By BEN TINSLEY
GEORGE WEST — Could Freddie Alaniz—the “Texas 10 Most Wanted” fugitive sought in connection with charges of murder, sexual assault of a child, and possession of marijuana—be so bold as to maintain his own Facebook page as he continues to elude authorities?
It would appear so—if photo likenesses and identical names are any indication.
Alaniz has been on the lam since 2006. He has ties to George West, and police there believe the face of the man crowning this particular “Freddie Alaniz” Facebook page looks disturbingly similar to the fugitive’s mug shot currently being circulated by the Texas Department of Public Safety on http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted.
“One of our officers has confirmed the person in the Facebook photo appears to be Freddie Alaniz,” said David Flores, the George West PD’s consultant on law enforcement grant acquisition and the city’s consultant on economic development.
Specific information on the nature of Alaniz’s specific connection to George West or any crimes he committed while there was not immediately available from the GWPD Monday. The detectives with that information were not in the office, Flores said. The Texas DPS report is unspecific.
Alaniz, 34—described by the Texas DPS as a violent criminal—currently commands a $17,500 bounty that hovers well above the list of criminals whose bounty ranges from $3,000 to $10,000.
A “Friend Request” submitted by a reporter to the FB page,www.facebook.com/freddie.alaniz.1, was not immediately accepted or rejected Monday. Like much information on Facebook, the portion of the page listing personal information such as a hometown is restricted unless “friend” status is granted.
There are eight people with the surname “Alaniz” who are listed as “friends” of Alaniz on this page. A cursory review of their profiles indicates they hail mostly from either Eagle Pass or Greeley, Colorado.
Alaniz, who the DPS reports has additional connections to Veracruz, Mexico, and Beaumont, was arrested in Zavala County on Feb. 6, 2006, for sexual assault of a child. But he did not appear for trial.
Two days later, Alaniz was arrested for aggravated assault in San Antonio for stabbing a male victim during a fight. But he once again “made bail and fled,” the DPS reported.
On May 16, 2006, the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Alaniz’s arrest in connection with a charge of sexual assault of a child, reports show.
On Aug. 4, 2006, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for murder after the assault victim died as a result of his injuries.
Alaniz also is wanted in Zavala County in connection with possession of marijuana charges.
Information on the Alaniz Facebook profile indicates it was created in August 2012.
The fugitive faces a variety of other charges including obstruction or retaliation, assault causes bodily injury-family member, resisting arrest evading arrest, and driving while intoxicated.
He is described as 5 feet 3 inches, weighing 120 pounds, with a tattoo of a dot on left hand. There are additional tattoos on his left leg, right leg, right shoulder and upper right arm, according to the Texas DPS.
Ben Tinsley is a reporter for The Progress newspaper in Three Rivers. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 361-786-3022. Tinsley can also be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BenTinsley, Google at http://plus.google.com/+BenTinsley or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ben.tinsley.12.