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Court Delays Detention Hearing In Annapolis Couple's Espionage Case

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) -- A detention hearing for the Annapolis couple facing espionage charges related to a plot to sell military secrets to a foreign intelligence away has been postponed until next week.

Jonathan Toebbe, 42, a Navy nuclear engineer, and his wife, Diana, 45, were set to appear Friday in federal court in West Virginia to determine whether they would go free while awaiting trial or remain in custody because they present a flight risk.

According to court records, the detention hearing has been pushed back until Wednesday afternoon. That hearing will now coincide with a preliminary hearing to decide if probable cause exists for the charges the couple face.

The Toebbes are each charged with communication of restricted data and conspiracy to commit restricted data, violations of the Atomic Energy Act.

Jonathan Toebbe is accused of trading sensitive data on nuclear submarine design to someone he thought was a foreign intelligence asset but was actually an undercover federal agent.

Toebbe spent several months dropping off memory cards containing that data at "dead drop" sites in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, at times accompanied by his wife who acted as a lookout, according to charging documents.

Authorities say he was paid $100,000 in cryptocurrency during the course of the FBI sting operation, a fraction of the $5 million sum he was allegedly seeking in return for the military data.

The Toebbes were arrested Saturday in West Virginia, where they've been held in federal custody while awaiting court proceedings in the case.

Each of the charges carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $100,000 fine and a five-year term of supervised release.

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