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Annapolis woman charged in submarine spy case to remain locked up, federal judge rules

WASHINGTON — An Annapolis woman charged along with her husband in a plot to sell submarine secrets to a foreign country must remain behind bars after a judge on Thursday determined she was a flight risk and a danger to national security.

Lawyers for Diana Toebbe had argued for her release during a detention hearing Wednesday. She and her husband, Jonathan, a Navy nuclear engineer, were arrested earlier this month on charges that they violated the Atomic Energy Act.

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Booking photos released Oct. 9, 2021, by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority show Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe.
Booking photos released Oct. 9, 2021, by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority show Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe. (AP)

U.S. authorities say Jonathan Toebbe had tried to pass secrets about sophisticated Virginia-class submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who was actually an undercover FBI agent. Diana Toebbe is accused of serving as a lookout on three separate occasions in which her husband deposited memory cards containing sensitive information at several dead-drop locations.

In a ruling Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Trumble rejected arguments from defense lawyers that Diana Toebbe could be released under certain conditions to her home.

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“Although Defendant has no prior criminal history, the nature and circumstances of the charges against her and her actions demonstrate that Defendant is a danger to every community and to our national security by clear and convincing evidence,” Trumble wrote, also describing her as a flight risk.

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