Connor N. Smith, 34, of Clearwater, Florida, was arrested in late March in Florida on a warrant after he allegedly communicated with a child online and fled from police who tried to arrest him when he attempted to meet up with the child in February 2023 in Lake County. | Provided Photos

A judge denied pre-trial release for a former MTV star who prosecutors say tried meeting up with a child for sex and led police on a brief chase before going on the run for over a year.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was working in collaboration with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) last year.

The agencies were investigating Connor N. Smith, 34, formerly of Orland Park, who had allegedly been communicating for several weeks with an undercover detective online.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said in February 2023 that 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.

During a detention hearing, prosecutors detailed very graphic messages that Smith sent to the undercover agent about what he planned to do to the girl.

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Connor N. Smith, 34, of Clearwater, Florida, was extradited back to Lake County on Tuesday to face felony charges. | Provided Photo

Smith on February 9, 2023, drove to meet the girl to engage in the sexual encounter, Covelli said.

When Smith arrived, detectives moved in to apprehend him but the man was able to escape and flee in his vehicle.

Prosecutors said Smith fled the scene in his pickup truck at a high rate of speed and officers initially pursued him but terminated the chase after Smith drove over a raised median to escape and disregard stop signs.

Sheriff’s detectives 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. Smith indicated he would surrender himself on the warrant but never did, Covelli said.

The Pinellas County, Florida Sheriff’s Office arrested Smith on March 28, more than a year after the warrant was issued.

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Smith, who was residing in Clearwater, Florida, was ordered held in the Pinellas County Jail while awaiting extradition to Illinois.

Connor N. Smith, 34, of Clearwater, Florida, was arrested in late March on a warrant after he allegedly communicated with a child online and fled from police who tried to arrest him when he attempted to meet up with the child in February 2023. | Provided Photos

Court records show he was extradited back to Illinois and taken into the custody of the Lake County Jail Tuesday evening.

He appeared in First Appearance Court Wednesday morning where Lake County Judge Raymond Collins ordered him held until a detention hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

During the detention hearing Wednesday, Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak granted prosecutors’ petition to detain him pending trial. The judge called Smith inherently dangerous.

In 2015, Smith appeared on an MTV dating show called “Are You the One?”

In December 2021, Smith was arrested 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.

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