviewing what seems to be the Toebbes’ social media accounts – that Diana Toebbe had a number of Fb and Twitter posts in help of Black Lives Matter, anti-Trump posts,and adopted “resistance” accounts on Twitter. 

Diana Toebbe is a trainer on the personal Key College in Annapolis and has been indefinitely suspended from her job after the arrests.

The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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