DOC escapee arrested in Shawnee

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Working together, Shawnee and Pottawatomie County law enforcement officers located and arrested a Department of Corrections escapee at a home near Shawnee Twin Lakes this week, prompting a search warrant and a continuing investigation.

Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said Ernest E. Smith, 54, who was a reported escapee from a state prison facility, was arrested Tuesday night. Smith remained jailed at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Thursday and was awaiting transfer back to DOC custody.

According to DOC records, Smith was incarcerated on multiple Pottawatomie County convictions, including attempted robbery with a firearm and escape.

Frantz said after receiving notice of Smith’s escape, officers were on alert and looking for him. They knew it was possible he would be in this area, then officers received a tip.

Shawnee police officers, Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies and agents with the District Attorney’s Task Force, worked together and located Smith at a home on Magnino Road, the same residence where police made several arrests last April after recovering stolen property and finding narcotics there.

“It was great teamwork between agencies,” he said, as officers tracked down leads back and forth between city and county jurisdictions.
While at the home, officers conducted another search warrant and found more stolen items and narcotics, he said.

Frantz said another man, Michael Lee Wilson, 54, was arrested at the home when police discovered he had an outstanding Pottawatomie County arrest warrant. That warrant was part of felony charges filed Nov. 12 for possession of a sawed off shotgun.