A $1 million warrant has been issued for a man wanted for communicating with whom he thought was a young girl and attempting to meet the child for a sexual encounter in Lake County.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division said they have been working in collaboration with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
The agencies were investigating Connor N. Smith, 32, of the 8200 block of Hillcrest Drive in Orland Park, who has allegedly been communicating for the past several weeks with an undercover detective online.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said the detective was posing as a girl under the age of 15.
During the conversations, Smith sent “the child” sexually explicit images and videos of himself.
Smith also made arrangements to meet the girl for a sexual encounter, Covelli said.
Smith on Thursday drove to meet the girl to engage in a sexual encounter with her, Covelli said.
When Smith arrived, detectives moved in to apprehend him but the man was able to escape and flee in his vehicle.
Sheriff’s detectives on Friday obtained a nationwide arrest warrant for Smith for traveling to meet a minor, grooming and disseminating harmful material, which are all felonies.
A Lake County judge set bond on the warrant at $1 million.
Covelli said that Smith indicated he would surrender himself on the warrant but he has failed to do so.
In 2015, Smith appeared on an MTV dating show called “Are You the One?”
Smith was arrested in December 2021 on a warrant for allegedly sexually assaulting and kidnapping a 16-year-old girl in northwest Indiana after meeting her on a dating app. Those charges were later dismissed.
Those who see Smith are asked to not approach him and instead call 911.