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June 13, 2022Norfolk, VA, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI-led investigation leads to 25-year prison sentence for sexual exploitation of children by US Navy service member

NORFOLK, Va. – An investigation led by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. field office landed a Norfolk sailor in federal prison for 25 years followed by a lifetime of supervised release for sexually abusing a child.

According to the HSI investigation, Travis James Muckelroy, 27, used a social media platform to develop online relationships with children. On various occasions in April and September of 2021, Muckelroy instructed a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl to send him nude photographs or recordings of themselves engaging in sexual acts.

Muckelroy made these requests even after one of the girls informed him that she was the victim of rape. In addition to these young girls, Muckelroy used the same social media platform to communicate with at least three other suspected minors.

“Mr. Muckelroy’s actions were beyond reprehensible, and the barbarity of his crimes is reflected in the severity of his sentence” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Brenda Nevano of HSI’s Washington, D.C. field office. “HSI Washington, D.C., will continue to work tirelessly to hold accountable anyone who attempts to bring harm to the citizens we have sworn to protect.”

At the time of his arrest, Muckelroy was an active-duty sailor assigned to the U.S.S Gerald R. Ford docked at U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk. Muckelroy had been serving as an aviation ordinance airman; he enlisted in the Navy in 2019.

HSI Washington, D.C., led the investigation with significant participation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk field office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) 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.

Anyone with information regarding the sexual exploitation of children is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement – HSI has a nationwide tip line to report crime by calling 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 06/13/2022