Navy Commander charged with espionage, accused of passing US secrets to China

U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Edward Lin, shown in a 2008 file photo, faces charges of espionage, attempted espionage and prostitution after the Navy says Lin passed on U.S. secrets to China and falsified records. If convicted of the charges, Lin may face the death penalty. (Courtesy: Spec. 1st class Sarah Murphy/U.S. Navy file

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Navy officer has been charged with espionage, among other accusations, in a preceding designated a national security case.

Officials say Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin passed sensitive U.S. secrets to China.

Sources say Navy officials took Lin into custody eight months ago, and have been holding him in the Navy Consolidated Brig off Ballahack Road in Chesapeake since that time.

The Navy released heavily redacted court documents Friday, which list the extensive charges against a Navy commander — who has now been identified as Lin.

In the documents, officials state that a Navy commander illegally shared information to a foreign government, falsified records and engaged in prostitution and adultery.

Lin is facing 15 total charges, including three counts of attempted espionage, two counts of espionage, three counts of making false official statements and five counts of communicating defense information with a person not cleared to have the information.

The documents do not state what information Lin is alleged to have provided.

According to the U.S. Navy, Lin moved to the United States with his family from Taiwan when he was 14-years-old.

FOX News says Lin is a Naval flight officer with an extensive background in signals and intelligence. He had been assigned to command the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group out of Norfolk.

An Article 32 hearing scheduled for Friday will be followed by a decision on whether the charges are referred to a court-martial. If he is found guilty of the charges, Lin could face the death penalty.

Officials say the investigation is ongoing, and that they could make further arrests in this case.

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