A bounty hunter from Louisiana was convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy charges Thursday for forcibly removing a woman from a St. Peters, Missouri home and taking her across state lines.
Jurors in U.S. District Court in St. Louis took less than two hours to convict Wayne D. Lozier Jr., now 44, of the New Orleans area, of the two felony counts.
Testimony and evidence presented at trial, including from Lozier’s body camera, showed that the victim had an arrest warrant from the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany Parish for two misdemeanor offenses. Lozier and his partner, Jody L. Sullivan, had been hired by Affordable Bail Bonds as surety recovery agents to locate and retrieve the victim.
Sullivan rented an SUV and the pair traveled to St. Charles County. On May 9, 2019, both were armed with firearms and Tasers. Neither was licensed by Missouri’s Department of Commerce and Insurance to operate as surety recovery agents within Missouri. Without notifying local law enforcement, the pair went to the St. Peters home. Lozier told the homeowner he didn’t need her permission to enter the house. They went into the basement, where the Louisiana woman was staying. They handcuffed her and transported her without her consent in their SUV, heading for Louisiana, the trial showed.
At a gas station in Sullivan, Missouri the victim pleaded with employees to notify the police after learning that Lozier and Sullivan were not police officers. Lozier shocked the victim multiple times with a Taser and he and Sullivan dragged the victim out of the store by the chain that connected her handcuffs and leg shackles. Lozier told local police that he was a surety recovery agent and was licensed by the state of Louisiana.
While they were still in Missouri, a St. Peters Police Department officer told Lozier on a phone call that he was committing crimes and should return the victim to St. Peters or drop her off at the nearest law enforcement agency, according to testimony and evidence. Lozier refused, instead dropping her off at a Mississippi detention facility before returning home and collecting $500 plus expenses. The victim remained at the detention facility for about a week before she was released.
Sullivan, 67, of the New Orleans area, pleaded guilty Sept. 18, 2023, to the conspiracy and kidnapping charges and admitted unlawfully seizing the woman and transporting her across state lines.
Sullivan is scheduled to be sentenced on December 20. Lozier is scheduled to be sentenced on January 3. Both charges are punishable by up to life in prison.
The FBI and the St. Peters Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Martin and Donald Boyce are prosecuting the case.