Deputies arrest 16 people in warrant roundup Thurs.

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Mar. 2, 2007 - Hopkins County Sheriff's Office concluded its warrant roundup Thursday night with 16 people in custody on charges ranging from Class C misdemeanors  to felony offenses.

About 20 officers began the day with those who volunteered to participate in the roundup. Each team consisted of two officers  who were given a list with addresses for 20 people to track down and serve with warrants.

Many warrants couldn’t be served because of what were called “bad addresses” — 53, to be exact. In some cases the officers found that people had moved. In others they were told the person either never lived there or the address was bogus. In one case, it even turned out to be the address of a church.

Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan said that the addresses on the warrants are from arrest sheets, which include the address taken down by the officer from information the person provided or information found on the  person's driver's license. He said in a lot of instances the person had moved, but had failed to have their driver's license changed to reflect the new address. (Which, incidentally, is another punishable offense if the person doesn't get their state driver's license changed within 30 days of moving.)

Overall, the officers attempted to serve 180 warrants, arrested 16 people, and took several others directly to the justice of the peace court to pay the fines. One of the warrants was dismissed and six had been recalled but had never been cleared out of the computer, according Morgan.

"The ones arrested ranged from interference with child custody to obstruction of roadway, theft, theft by check and traffic offenses. There was a lot of Class C misdemeanors, a few Class B and felonies," Morgan said.

One warrant was even recalled after it was determined  that the wanted person is dead, and has been for a while.

Morgan said, overall, he felt the department did a "good job" with the roundup. He also indicated patrol officers will continue to look for those not caught before, and that, ideally, the department in the future will hold a roundup at least every six months so that the warrants don't stack up quite as much.

Morgan also encourages anyone who knows they are wanted on an outstanding warrant or who thinks they might be wanted to contact the sheriff's department at 903-438-4040 to find out. The communications operator can advise what the charge is and in what court they can take care of the matter. 

Wanted subjects who fail to do so are subject to arrest wherever they may be, and could end up having to pay more in out-of-county fees and possibly vehicle impound charges if a traffic stop was initiated. They also might end up sitting in an out-of-town jail until local authorities can transport them back to Hopkins County or the county or city the warrant was issued in, Morgan explained.

Sheriff's deputies will also be available next week to assist other agencies during the state-wide warrant roundup which begins Monday, Morgan added.

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