A U.S. Navy officer accused of giving defense secrets to the Chinese government is Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin, an official confirmed to Military.com on Monday.
Lin, a flight officer assigned to Patrol and Reconnaissance Group out of Norfolk, Virginia, stands accused of espionage, attempted espionage, unauthorized communication of privileged information relating to national defense, and patronizing a prostitute, according to a charge sheet released by the Navy.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, which broke the story of Lin's charges, he remains at Navy Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Virginia, following an April 8 preliminary hearing in Norfolk.
The preliminary hearing officer in the case must now make a recommendation to the convening authority, Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Davidson will ultimately decide if Lin will face court-martial on the charges, a process expected to take place in the next 10 days, a U.S. official said.
Lin's identity was first published by USNI News, which reported that sources said Lin had given national defense secrets to China.
A Taiwanese immigrant who moved to the U.S. at 14, Lin became an American citizen in 2008 as a lieutenant assigned top U.S. Pacific Fleet, according to a Navy news release from the time.
"I always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land," he said in remarks at his naturalization ceremony, the release states. "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."
Lin's unit, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, oversees more than 7,000 sailors who operate Navy maritime patrol aircraft including the P-8A Poseidon, MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft, P-3C Orion, and EP-3 Aries II, according to Navy officials.
The dates on which Lin is accused of passing secret national defense information on his charge sheet are redacted.
In all, he is charged with four violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including two specifications of espionage, three specifications of attempted espionage, five specifications of communicating defense information, and one specification of patronizing a prostitute.
Violation of UCMJ article 106A, the prohibition on espionage, is one of only 14 military crimes that can carry the death penalty.