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Detective Urges: Do Not Approach Fugitive Soccer Coach

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Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

DAYTONUPDATE @ 2:39 p.m. (Nov. 20):

A detective is urging people to not approach a fugitive soccer coach and just call 911 if you spot him.

"Call 911 and let them know that Justin Smith has a nationwide warrant for his arrest and that you've seen him and the location he's at," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Detective Isaiah Kellar. "That way law enforcement can gather information from those tips and capture him."

Smith stands 5 feet, 11 inches, weighs between 275 and 300 pounds, is bald, has blue eyes and possibly a goatee.

Though surveillance images recently showed Smith in Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Smith could be as far south as the Gulf of Mexico according to Kellar.

"Justin Smith could go anywhere within the United States or even try to cross the borders into Mexico and Canada at this point," he said.

A big challenge in tracking down Smith is that he's using prepaid credit cards, cash and prepaid cell phones.

"It puts us several days behind," Kellar said.

Thankfully, the sheriff's office is getting some help from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

"We've been able to work specifically with U.S. Marshal Service and they will take the time to assist us," Kellar said. "They'll do operations, plans. They're a great partner to work with in trying to track down fugitives."

Uber has also been cooperating with law enforcement after financial records showed Smith was using the ridesharing company.

However, he has since shut off the phone associated with the account and is no longer using that email address, according to Kellar.

Because Smith is using aliases, Kellar stressed that people call police if they see anyone matching Smith's appearance.

"Even if the guy's name is something completely different but he matches the description of Justin Smith, please don't hesitate to call us," he said.

INITIAL STORY:

Fugitive youth soccer coach Justin K. Smith has been seen in two Tennessee cities, using Uber to get around and eating at popular restaurants, a Montgomery County Sheriff's detective said.

Smith, 41, of Germantown, is the subject of a nationwide search after he fled his sexual assault trial involving a 14-year-old girl he coached. He was absent two days later when a jury on Nov. 2 convicted him of eight felony counts — including unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, sexual battery and sexual imposition — involving an inappropriate relationship with the girl.

Smith was located Oct. 31 on security video at a Marriott hotel and Walmart in the Lexington, Kentucky, area the same day he left his trial in Dayton. A white Ford F150 was found abandoned there.

Detective Isaiah Kellar said Smith was in the Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, areas between Nov. 1 and 5.

"Financial records show he was using Uber, and ate at Panera Bread, Chili's" restaurants, and stayed in hotels in both cities, Kellar said.

It is suspected Smith, who has been using his own name as well as J. Smith and Justin House, is using cash, prepaid credit cards and prepaid cellphones.

"His current location is unknown and could be in the southern parts of the United States," Kellar said.

It's also unknown whether anyone is helping him, but if anyone was found to be helping Smith the detective said charges would possibly be sought.

Smith fled after testifying on his own behalf. The trial took a break for lunch, during which time Smith left Dayton. He cut his electronic ankle bracelet monitor, which later was found in Franklin.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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November 21, 2018
 
 
 

 

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