Orland Park man and former MTV star arrested in Florida after evading child solicitation charges

A former MTV reality star who is from the Chicago suburb of Orland Park and was wanted on child solicitation charges has been arrested in Florida after more than a year of eluding Illinois police.

Connor Smith, 33, has been on the run since Feb. 9, 2023. He led investigators from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on a brief high-speed chase as they tried to arrest him for indecent solicitation of a child.

The chase began around 6 p.m. in the parking lot of a Lake County shopping mall. Investigators said Smith drove from his Orland Park home in the 8200 block of Hillcrest Drive to meet who he thought was an underage girl for a sexual encounter.

Police said he had been communicating with her for several weeks online.

"Connor Smith kept engaging this girl in communication, in conversation, eventually sending lewd photos of himself to who he thought was this girl, really an undercover detective, and then worked out a plan to meet who he thought was this girl to engage in a sexual relationship," said Christopher Covelli, deputy chief of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

When Smith pulled into the parking lot, Covelli said sheriff’s officers immediately approached his pickup truck and Smith hit the gas.

"He became very wary immediately. Put the car in drive, drove over a curb, drove over a significant amount of grass out on to a major roadway fleeing from our investigators," Covelli said.

"Our investigators gave chase for a bit. Eventually, he was going at such a dangerous and excessive speed they terminated that pursuit," he added.


Connor Smith | Lake County Sheriffs Department

Since making his getaway, Smith had been sighted in southern Florida.

"We believe he’s got significant family in the southern Florida area. We do believe that he has been to southern Florida. We believe he’s very aware that he’s wanted for these serious crimes in Illinois and certainly actively working to evade apprehension," Covelli said.

On Thursday, Smith was located in Clearwater and taken into custody. He is currently charged with three felony counts, including traveling to meet a minor, disseminating harmful material and grooming.

In 2015, Smith appeared on MTV’s reality TV show, ‘Are You The One?’