Attorney general warns online vigilante to stop chasing child predators

KENT COUNTY, Mich. - The state's attorney office has told a Kent County man who poses as a young girl online in an attempt to catch child predators to stop what he's doing.

Zach Sweers posts YouTube videos of himself confronting suspected sexual predators. A video he shared weeks ago reveals a confrontation between him and an alleged predator at a local Target that turned physical. In another incident, the man he confronted had a gun.

Sweers and his videos have made the news before. WOOD-TV, our affiliate in Grand Rapids, first reported on his actions in 2016. His videos led to seven convictions. Even then, though, officials told him to stop, but he isn't listening.

The Kent County prosecutor's office said they will never take a case from him and prosecute it. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said what he's doing hinders their ability to keep children safe and protect them from dangerous predators. His actions could also result in evidence being suppressed.

Sweers said he believes police just don't like the competition. He was sued by two of the men in his videos and those suits were settled.

Michigan has a dedicated task force aimed at catching child predators called the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). Officials said that task force has helped put more than 250 predators in prison since 2011.

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