He is accused of trying to pass on information related to nuclear submarine technology to a foreign country.
The FBI investigation began in April 2020 when Mr Tobey attempted to send a package to a foreign country. The foreign country is not named in the court documents. It was not immediately possible to establish whether it was an American friend or rival.
Mr Tobe could not immediately be contacted for comment. The Navy declined to comment.
The documents allege that in April 2020 Mr Tobe sent a mail package containing US Navy documents, instructions and an SD card to a foreign government. The FBI intercepted it.
The package included guidance on how to use an encrypted communication platform, among other documents. Mr Tobe marked the information as confidential and asked it to be forwarded to another country’s military agency.
According to court documents, he said in the letter, “I believe this information will be of great importance to your country.”
It was April 1, 2020, April Fool’s Day. “This is not a hoax,” he added in his note.
According to a US Navy expert consulted by the FBI, the documents contained information classified as restricted data.
The FBI said in the documents that the encrypted platforms Mr Tobe intended to use are usually used by people who want to keep their activities and locations a secret.
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