The Blaze has reported that a husband and wife were given lengthy prison sentences by a federal judge this week after both were convicted of attempting to sell military secrets.
Judge calls wife “a felon of the worst kind”
According to the website, Judge Gina Groh sentenced former Navy engineer Jonathan Toebbe to over 19 years behind bars on Tuesday.
What’s more, Groh handed down a 22-year sentence to former private school teacher Diana Toebbe, someone the judge described as “a felon of the worst kind.”
In 2020, the pair were caught attempting to sell technology related to the nuclear reactors which power Navy submarines to Brazil. However, the scheme was foiled after Brazilian officials alerted authorities in the United States.
They were subsequently arrested in October of last year on charges of “conspiracy to communicate restricted data” as well as “communication of restricted data.”
“The complaint charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland was quoted as saying in a Department of Justice press release.
“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,” he added.
The Blaze noted that while Mr. and Mrs. Toebbe entered into plea agreements near the beginning of the year, Groh rejected the proposed sentences as being too lenient.
The wife told her husband to take all blame for their crimes
Groh took particular issue with the fact that under the terms of Mrs. Toebbe’s proposed agreement, she would likely serve less than three years in prison.
“There are lower-level drug dealers that go to prison for way longer than 36 months,” the judge complained, adding, “It’s not in the best interest of this community or, in fact, this country to accept these plea agreements.”
She also objected to a letter which Diana Toebbe wrote to her husband from jail urging him to lie and say that she played no role in their crime.
Groh characterized Mrs. Toebe’s attempt to secure perjury from Mr. Toebbe as being “obstruction of justice.”