Hours after the Texas Most Wanted Sex Offender list was released to the public, DPS officers arrested one of the men featured on it.
Gabriel Pena, 41, was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a citizen called the tip line and provided Pena’s location in San Jacinto County. Pena was arrested without incident by DPS agents and Highway Patrol troopers at his place of employment.
Pena was wanted by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for failure to register as a sex offender. He has convictions for sexual assault and driving under the influence of drugs.
By the end of the day on Wednesday, 11 tips regarding the possible location of several people on the Most Wanted Sex Offenders list had been received.
“We are pleased that releasing the list led to an arrest and encourage others with information about these sex offenders to call the tip line. With citizens’ tips and continued coverage by the news media, we will bring these fugitives to justice and make our communities safer,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
In addition to tips, the DPS hotline also was contacted by three convicted sex offenders inquiring about their registration status. McCraw said he was pleased that sex offenders are getting the message that DPS is serious about enforcing sex offender registration laws.
“The fact that our pursuit of wanted sex offenders caused other sex offenders to call and make sure they were in compliance with Texas law is a win-win for the citizens of Texas,” McCraw said.
The Texas Ten Most Wanted Sex Offenders program identifies violent sex offenders who have either violated parole or failed to comply with sex offender registration. These offenders are now fugitives and are considered a threat to our communities. Some of the victims of these sex offenders were children.
A Crime Stoppers reward of $1,000 is offered for tips leading to the arrest of a Texas Top Ten Most Wanted sex offender. Callers can remain anonymous.
The public should not try to apprehend these criminals as they are considered dangerous. Anyone with information on these offenders can provide anonymous tips in three different ways:
• Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).
• Text the letters DPS—followed by your tip—to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone.
• Submit a tip through the DPS website by selecting the sex offender you have information about, and under their picture is a link to submit a web tip.
Photos and information about the remaining Most Wanted Sex Offenders are available on the DPS website at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/wanted/sexoffenders/topTenSexOffenders.htm# . Their last- known addresses are in the following cities:
• Grand Prairie