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Cheyenne man pleads guilty to not registering social media as sex offender

Laramie County Governmental Complex (Lisa Hushbeck/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In a recent court proceeding March 21, a Cheyenne resident, Christopher Edward Michaels, entered a guilty plea for failing to register Instagram on his sex offender notification form. This plea forms part of an agreement that sees the prosecution recommend a sentence of two to four years, with sentencing slated for June 13.

Another charge of failing to register will be dismissed as per the plea deal, and Michaels remains under a $5,000 cash bond until his sentencing.

Detective Benjamin Delcamp of the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department highlighted the series of events leading to Michaels’s arrest. The investigation began when Officer Lohnes of the Cheyenne Police Department was alerted by a concerned parent about Michaels contacting her teenage daughter on Instagram — a platform not listed on his official sex offender registry, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Despite registering as a sex offender in Laramie County on Aug. 16, 2023, Michaels neglected to update his social media usage to include Instagram. His official registration documents only acknowledged the use of Facebook and an email address. This oversight came to light after the work of the local Sex Offender Registry office and Detective Delcamp’s investigation.

Further inquiries revealed inconsistencies in Michaels’s employment records and additional unauthorized social media activities. Notably, Michaels had ceased employment at Senator’s Steakhouse by September 14, 2023, contrary to his registry information. Moreover, discussions with Probation and Parole Agent Rebeccah Reedy unveiled Michaels’s admission to using multiple social media platforms and engaging in inappropriate communications.

Michaels’s Sex Offender Community Supervision Agreement explicitly prohibits unsupervised contact with minors and access to pornography.