Elizabethtown Man, Travis Puckett Sentenced To Federal Prison After Being Caught During Sting Operation
LOUISVILLE, KY (STL.News) Travis Puckett, 23, originally of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, previously pled guilty before United States District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings for attempted online enticement of a minor, announced Acting United States Attorney Michael A. Bennett. Today, Judge Jennings sentenced Puckett to 10 years in prison followed by a 15-year term of Supervised Release. There is no parole in the federal system. Puckett will be required to register as a sex offender.
“Mr. Puckett will serve a 10-year federal prison sentence followed by 15 years of supervision as a result of the outstanding work of AUSA Lawless and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Bennett. “Our children and communities are safer because of their tireless effort in identifying, charging, and prosecuting those who engage in this egregious criminal conduct.”
According to the Plea Agreement, on October 6, 2019, a Detective with the Louisville Metro Police Department took part in an undercover investigation on the Internet. The Detective posed as a 14-year-old girl on a social media app. At approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening, a person using the profile of a 22-year-old, white male, from Elizabethtown, and identified as “Travis,” sent the undercover profile a message. “Travis,” later identified as Puckett, initially stated he thought the undercover officer was the police and then stated that he wished the undercover officer was 18. Puckett texted, “your cute and all just don’t want any charges.”
Puckett requested that the undercover detective prove he wasn’t the police and provided a Snapchat username for further communication. The undercover detective communicated with Puckett via Snapchat and sent several non-pornographic pictures of an undercover female officer, all the while maintaining the age of 14. The two stopped communicating at approximately 11:30 p.m. that evening, as the undercover advised that “her” parents were home and they could talk the next day. The next day, around noon, Puckett initiated contact with the undercover. Puckett asked what the undercover was doing that evening around 8:00 p.m. Puckett asked to get together and directed the conversation towards sex. At approximately 10:30 p.m. that evening, Puckett arrived at the agreed upon location and was arrested. When he arrived, he had a cellular telephone and condoms.
During a post-Miranda interview, Puckett admitted he was the person who had been communicating with a 14-year-old girl, beginning on the social media app “Skout.” He admitted telling her he wanted to engage in sexual activities. During the interview, Puckett wrote an apology letter to the undercover persona. In it, he stated he was sorry and that he felt terrible for disrespecting her.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case. The joint investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, Kentucky State Police, and Louisville Metro Police Department.