Muncie vigilante group's efforts lead to Portland arrests

PORTLAND, Ind. — The ongoing efforts of a Muncie-based social media group has resulted in felony charges against two Portland men.

In unrelated cases, Cory A. Gundrum Sr., 44, and Wayne L. Lanning, 45, have each been charged in recent days with child solicitation in Jay Circuit Court.

Authorities allege both men tried to arrange sex with juveniles when they were actually communicating online with members of the online group Predator Catchers Muncie.

According to affidavits in the cases:

  • Lanning in February requested nude photos from a person he believed was an 11-year-old girl, according to an affidavit.

  • On Feb. 21, he was confronted by members of Predator Catchers Muncie when he arrived at a Portland convenience store for a planned encounter with the girl, the document said.

  • During a later interview with a Portland police officer, Lanning allegedly admitted he was a "would-be child molester," and said he intended to have sex with the 11-year-old girl.

The child solicitation charge filed against him is a Level 4 felony carrying up to 12 years in prison.

Jay County Prosecutor Wes Schemenaur's office also filed documents accusing Lanning — whose criminal record includes convictions for arson and theft — of being a habitual offender.


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• Gundrum is accused of soliciting sex with three Predator Catchers Muncie decoys — posing as girls between the ages of 12 and 14 — in December.

• He was confronted by members of the organization at his home along East Main Street on Jan. 30.

Gundrum is charged in Jay Circuit Court with two counts of child solicitation, a Level 5 felony carrying up to six years in prison, and obstruction of justice, a Level 6 felony with a maximum 30-month sentence.

The obstruction charge alleges the Portland man erased data from his cellphone after investigators asked to examine it.

(In another Jay Circuit Court case unrelated to his dealings with Predator Catchers Muncie, Gundrum was charged last week with sexual misconduct with a minor.)

In recent weeks, two other men — one from Muncie and the other from northwestern Ohio — have been charged in Randolph County courts over their alleged pursuit of sex with juveniles who were actually Predator Catchers Muncie decoys.

Last May, a man at the time employed as a Portland police officer — Joshua David Clark, 37 — was arrested in Hendricks County after he allegedly arranged an encounter with a 14-year-old girl.

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He had actually been communicating online with a member of Predator Catchers Muncie, and was confronted by members of the group when he arrived at a Hendricks County restaurant.

Clark is scheduled to stand trial May 25, in Hendricks Superior Court 2, on charges of child solicitation and attempted child seduction.

In the affidavits filed last week, a Portland police investigator described Predator Catchers Muncie as "a group of volunteers that collaborate with local law enforcement, local prosecutors, and other groups, by working to help protect communities and youth against online child predators."

In Delaware County, Prosecutor Eric Hoffman's office and local law enforcement agencies belong to the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which the prosecutor said calls for "only sworn personnel" to conduct such investigations.

"The bottom line is that no matter how noble the goal is, I cannot legally or ethically condone civilian predator catchers," Hoffman told The Star Press in February.

The Delaware County prosecutor said he had both safety and legal-related concerns with such investigations.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Vigilante group's online stings lead to two arrests in Portland