Bounty hunter sentenced to 10 years in prison for abducting Missouri woman

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A bounty hunter from Louisiana was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for kidnapping a suburban St. Louis woman, an abduction he claimed was part of his job.

A federal jury in St. Louis in September convicted 45-year-old Wayne Lozier of the New Orleans area on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

“This sentence should reinforce that those who work in the fugitive recovery industry must comply with state and local laws and regulations and treat those they take into custody with decency,” U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said in a statement. “They work in a dangerous industry, but that is not a license to go rogue.”

A message was left with Lozier's attorney.

The victim was a woman who was staying at a home in St. Peters, Missouri, in 2019. Lozier and his partner, Jody L. Sullivan, had been hired by a Louisiana bail bond company to find and apprehend the woman, who had an arrest warrant on two misdemeanor crimes.

The bounty hunters were not licensed in Missouri and did not notify St. Peters police before entering the home on May 9, 2019, prosecutors said. According to testimony, the men handcuffed the woman, who was wearing only pajamas, and took her away in an SUV.

The homeowner contacted police. A St. Peters officer reached Lozier by phone and told him to return the woman, but he refused, prosecutors said. When the woman sought help from clerks at a gas station in rural Missouri, Lozier used a stun gun and pulled her hair before dragging her from the store, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Lozier eventually dropped the woman off at a detention facility in Mississippi, where she remained for about a week until she was released.

Sullivan, 56, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and kidnapping charges. She was sentenced in December to five years of probation.