24 arrested in child support warrant round-up
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The Office of the Attorney General of Texas solicited the help of Victoria and Calhoun counties sheriff's offices in rounding up locals with unpaid child support.
The sheriff's offices assist Child Support Division investigators with locating parents about once a year.
"Over the weekend and the first part of the week, we put most of our officers on it," Victoria County Chief Deputy Terry Simons said.
The Victoria County office arrested 20 people on suspicion of contempt of court.
They could spend up to six months in jail, and if they post cash bonds for release, the money will be paid to custodial parents and children who are owed the child support.
Calhoun County completed their warrant roundup on Monday, arresting four people, Sheriff B.B. Browning said.
Browning said this is the last step the attorney general takes in collecting child support back-pay.
"They don't want to put them in jail because they want the money out of them," Browning said. "If they go to jail, they lose their jobs."
But, when it comes to issuing a warrant for their arrest, the amount of money owed usually reaches into the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, Simons said.
Browning said if delinquent payers contact the attorney general, the office will help them work out payments.
"People try to ignore it, and that's what gets them in trouble," he said.
The Victoria County child support office, which covers Calhoun County and nine other counties, collected about $50.7 million last year, according to a press release.