MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — The federal trial in Martinsburg regarding the Annapolis, Maryland couple charged with selling nuclear submarine secrets to — what they thought — was a foreign government, has been postponed.
Pre-trial motions were to have been delivered this week. But U.S. District Judge Gina Groh has set February 17 as the new date. The trial is being held in the Mountain State because Jonathan and Dianna Toebbe were caught on video delivering allegedly classified material to a drop-off location along a hiking trail in Jefferson County. The FBI captured it all on video.
Paul Taylor is a Martinsburg lawyer who practices in federal court and says taking more time to prepare for a case like this works to the advantage of both federal prosecutors and the defendants.
“The volume of the information that has to be exchanged and the nature of the information that has to be exchanged,” Taylor observes, “in other words, whether it’s classified or not has to be redacted to remove sensitive information.”
Taylor explains that this is such a complex case, dealing with nuclear weaponry, that neither side — the U.S. government or the defendants — want to rush this case to trial. Both defendants have been housed since October in the Eastern Regional Jail, Berkeley County.