NORRISTOWN, Pa. – “They’re usually asleep, especially after 1, 2 o’clock in the morning,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Whalon Behr. “People are home. They’re tucked in bed. It’s easier to locate them.”
The Sheriff isn’t referring to gang members or drug dealers. She’s referring to deadbeat parents, eighteen of whom are behind bars today after authorities in Montgomery County executed an unannounced early morning raid on Tuesday, targeting people authorities say have repeatedly failed to make child support payments.
The raid began at 1:00 a.m. and was led by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and the county’s Domestic Relations Office. More than 30 sheriff’s deputies were utilized in a search for 37 people. In just 5 hours, they apprehended 15 men and 3 women from 4 targeted areas: Lansdale/Hatfield, Collegeville/Pottstown, Norristown/Lower Merion and Willow Grove.
Most were taken into custody with little fanfare although one had to be wrestled to the ground. Another reportedly was enraged about his apprehension and suggested police resources should be used to go after drug dealers instead.
Rebecca Colantuno of the county’s Domestic Relations Enforcement Unit said the idea is, “to keep people and hold people responsible. Whether they’re males or females, it’s their responsibility to support their children.”
Authorities said the 18 people arrested owe a total of $18,000 in child support and that at least 25 children will now get some money as a result of the raid. However, they say there are alleged offenders still at large who owe a combined total of more than $250,000 in back payments.
The 8 Most Wanted Alleged Deadbeats are listed below.