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‘A little safer today’ -- 7 arrested by Isabella County child predator task force

‘A little safer today’ -- 7 arrested by Isabella County child predator task force
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - A joint task force seeking to catch child predators made seven arrests Thursday in Isabella County, about one hour north of Lansing.

It was a massive operation, including law enforcement from Isabella County as well as the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Michigan State Police analytics unit, CMENT and MINT narcotics units, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police, Mount Pleasant City Police Department, Central Michigan University Police, Shepherd Police Department and Isabella County Central Dispatch.

“The entire event takes several days to prepare and plan,” said Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main. “The day of the event runs for multiple hours involving over 30 law enforcement and support personnel. This would not be possible without the unified and dedicated support of so many agencies and law enforcement officers.”

Read: Mid-Michigan serial killer denied parole, new law pushes back next hearing

The Isabella County Sheriff’s Department said the operation began with members of the task force communicating with dozens of potential predators on a variety of social media apps. Some of the people communicating with law enforcement agreed to come to a particular location with the intent to have sexual relations with underage boys and girls, police said.

Once they arrived at the location, the suspects were arrested on charges that pertain to the individual’s interactions with the task force. Five of the men who arrived at the location were arrested without incident.

Two additional suspects arrived at the location but left before law enforcement could make contact. They were both stopped and taken into custody by law enforcement shortly after leaving.

One of the two attempted to flee and elude and struck a parked unattended vehicle on the side of the road before stopping.

The arrests were shared amongst the Isabella County agencies participating in the event. Warrant requests have been submitted to the Isabella County Prosecutors Office this morning for review and charges.

“The end result is that our younger population are a little safer today with these dangerous people in custody,” Sheriff Main said.

Seven arrests were made as a result of the operation.

  1. Cody Bunner, 22, from Mount Pleasant: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.
  2. Dwayne Overton, 21, Union Township: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.
  3. William Machuta, 32, from Mount Pleasant: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.
  4. Andrew Cousar, 29, from Grand Rapids: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes, Computer crime, Flee and Elude and fail to report accident.
  5. Brent Hulien, 34, from Standish: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.
  6. John Guernsey, 50, from Chippewa Township: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.
  7. Zachary Bell, 25, from Mount Pleasant: Charged with Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime.

The task force is reviewing two other men for possible charges related to the operation that were not arrested.

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.

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