Brazos County puts parents on notice: if you don't pay child support, you're going to jail.
Monday morning, the sheriff's office, partnering with the Attorney General's office, made a dozen arrests of parents who hadn't paid.
In all, 14 parents were arrested from this weekend through Monday morning, with that one dozen Monday coming after eight teams of two fanned out across the county to knock on doors and make arrests. They were joined by investigators with the AG's office.
The most money owed of any one person arrested Monday was $47,446.69 by Adrian Latson.
The others arrested are:
James Acosta Jr.
Joseph Johnson Jr.
As of Monday night, all 12 remained Brazos County Jail. For most, the sheriff's office says to get out, they'll need to pay off what they owe. They can be held for 180 days.
In all, the 12 owed more than $235,000 in child support, and all 14 arrested since this weekend owed more than a quarter of a million.
"These folks all have obligations to their families, and by not keeping those obligations, then they impact those families, and those families then can't meet some of their obligations," said Sheriff Chris Kirk. "It's really important that we follow through with this."
Kirk and his team members say they will continue roundups like these until their case load is complete. In all, some 50 parents are on record as being delinquent in child support payments, totaling more than three-quarters of a million dollars.
"Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments," Texas Attorney General Abbott said in a press release. "By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful to Sheriff Chris Kirk for his commitment to Texas children."
Kirk says his office has already received a call from one person with a deliquent payment who will turn themselves in Tuesday. He says others have contacted the AG's office begin resolving their cases.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest numbers from 2005, 47 percent of custodial parents nationwide received their full payment of child support, up from 37 percent in 1993.
Across the country, an estimated $25 billion of child support was paid out in 2005.
According to the Texas AG's office, $2.3 billion was paid out in Texas in 2007, with $24 million of that in Brazos County alone.
If you need to make child support payments in Texas, call the Attorney General's Child Support Division at 1-800-252-8014.
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