A former state Game and Fish Department employee pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to lure a 13-year-old girl over the Internet for sex.
Travis Edward Foster, 45, pleaded guilty April 30 to five counts of attempted aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation, according to court records. A grand jury had indicted Foster on 22 counts of luring a minor.
A judge will sentence Foster June 26 at 4 p.m. in a Yavapai County Superior Court courtroom. Foster remains out on release conditions after posting a $25,000 bond.
Back in late October, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) detectives arrested Foster in Payson at the Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery, where he was living at the time.
Since early August, YCSO detectives had monitored numerous computer-chat room conversations initiated by Foster with a female that Foster believed was 13 years of age.
Foster explicitly described sexual acts he wished to perform with the minor and on more than one occasion, exposed his genitals over a webcam, according to the sheriff’s office.
Foster, a father of two, agreed to meet with the girl near her home in the Verde Valley on Oct. 26.
On that date, detectives watched a male walking in the area enter a Game and Fish vehicle and drive away.
“Believing this man could be the suspect, detectives arranged to have the vehicle stopped by a marked law enforcement unit,” according to a press release.
Officers identified the driver as Foster, who was on duty as a Game and Fish employee.
Officers released Foster and later, using his driver’s license photo, determined he was the same man seen performing solo sex acts on the webcam for the alleged teen.
The next day, officers arrested Foster at the hatchery.
Game and Fish put Foster on administrative leave immediately after his arrest. Foster resigned from his position with the department two days later and moved out of the Game and Fish-owned hatchery, said Jim Paxon, information branch chief with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.