NORFOLK, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Virginia Beach man today on charges of attempted coercion and enticement, attempted sex trafficking of a minor, obstruction of justice, and false statement to law enforcement officer.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Daniel Alan Puff, 38, 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 oral sex 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 gave the $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 faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on June 22. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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 U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen accepted the verdict.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Montoya and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Liu are prosecuting 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
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.
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24