Neighbor says couple accused of selling US secrets ‘didn’t talk to anybody,’ calls arrest ‘big shock’

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 “huge shock” for the group.

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 prices.


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

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

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 advised 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 occasions, and we’d see them and by no means even say hello, don’t even like, catch your eye.”

Diane  and Jonathan and Toebbe

Diane  and Jonathan and Toebbe

McCormick added that “they only stored to themselves.”

“It is a very pleasant, very open group. We do events on holidays and all people actually is aware of one another and all people 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, but it surely was simply very stoic, , nothing, simply no expression, no hello, no wave—that’s it,” she stated. “It simply, , they only would get of their automobile and go or in the event that they had been outdoors, put out the trash, they might simply are available in, and that’s it.”

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

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 group reacts to the Toebbes’ arrest, McCormick stated the overall response is that almost all “really feel sorry for the children.”

“You already know, they went to high school right here regionally in our group, and all people seems like, what’s going to occur to them?” she stated. “I feel that’s the opposite factor, different than simply how horrific what they did or allegedly did was.”

McCormick added: “However all people feels actually dangerous for the children. Massive shock for positive.”

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 threat” of fleeing.

An unsealed legal criticism alleges that Jonathan Toebbe contacted an unidentified overseas 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 comparable to a peanut butter sandwich, a Band-Assist wrapper and a chewing gum bundle so the knowledge could possibly be picked up by who they believed was a overseas 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 advised his contact person who he would possibly want to go away the nation on brief discover. 

“Ought to that ever change into vital, I shall be eternally grateful on your assist extracting me and my household,” the doc quoted him as writing. “I surmise step one can be unannounced journey to a protected third nation with plans to fulfill your colleagues. We’ve passports and money put aside for this goal.”

The couple is scheduled for an preliminary court docket 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 assist of Black Lives Matter, anti-Trump posts,and adopted “resistance” accounts on Twitter. 

Diana Toebbe is a instructor 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.