More than 30 deadbeat parents arrested in weekend MCSO operation

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The pre-Halloween weekend was extra scary for dozens of suspected dead-beat parents.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies and nearly 100 posse volunteers fanned out and went door-to-door over the weekend, serving dozens of warrants in their search for moms and dads who thousands of dollars in back child-support payments.

According to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the people the posse was looking for owes about $175,000 in back child support.

By the end of Sunday's roundup, deputies had arrested 31 people.

Arpaio runs this kind of sweep at least once per year, but it's usually around Mother's Day, Father's Day or Valentine's Day.

MCSO says there are hundreds of active warrants for deadbeat parents, but tracking down the perpetrators is extremely difficult.

"These people do everything they can to avoid paying the money they owe to their spouses and children and to elude capture," Arpaio said in a pre-roundup news release. "They leave the state or constantly change residences to make finding them difficult, if not impossible," Arpaio said in a pre-roundup news release."

So far this year, deputies have arrested 123 people on child-support warrant. Together, those people owed nearly $800,000.

Sunday's operation also targeted domestic-violence violators.