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BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Days after the arrests of an Annapolis couple accused of trying to sell military secrets to a foreign intelligence agency, a defense expert is weighing in on the significance of the data at the center of the case.

Jonathan Toebbe, 42, a Navy nuclear engineer, and his wife, Diana, 45, are charged with conspiracy to communicate restricted data and communication of restricted data.

Each of them could face life in prison if convicted of those charges.

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The charges stem from what’s described in a federal complaint as a plot to trade sensitive data on U.S. nuclear submarines to an unnamed foreign government in exchange for cryptocurrency.

David Luckey, a senior defense researcher for the RAND Corporation, told WJZ it’s critical that information like this doesn’t fall into the wrong hands because leaks can cause “exceptionally grave damage” to the country.

“We don’t want [to give] our adversaries, or potential adversaries, information on how to defeat our technologies,” Luckey said. “We also don’t want our technologies to fall into the hands of our potential adversaries for them to defeat us.”

According to charging documents, the plot began in April 2020 when Toebbe sent an unsolicited package containing sensitive data to a foreign intelligence agency. The package was later handed over to the FBI, which set up a sting operation using an undercover agent posing as a foreign intelligence officer.

Over several months, Toebbe arranged to deliver batches of data to his contact by hiding memory cards inside ordinary objects — a sandwich, a pack of gum, a bandage — and dropping them off at several ocations in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the documents state.

The data involved included sensitive design and schematic information on the Navy’s Virginia-class, nuclear-powered attack submarines.

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Federal surveillance teams monitoring the “dead drop” locations saw Toebbe making the drop-offs, at times accompanied by his wife who appeared to be acting as a lookout for her husband, according to the complaint.

Throughout the course of the sting, Toebbe was paid $100,000 in cryptocurrency, a fraction of the $5 million sum that court documents suggest he was seeking.

The investigation culminated in the couple’s arrests Saturday in West Virginia.

News of the Toebbes’ arrests stunned those who live in the couple’s Annapolis neighborhood, which was swarming with federal agents over the weekend.

“Everybody felt bad because we knew they had kids,” said neighbor Jennifer McCormick. “That was everybody’s first concern.”

Diana Toebbe, a teacher at the Key School, was suspended indefinitely from her job pending the outcome of the federal case.

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The Toebbes are scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday for a detention hearing to determine whether they’ll remain in custody while awaiting trial.

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Tags: baltimore news diana toebbe espionage charges jonathan toebbe military secrets navy nuclear engineer baltimore news in the couple’s the couple’s don’t want information sensitive data west virginia fall into

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Hardworking Queen, 95, must not ‘exhaust’ herself ahead of big Platinum Jubilee next year, warns expert

THE Queen must be careful not to exhaust herself ahead of her big Platinum Jubilee next year, an expert has warned.

Her Majesty, 95, spent the night in hospital for tests on Wednesday after cancelling official duties.

5Royal biographer Hugo Vickers says the Queen must not exhaust herself ahead of her jubilee next year 5Her Majesty spent the night in hospital for tests described as 'preliminary investigations', pictured here at a business summit on TuesdayCredit: Arthur Edwards / The Sun

The overnight stay — her first in a hospital for eight years — was for practical reasons and the monarch was discharged the following day.

But Royal biographer Hugo Vickers said the Palace must be "careful" with the hard working monarch, who is always "keen to do as much as possible".

Mr Vickers told Good Morning Britain: "If you look at the programme she’s done it would have exhausted almost any of us in the last few days.

"Given that next year she’s got a very big year – the Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years on the thrown - they (the Palace) do need to be careful I think so let’s hope she is getting some rest."

The Queen will celebrate 70 years on the British throne in 2022 - the first time any British monarch has reached the historic milestone.

In the meantime she has had 14 engagements over the past three weeks — often with a walking stick.

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She used it at Westminster Abbey and Cardiff last week but discarded it at Tuesday’s Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle.

Mr Vickers said most of the Queen's programmes are "arranged for her".

And because her Maj doesn't want to disappoint, she finds it "difficult to say to say no to things".

But the expert added: “She can of course say no and occasionally she does but I do think sometimes they really do need to consider how to make it as easy as possible get maximum exposure of the queen with minimum effort to her  to not tire her too much.”

Royal doctors sent the 95-year-old sovereign to be seen by specialists in London on Wednesday afternoon.

It was believed her medical team acted out of caution to have her admitted to King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone on Wednesday.

???? Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest updates

Her Majesty was discharged — with Buckingham Palace saying she was in “good spirits” after “preliminary investigations” during her visit to hospital.

Yesterday afternoon Her Maj, 95, was understood to be back at her desk at Windsor Castle.

She was said to be reading her official government red boxes and is expected to recuperate for the rest of the week.

The Palace said: “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today (Thursday) and remains in good spirits.”

It was believed the Queen stayed the night in hospital as it was getting too late to take her on a 26-mile trip home.

She was not thought to have had an overnight hospital stay since March 2013 when she was treated for a stomach bug at the same hospital.

And it was believed to be just her fifth major hospital trip in 40 years.

Aides hope she will be at Glasgow’s COP26 climate change summit with world leaders on November 1.

On Wednesday Her Majesty cancelled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland on doctors’ advice.

Concerns were first raised when she started to use a walking stick on engagements at Westminster Abbey and the Welsh parliament this month.

On Tuesday she was on her feet for more than an hour at a business summit at Windsor Castle.

She has also decided to give up alcohol since the death of Prince Philip, 99, in April.

5The Queen, 95, cancelled official duties as she was seen by specialists on Wednesday afternoon, pictured here at her last over-night stay in 2013Credit: Darren Fletcher - The Sun 5Yesterday she was understood to be back at her desk at Windsor Castle and remains in 'good spirits'Credit: PA 5Hospital King Edward VII in Marylebone, central London, is used by the Royal FamilyCredit: Reuters Most read in RoyalExclusiveROYAL SHOCK Queen, 95, spends night in HOSPITAL after cancelling Northern Ireland tripPRESIDENT MEG Meghan making ‘first try at political role’ with letter on parental leaveREIGN IT IN Queen urged to step back from royal duties after cancelling NI trip last minuteQUEEN OF HEARTS Defiant Queen's subtle message that she's 'not going to step down'ROYAL REST Queen, 95, cancels NI trip on medical advice to rest for few days, Palace saysSIBLING RIVALRY Meghan ghosted her dad as she was jealous of her bro and sister, he claims

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