One of 10 Most Wanted sex offenders in Texas found in Winter Haven

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – One of Texas’ 10 most wanted sex offenders was located and arrested in Polk County this week.

Monday night, Winter Haven police officers were called to Central Park around 7:30 for a complaint of possible drug use. Responding officers found 59-year-old Jose Mario Lopez, from El Paso, and another man.

Lopez had a warrant out for his arrest after a parole violation in January, and a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. The Texas Department of Public Safety says Lopez is a convicted sex offender with a history of burglary convictions.

According to police, Lopez cut off the ankle monitor he was required to wear back in January, and left the Houston alternative housing facility he was living at.

“This is a perfect example of how vital it is when citizens call us to investigate suspicious activity,” Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird said. “Many times, it may be nothing. But this time, a convicted sex offender is off the street and headed back to Texas.”

The El Paso Sheriff’s Office confirmed Lopez will be extradited back to Texas. Police do not know yet why he came to Polk County.

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