Court sets trial date, classified handling protocols in alleged U.S. submarine espionage case – WV News

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Updated: November 11, 2021 @ 6:12 am
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe
Groh

Groh
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) — An Annapolis couple accused of attempting to market top-secret U.S. atomic submarine tech will go on trial May 17 at the federal courthouse in Martinsburg.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh, who will preside, set that date and a slew of others as part of a recent order in the case against Jonathan and Diana Toebbe.
Groh also this week issued a 14-page protective order governing the handling of classified information that addresses top security clearance for attorneys; details how materials are to be handled; and names a classified information security officer, along with five alternate classified information security officers.
The Toebbes remain jailed pending prosecution.
Jonathan Toebbe, 43, and Diana Toebbe, 45, of Annapolis, Maryland, have been indicted on one count alleging conspiracy to communicate restricted data and two counts alleging communication of restricted data.
The Toebbes have pleaded not guilty and are presumed innocent.
For almost a year, Jonathan Toebbe, aided by his wife, allegedly sold information known as restricted data concerning the design of nuclear-powered warships to a person they believed was a representative of a foreign power but was in actuality an undercover FBI agent, the federal indictment alleges.
Jonathan Toebbe is an employee of the Department of the Navy who served as a nuclear engineer and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors. He held an active national security clearance through the U.S. Department of Defense, giving him access to Restricted Data, the indictment alleges.
Diana Toebbe is accused of serving as a lookout for husband Jonathan during alleged “dead drops” of sensitive information.
The government alleges the Toebbes were shopping secrets for up to $5 million in cryptocurrency.
The Toebbes normally would go on trial within 70 days of their indictment under the federal speedy trial rule.
However, the Office of U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II and the Department of Justice proposed complex case designation, and it wasn’t opposed by Assistant Federal Defender Nicholas Compton, for Jonathan Toebbe, or Barry Beck and Edward MacMahon Jr., for Diana Toebbe. Groh then granted the motion.
The complex case schedule calls for pretrial unclassified discovery sharing by Feb. 17; reciprocal discovery by March 1; exculpatory evidence disclosure by Feb. 17; motions by March 21; and responses by April 1. The court has set aside a motions hearing, if necessary, at 1:30 p.m. April 6 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble. Voir dire questions are due by April 18; the witness lists and exhibits lists are due April 18; a plea agreement, should one be reached, is due April 22. The pretrial conference is set 9:30 a.m. May 5, also at Martinsburg federal court.
Federal attorneys on the case are Jarod J. Douglas, Wheeling; Jessica Lieber Smolar, Pittsburgh; and Matthew J. McKenzie and S. Derek Shugert, Washington.

Groh
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