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Former top-gun pilot gets 50 years on child porn charges; accused of trying to give secrets to China

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-14 21:02:04-04

Norfolk, Va. - A former top-gun pilot who was found guilty of producing child porn, is now being accused of trying to give away secrets to China in exchange for his freedom.

On Monday Daniel Harris was sentenced to 50 years behind bars in federal prison on child porn charges.

The judge called his crime, "sadistic online torture of young girls."

One of the teenage girls told the judge she didn't want to live anymore.  Another teen asked a classmate to shoot her.

Officials say Harris posed as a teenage boy online and got the teens to send him nude photos and videos. He then asked them for more. He told them that if they refused his request, he would post the pictures and videos on porn sites and on Facebook.

On Monday, this case took a bizarre twist.

He wrote a letter to China, under anther inmate's name, and promised them all of his Navy secrets if they broke him out of a local jail and gave him asylum.

The letter was returned but went to the inmate whose name was actually on the envelope.

“Once under your protection, all my knowledge is yours. I was a Navy F-18 Pilot, Top Gun Graduate and air-to-air employment expert,” Harris wrote the letter.

In the letter, he threatened to give the secrets to Russia if China did not act in a timely fashion.

Documents show Harris explained in the letter how he’d been found guilty of 31 felonies that he “did not commit” and he no longer believes in the country he has served.

Harris denied writing the letter, but a handwriting analysis and the judge contradicted his claim.

During the trial, parents talked about how their children involved in this case fell into deep depressions and many of the victims were cutting themselves and contemplating suicide. The girls involved cried in the courtroom while talking about the extortion inflicted on them.

Prosecutors say the nine victims police identified from Daniel Chase Harris' computer is a sliver of the hundreds of girls he chatted with, or tried to friend on Facebook.

Police identified the victims by using clues from Harris' computer. Some of the images the girls sent showed clues in their rooms that pointed to their high schools. Other times, chat transcripts revealed a name, or hometown. But in most cases, there were just sexual pictures, and nothing else to go on.

Prosecutors know Harris used several fake names, like Steve Crofton, Steve Glass and Will Williams. And using those names, he collected nearly 800 pictures and videos.

Prosecutors want very much to find the rest of the victims, to tell them Harris' years of online torture is finally over.

Related: 

Former Navy pilot found guilty of producing child porn

Navy pilot accused of producing child porn allowed to keep attorney

Update: Documents reveal new details about Oceana pilot accused of having online relationship with girls

Navy pilot accused of threatening to put teen girls’ naked photos on porn sites