Judge Rejects Plea Agreement In Submarine Secrets Sale Case

Diana and Jonathan Toebbe (West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority/AP)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have withdrawn their guilty pleas in a case involving the sale of secrets about American nuclear submarines.

The moves by Jonathan and Diana Toebbe came Tuesday in a federal court in West Virginia after a judge rejected plea agreements that had called for specific sentencing options.

The Maryland couple had pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to communicate restricted data.

Prosecutors say Jonathan Toebbe abused his access to top-secret government information and repeatedly sold details about submarine design elements and performance characteristics.

Toebbe believed the sales were to someone representing a foreign government but actually involved an undercover FBI agent.