Sex offender facing new charges

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A man convicted of molesting a 10-year-old in Kentucky appeared before a federal judge in Texarkana recently for failing to register as a sex offender.

Robert Eugene Puckett, 43, appeared with Federal Public Defender Bruce Eddy for an initial appearance May 10 and pleaded not guilty. He is charged in a one-count indictment with violating sex offender registration laws Jan. 15 to March 5 in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Puckett is also facing charges at the state level for allegedly violating sex offender registration requirements in Union County, Ark. An affidavit in the Union County case states Puckett was convicted of engaging in sexual contact with a 10-year-old girl Sept. 28, 2011 in Kentucky.

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Puckett allegedly began living in El Dorado, Ark., in Union County and was registered as a sex offender in that jurisdiction. Puckett reported an El Dorado address and employment at Applebees restaurant in El Dorado. Investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office were unable to locate Puckett at his address in El Dorado during vists to the home in February and learned from his former employer he had been gone for two weeks and had expressed plans to work at Applebee’s in Texarkana, Texas.

Investigators were able to contact Puckett by phone but he allegedly did not follow up on requests for him to meet with investigators in Union County.

Puckett allegedy acquired a new driver’s license Feb. 26 with a Fouke, Ark., address. Puckett is required to notify the jurisdiction he plans to leave at least 10 days prior to moving, according to documents in Union County. Puckett is obligated to report to officials in the new jurisdiction within three days of establishing a residence. Union County Sheriff’s Office investigators determined Puckett was not registered as a sex offender in Miller County.

Puckett is charged with violating sex offender registration requirements in Union County. The offense is punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Bail in the state case was set at $25,000 following a hearing March 7. Records in the Union County case show Puckett listed his most recent employer as Applebee’s in Texarkana, Texas.

Puckett waived a hearing to address the issue of bond in his federal case and is currently being housed in the Miller County jail. His federal case is scheduled for trial in June before U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes.

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