Predator Catchers sting leads Novi police to arrest man for allegedly arranging meetup with teen

By: Brian Wells | Novi Note | Published January 12, 2022




An organization aimed at catching sexual predators reportedly arranged to meet a man in Novi, where he was arrested Sunday morning.

At approximately 3 a.m. Jan. 9, Novi police officers were dispatched to a hotel in Novi.

Predator Catchers Inc., a nonprofit based out of Indianapolis, advised the Novi Police Department that the nonprofit had been conversing with a suspect online while posing as a 14-year-old girl, Novi Police Lt. Jason Meier said in an email. Members of the organization reportedly had arranged for the man to travel to Novi to meet the girl.

When officers arrived, they met with representatives from the organization and the suspect. Evidence was presented to the department that established probable cause, and the suspect, Wayne Kenneth Johnson Jr., 52, of Rochester Hills, was taken into custody, Meier said.

Predator Catchers Inc. posted a Facebook live video of the confrontation and arrest. After Johnson was arrested, the organization turned over its evidence to the department.

Johnson was arraigned in the Oakland County 52-1 District Court Jan. 11. He is charged with one count of children — accosting for immoral purposes, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Johnson is being held in the Oakland County Jail on a $50,000 bond. As of Wednesday, he did not have an attorney listed.

He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 19 in front of District Court Judge Travis Reeds.

In 2015, Johnson pleaded guilty in the Macomb County Circuit Court to a charge of child sexually abusive commercial activity, according to court records. He was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation.

Predator Catchers Inc. is a group of volunteers who state that they want to collaborate with law enforcement, prosecutors and other groups to protect communities and youth from online child predators, according to its website.

Contact Brian Wells at (586) 498-1081, (248) 291-7637 or