They seemed to be living the most ordinary of lives, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe - professional, comfortable, unostentatious.
Their red-brick house in a posh part of Annapolis, Maryland - a coastal city of Romanesque churches and beaux arts-facades - held the comfortable clutter that comes with two children and two pitbulls, Sasha and Franklin, whose names are emblazoned on the front step welcome mat.
The neighbourhood streets are lined with cypress trees. Oyster shells are strewn in the grasses of a park close by, Quiet Waters. Yards are neatly mown, and the grass smells sweet. The US Naval Academy is nearby, as is a yacht harbour.
The peace of the place was broken on 9 October, when federal agents descended on the Toebbe house, from which they had followed the couple to Jefferson County, West Virginia.
This is where Mr Toebbe, 42, and his 45-year-old wife were attempting to commit treason, according to the US government.
The Maryland couple have been charged with allegedly trying to sell military secrets to a foreign government, for which they could face life in prison if found guilty.
As a preliminary hearing on the Toebbes allegations opens in West Virginia on Wednesday, the extraordinary national security case has raised questions over the motivations of a seemingly unassuming couple who were allegedly willing to risk everything in the belief they could make it as super-spies.
The attempts at espionage began in April 2020 when, according to the justice department, Mr Toebbe, a US Navy employee, contacted an official who worked for a foreign government by sending them a package in the mail with a note saying he could provide them with information about nuclear submarines.
As an expert with security clearance working in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, he claimed to have access to information on nuclear-propulsion systems used in submarines.
The government appears to be one that has friendly relations with the US: officials who work for the foreign government co-operated with US investigators while they were setting a trap for Mr Toebbe. This seemed to indicate that the foreign government was an ally, such as France, and not Russia or China. But no-one has confirmed which country was involved.
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I wonder who that could be?
It will be interesting to see how this continues.