This Monday, a federal judge handed out long prison terms to a husband and wife who had both been found guilty of trying to sell military secrets.
Jonathan Toebbe, a former Navy engineer, was given a term of more than 19 years in prison by Judge Gina Groh, according to the website.
Diana Toebbe, a former private school teacher who the judge referred to as a felon of the worst type, received a 22-year sentence from Groh.
The two were discovered in 2020 trying to sell Brazil nuclear reactor technology. This technology powers Navy submarines. The plot, however, was thwarted after Brazilian officials informed American authorities.
Then, in October of last year, they were detained on suspicion of conspiring to transmit restricted data as well as communicating restricted data. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated in a Department of Justice press release that the case alleges a scheme to divulge knowledge about the architecture of our nuclear submarines to a foreign country.
“The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Near the beginning of the year, Mr. and Mrs. Toebbe went into plea agreements, but Groh rejected the suggested punishments because they were too light.
Groh was particularly upset by Mrs. Toebbe’s suggested agreement’s likelihood of a sentence of less than three years in prison.
She also took issue with a letter Diana Toebbe wrote to her husband from a prison cell, advising him to tell a deception and claim she had nothing to do with their crime.
According to Groh, Mrs. Toebe’s attempt to coerce Mr. Toebe into lying was an obstruction of justice.