DPS adds sexual predator to most wanted list
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Ernest Leroy Smith, 46, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, and a cash reward up to $7,500 is now being offered for information leading to his capture. Smith, who is a sexually violent predator, removed his ankle monitor on Thursday and fled from a Houston halfway house. He is wanted for parole violation and is considered at high risk to reoffend. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.
Smith has ties to San Antonio and Paris, Texas. His criminal history includes aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child and escape. In 1997, Smith was sentenced to 20 years for the aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old boy in Lamar County. In December 2014, Smith was required to participate in the civil commitment program. For more information or updates in the event of his arrest, please view his wanted bulletin at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/Texas10MostWanted/fugitiveDetails.aspx?id=298.
Smith is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs approximately 225 pounds. He has multiple tattoos, including a marijuana leaf; a chain surrounded by an anchor with the words “Jesus my anchor and guide” on his left forearm; “Peanut” and Tinker Bell on right arm; “Betty Lou” on his right hand; and others. Smith also has scars on his left arm, right ankle, right leg and abdomen.
Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted fugitives or sex offenders.
To be eligible for the cash rewards, there are five different ways to provide anonymous tips:
- Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
- Text the letters DPS – followed by your tip – to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.
- Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking on the link under their picture
- Submit a Facebook tip at https://www.facebook.com/texas10mostwanted by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).
- Submit a tip through the DPS Mobile App. The app is currently available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/texas-dps/id902092368?mt=8) and for Android users on Google Play: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microassist.texasdps&hl=en).
All tips are anonymous – regardless of how they are submitted.
DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Sex Offender lists. You can find the current lists – with photos – on the DPS website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/texas10mostwanted/.
Do not attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.