MACON – Peter D. Leary, the acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said in a press release that a convicted criminal and registered sex offender was sentenced to prison for failing to provide information about his planned international trip.

Michael Walker, 45, of Perry was sentenced to 20 months in prison by US District Judge Marc T. Treadwell, followed by five years’ custody release. Walker pleaded guilty on October 21, 2020 of the inability of a sex offender to provide information about intended international travel. There is no parole in the federal system.

Walker left the United States on December 12, 2019 on the Carnival Paradise cruise ship for a four-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. The ship returned to Tampa, Florida on December 16, 2019. Walker was required under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act to report his intended international travel no later than 21 days prior to departure, but he did not. Upon the ship’s arrival in Tampa, Customs and Border Patrol officers boarded the ship and arrested Walker. Walker was previously convicted of child molestation in the Houston County Supreme Court on April 22, 2004. He is a level 2 sex offender and must register as a sex offender in Georgia annually for the rest of his life.

“The sex offender registration and notification programs are in place to protect the public,” Leary said. “Registered sex offenders who violate the laws that govern their movements face federal prosecution and federal prison. I would like to thank the US Marshals and Customs and Border Protection for their work in protecting the public and making this defendant accountable. “

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This case was filed under Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of sexual exploitation and abuse of children. Under the direction of the US law firms and the DOJ’s Department of Child Exploitation and Profanity, Project Safe Childhood is collecting federal, state, and local resources to locate, arrest, and prosecute those who exploit children, and victims identify and save. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

“The United States Marshals Service has prioritized investigations into registered sex offenders traveling between states or internationally and has not notified the authorities as required by law,” said US Marshal John Cary Bittick. “Our district, in collaboration with our local and state partners, has dedicated men and women who focus their investigative skills on locating, arresting, and prosecuting non-compliant sex offenders.”

The case has been investigated by the US Marshals Service and the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. US Assistant Attorneys Paul C. McCommon III and Alex Kalim are prosecuting the case for the government.