Four men from Woonsocket and three from Pawtucket were among the 26 individuals rounded up in an early-morning statewide sweep Wednesday by Rhode Island State Police and charged with failure to pay child support.
The warrant sweep, conducted in coordination with the United States Marshals Service and Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs, began Wednesday morning and by the end of the day, a total of 30 people were arrested, including 26 individuals due to body attachments issued by the Rhode Island Family Court for failing to appear for court proceedings and failure to pay child support.
Those individuals collectively owe $367,724 in child support payments, with the highest individual amount owed pegged at $37,760.30.
There are about 56,000 child support cases in Rhode Island, and out of those, 31,000 are behind on their payments.
"I want to commend our troopers and sheriffs for facilitating this operation and bringing these defendants to court to face their debt,â€ť said Steven O'Donnell, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. â€śIt is unfortunate that this was necessary to ensure that they meet the obligations that they have to their families."
"The success of this warrant sweep is another example of the continuing cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agencies in our joint effort to hold individuals accountable to the judicial system," added United States Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth
Among the 26 arrested for failure to pay child support were: Allen Harmon, 27, Zachery Shepardson, 23, Keith Montgomery, 38, and Edward Howard, 38, all of Woonsocket; Steven Myette, 30, of Burrillville; Kevin Debrito, 39, Joun Polk, 41, and Javier Belmont, 33, all of Pawtucket; and Samantha Boillard, 28, and George Hernandez, 51, both of East Providence.
In addition to the 26 individuals arrested for failing to appear for court proceedings and failure to pay child support Family Court body attachments, three individuals were arrested on Superior Court warrants and one was arrested on a warrant issued by the Third Division District Court. One of those individual was also arraigned as a fugitive from justice from the State of Connecticut on original charges of escape from custody.
All of the subjects arrested were processed at state police headquarters and transported by the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs to the Providence County Family Court, Providence County Superior Court, or the Sixth Division District Court.
"Our participation in this sweep is the beginning of a continuing effort by the Division of Sheriffs in cooperation with other Rhode Island law enforcement agencies to reduce the backlog of court warrants," said Chief Sheriff David M. DeCesare.