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Navy Officer Facing Espionage and Prostitution Charges

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Navy is weighing charges of espionage against a Taiwan-born navy officer who became a naturalized U.S. citizen, in a highly secretive case in which he is accused of providing classified information to China and Taiwan, according to U.S. officials.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, a U.S. naval flight officer with an extensive signals intelligence background, was assigned to the headquarters for the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which oversees maritime patrol aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion spy planes and the MQ-4C Triton surveillance drone.

Lin is accused of communicating secret information “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation,” and of violating military law by patronizing prostitutes and committing adultery.

Lin, who moved to the United States when he was 14 years old, was once a poster boy for the heights that immigrants can achieve in the United States and in the military.

He enlisted in 1999, and three years later he attended Officer Candidate School, receiving his commission in May 2002, according to his Navy biography.

He went on to serve in a variety of roles as a flight officer, and attended the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I., from December 2010 to February 2012.

The redacted charging documents say Lin allegedly transported secret information out of the country without permission and then lied about his whereabouts when he returned to duty. The charging documents allege he successfully committed espionage twice and attempted espionage on three other occasions.

Overseeing Lin’s case as convening authority is Adm. Philip S. Davidson, the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.

Lin was arrested about eight months ago and is being held at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The case remains under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI.

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