Warrant amnesty ends with offender roundup

Wednesday, July 30, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:54 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

After the period for amnesty from some Boone County warrants ended, residents spent Monday evening in a different way than they had undoubtedly envisioned — in jail.

As a way to bring attention to stricter payment enforcement, Boone County offered amnesty to more than 300 warrant holders for a three-week period starting July 7. The period ended Friday, and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department made good on its promise to culminate the event by rounding up offenders who did not take advantage of the amnesty on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Major O.J. Stone said his team, along with more than 20 officers from city and county forces, embarked on a search for more than 200 people who owed court fees and fines to the county. Stone said early in the afternoon that arrests had been made, but the sheriff’s department would not confirm how many people were arrested by Tuesday evening.

Kathy Lloyd, assistant to the court administrator, said the court collected $10,800 from those who did pay their fines during the amnesty period. Some of this money will be divided among the county’s school districts, and the rest will go to court costs, she said.

Lloyd said of the more than 300 people with warrants eligible for amnesty, 44 people paid their fines voluntarily during the period and then had their warrants recalled. Twenty-one individuals on the amnesty list were served warrants by police during traffic stops or other unrelated events, resulting in their arrests, Lloyd said.

Eligible warrants were for failure to pay and failure to appear for failure to pay. Lloyd said some of the warrants are 10 years old, potentially making violators difficult to find during the roundup.

Even if not all truant payers were found Tuesday, the sheriff’s department plans to increase efforts in the future to reel them in. Stone made it clear that the fees must be paid.

“It’s time to take care of it,” Stone said.

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