The Navy nuclear engineer accused of trying to peddle US military secrets using a peanut-butter sandwich not only allegedly dreamed of being a spy — he saw himself as a Medieval swashbuckler, too.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, of Annapolis, Md., allegedly began his espionage bid in April 2020 — while buying up Medieval sword-fighting gear and attending classes at a local “historic swordsmanship” outfit.
According to social-media posts by Toebbe, about two months after the would-be Benedict Arnold sent a package of restricted Navy documents and other materials to a purported contact in a foreign country, he boasted about a new sword to fellow members of the “Mid-Atlantic Society for Historic Swordsmanship.”
“[That feeling when] a box from Amazon and Purpleheart Armoury arrive on the same day,” Toebbe wrote on the society’s Facebook page, while also posting a photo of a new sleek sword, Medieval-style armor and a book titled “The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship.”
“New sword day is always a good day,” he added in a comment in a July 2020 post.
Toebbe was listed as a student of longswords, bucklers and rapiers on the group’s Web site, although his name appeared to have been scrubbed from its pages Monday.
The group’s founder, Larry Tom, told The Post that he only knew Toebbe in the “context” of historic swordplay and declined to comment further.
Toebbe, who was busted Saturday after months of alleged correspondence with an undercover FBI agent, also attended classes at the society while purportedly trying to sell US military secrets.
The society’s members practice at a recreation center near the home Toebbe shared with his wife and alleged co-conspirator, 45-year-old teacher Diane Toebbe.
“Great class today, everyone! I’ll be feeling it in my right shoulder/delt for the remainder of the week most likely …” Toebbe wrote in an Aug. 9, 2020, post on the group’s Facebook page.
In April 2021, months after Toebbe began exchanging messages with an undercover FBI agent, he posted a photo on the swordsmanship group’s Facebook page of a ship named after explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
“I am all for some saber practice along her deck,” another member of the group responded.
Toebbe and his wife are due in federal court in West Virginia for an initial appearance Tuesday, according to court documents.
The feds allege Toebbe attempted to pass secrets about the country’s nuclear-powered attack submarines to a person he thought was a foreign official willing to fork over cryptocurrency for the information.
During one of his drop-offs, Toebbe allegedly hid a computer memory card with secrets on it in a peanut-butter sandwich.
“The half sandwich was housed inside of a plastic bag,” the complaint said.
The husband and wife pair have been charged with violations of the Atomic Energy Act.
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