Felon in custody after mistaken release in Oakland Co.

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — A man convicted of attempted murder who was accidentally released by Oakland County authorities was taken back into custody Wednesday afternoon as he was getting into an Uber car.

A massive manhunt was prompted by a call from his mother to jail authorities to let them know they had mistakenly let him out.

Johnny Rodgers II, 25, who had been considered an escapee, was arrested Thursday afternoon by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and returned to Michigan Department of Corrections custody, officials said.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said he was apprehended near West Outer Drive and Hubbell in Detroit after leaving a residence on the 8000 block of Brace Street in Detroit.

“They were set up on a house where he was suspected to be and our deputy spotted him coming out,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “Other members converged on the scene and he was taken into custody as he was getting into an Uber car.”

He was arrested without incident at 4:58 p.m. by the Correction absconder recovery unit, the U.S. Marshals Task Force, Immigration and Customs, State Police, Detroit and Livonia police departments, and Wayne and Macomb county sheriff’s offices, Bouchard said.

“Unfortunately, human error led to this individual being released,” said Bouchard. “I am proud of my Fugitive Apprehension Team as well as the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and other involved agencies for their diligence in the capture of this violent criminal. The partnership we enjoy with the U.S. Marshals is second to none.”

Rodgers was being held in the county jail on a writ from the state prison system on an unrelated offense when the error occurred Wednesday night, according to Undersheriff Michael McCabe.

Instead of being returned to state prison to continue serving his sentence, he was released.

Bouchard said jail workers didn’t know he was mistakenly released until Rodgers’ mother called the jail Wednesday night to report her son was not in custody. “We appreciate her cooperation,” he said.

Rodgers had been in the county jail since Aug. 1 and had been sentenced Wednesday to 153 days with credit for time served in the state prison system for carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a weapon in a school zone.

“A deputy in the booking section apparently missed the MDOC (corrections department) retainer,” said McCabe, adding an investigation will be done.

Bouchard said it is still under internal investigation to determine why the prison status was overlooked at the jail. The Sheriff’s Office has a “double-verify system in place to requires two people to approve a release,” Bouchard said.

“ ... (A)n internal investigation is being conducted by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit to determine the cause of the error and to prevent an incident in similar nature from occurring again,” he said.

According to the Corrections Department website, under a plea Rodgers was sentenced to seven to 15 years in prison in November for assault with intent to murder and armed robbery.


Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.