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Press Release

Former Navy Chief Petty Officer Sentenced for Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – A former Navy Chief Petty Officer was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for attempted coercion and enticement, attempted sex trafficking of a minor, obstruction of justice, and false statement to law enforcement officer.

According to court documents, Daniel Alan Puff, 38, from Virginia Beach, negotiated to receive a sex act from a 13-year-old female, believing he was speaking to her mother. In fact, he was communicating with an undercover law enforcement agent (UC). The investigation began on March 29, 2022, when Puff contacted the UC and agreed to pay $60 in exchange for a sex act from what he believed was a 13-year-old female. On March 30, 2022, the UC directed Puff to the meeting location in Chesapeake. Puff arrived at the agreed-upon meeting location in Chesapeake and surveilled the area to check for the presence of law enforcement. Puff then approved the UC, gave $60 to the UC, and stated the sex act he wished to engage in with the child. He was then arrested and taken into custody. While handcuffed in the back of a police vehicle, he deleted the text application from his phone and falsely claimed to a law enforcement agent that he was attempting to text someone. 

Puff was found guilty of four counts by a jury on January 26, 2023.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Montoya and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Liu prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-44.

Updated June 22, 2023

Project Safe Childhood