Diana Toebbe, a former schoolteacher, pleaded guilty on Friday to assisting her military husband in selling official secrets to a foreign country.
Toebbe, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer sensitive nuclear design data as part of a plea deal that allows her to serve no more than 36 months in jail.
Jonathan Toebbe, her husband, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to disclose prohibited data on Monday.
According to court documents, the plot began in April 2020, when Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear propulsion engineer, mailed a package of restricted material to agents of a foreign power, proposing to expose many more secrets in exchange for up to $5 million in cryptocurrencies.
After the US government learnt about the offer, the FBI called him and pretended to be representatives of the country where he sent the gift, according to NBC. In court documents, the country was not mentioned.
Prosecutors claimed Toebbe wanted to deal solely via email at first, but eventually agreed to store the data on SD cards that he would leave at specific locations.
He delivered data four times, concealing the data storage cards in a variety of places, including half a peanut butter sandwich and a chewing gum box.
According to court filings, the cards contained blueprints for the Navy’s Virginia-class submarines, which are nuclear-powered fast-attack vessels with stealth capabilities and can fire cruise missiles.
Diana Toebbe was accused of keeping an eye on him while he finished the drop offs.
Following a presentence investigation and hearing, a federal judge will determine the duration of her jail sentence.
Both were taken into custody in October and are still being held in West Virginia prisons.