Albuquerque, NM – On August 15, 2013, the District Court of New Mexico in Sandoval County issued a warrant for the arrest of Joseph T. Smith, charging him with Criminal Sexual Penetration of a Minor. Rio Rancho Police investigated the sexual assault and the complaint alleges that Smith befriended a minor on a computer website and then went over to the minor’s home when her parents were not there. The Minor’s parents returned home and caught Smith jumping out the second story window of their home. The Minor’s parents gave chase and when the mother caught up to Smith, Smith assault and battered the Minor’s mother to get away. Smith’s friends helped him flee Rio Rancho; they picked him up and transported him to Albuquerque. Smith attempted to hide in and around the city of Albuquerque.
Rio Rancho Police and United States Marshals developed information that Smith was sleeping in the dug out of a high school baseball field every other night and that he would ride the Albuquerque city buses for a place to feel safe and sleep. Smith was seen in Albuquerque’s southeast area of town on several occasions trying to blend in with college kids in and around the two universities. Smith has a very distinctive tattoo that makes him easily identifiable. When pictures of Smith were distributed, within a split second most people that saw Smith were able to identify whether they did or did not see him in the area.
U.S. Marshals contacted both University of New Mexico (UNM) and Central New Mexico (CNM) campuses and had distributed photos of Smith to law enforcement officers. While Deputy Marshals were checking the computer labs and the library of CNM, CNM Security officers spotted Smith on campus trying to fit in with other college kids. Security Officers and Deputies took Smith into custody in the 900 block of Buena Vista Se, Albuquerque, NM. Joseph T. Smith, 22, has a criminal history that spans four states and includes other acts of violence. Smith was booked into custody without incident. District of New Mexico, United States Marshal Conrad Candelaria said ” the District of New Mexico’s United States Marshals Service, Fugitive Task Force takes very seriously its primary directive of investigating and apprehending dangerous and violent fugitives but what further propels this directive is when children suffer at the hands of predators. I commend the diligent efforts of the Marshals Service and its many law enforcement partners that worked continuously until this dangerous fugitive was arrested before another child is hurt.”