The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today announced that a Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender were captured July 13. Briggs Clinton Lawhon, 57, (pictured top) was arrested last Thursday in Brazoria County; and Erasmo Zapata, 45, (pictured right) was arrested the same day in San Patricio County.
Working off tip information, members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force, including DPS Special Agents, took Lawhon into custody without incident at a location near Angleton in Brazoria County. The arrest was the result of tip information, and a reward of up to $7,500 will be paid. Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office deputies also assisted in the arrest. Lawhon, affiliated with the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, had been wanted for parole violation and theft. He had been a fugitive since December 2015. For more information, see his captured bulletin at:
Zapata,(pictured bottom) a convicted sex offender, is now in custody after turning himself in at the San Patricio County Sheriff’s Office in Sinton. He had been wanted since January 2017 for parole violation. In 2006, Zapata was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child/sexual contact after an incident in San Patricio County involving a 12-year-old girl. He subsequently received a 15-year prison sentence. For more information, see his captured bulletin at http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/capturedDetails.aspx?id=370.
So far in 2017, DPS and other agencies have arrested 17 Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including eight sex offenders and nine gang members, and $48,000 in rewards have been paid for tips that resulted in arrests.
To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the five following methods:
- 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 web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, and then clicking on the link under their picture.
- Submit a Facebook tip at http://www.facebook.com/texas10mostwanted by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).
- Submit a tip through the DPS Mobile App. The app is currently available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/texas-dps/id902092368?mt=8) and for Android users on Google Play: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microassist.texasdps&hl=en).
All tips are anonymous – regardless of how they are submitted, and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.
DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Sex Offender lists. You can find the current lists – with photos – on the DPS website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/texas10mostwanted/.
Do not attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.