Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, were accused of selling nuclear propulsion secrets to an undercover F.B.I. officer through a series of dead drops featuring memory cards hidden in peanut butter sandwiches, gum packages and Band-Aid wrappers

The Maryland couple accused of trying to sell some of America’s most closely guarded nuclear submarine secrets made their first appearance in court since they were arrested over the weekend, the New York Times reports.

The couple, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, were accused of selling nuclear propulsion secrets to an undercover F.B.I. officer through a series of dead drops featuring memory cards hidden in peanut butter sandwiches, gum packages and Band-Aid wrappers.

Though they appeared separately on Tuesday, each was charged individually with communication of restricted data and conspiracy to communicate restricted data, charges that could lead to life in prison. Neither of them was asked to enter a plea during their short initial appearances.

The hearing in federal court in Martinsburg, W.Va., for Jonathan Toebbe was over in five minutes. After reviewing an affidavit from Mr. Toebbe listing his finances, the magistrate judge, Robert W. Trumble, said Mr. Toebbe qualified for a court-appointed lawyer and set two hearings: one on Friday for a hearing on his continued detention and a preliminary hearing in the case for next Wednesday.

© Copyright LaPresse