Former Navy Pilot and Top Gun Graduate Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison in Sextortion Case
NORFOLK, Va. – Daniel Chase Harris, 31, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced yesterday to 600 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release for his crimes including production of child pornography, use of a facility of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, receipt of child pornography, transportation of child pornography, possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
Harris was found guilty on 31 counts on March 9, 2015, after a 12-day trial. According to court records and the evidence at trial, Harris was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and a Navy Top Gun graduate stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana. Harris was originally arrested by Bedford County Sheriff’s Office in November 2013. The investigation and evidence at trial revealed that Harris posed online as a teenage boy and would convince young teen girls between the ages of 12 and 17 to send him risqué pictures of themselves. He then extorted the girls to send him additional, sexually graphic and explicit images of themselves or he threatened them with posting the images online or sending the images to family or friends. Nine victims were involved in this case, three of whom are from Virginia. In pronouncing the sentence, District Judge Mark S. Davis stated Harris’ actions were “sadistic” and equated to “torture.”
Homeland Security Investigations and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (SOVA ICAC) led the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Wes Nance, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Bedford County, are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:14-cr-76.