SOMERVILLE, NJ  – A three-day sweep of individuals charged with being delinquent in making child-support payments led to the arrest of 31 parents owing a total of $433,714, according to Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano.

The operation involved more than 34 Sheriff's Officers, operating in teams, who served outstanding warrants and made arrests.  Also arrested on a child support warrant was Francois Skyers of Plainfield, who also had an outstanding Somerset County bench warrant for failure to appear in court. 

“This operation was conducted to remind parents of the importance of making regular child support payments and hopefully renew their commitment to doing the right thing,” Provenzano said. “Child support is a safety net for many Somerset County families. Children depend on child support for their basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare and clothing. Conducting these roundups gives us the ability to better serve children and families with the financial support they need and deserve," he added.

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Of those arrested, Jesse Sutton, 57, of Somerset, owed the largest amount, $69,338; Gilbert Gonzalez, 44, New Brunswick, owes $53,005; Harry Vasquez, 42, Plainfield, owes $41,998; Christopher Bryan, 34, Bridgewater, owes $38,184; Gerald Guy, 49, Metuchen owes $24,940; Francois Skyers, 29, North Plainfield owes $21,180 and Stanley Brown, 33, Linden, owes $16,572.

Theresa Kownacki, 21, Somerville, owes $1,127.

Some of these amounts were reduced by payments made at the time of the arrests.

“The statistics show the roundup was a great success,” Provenzano said. “What we don’t see is how many delinquent parents pay up once they know we are looking for them. Knowing that they face possible arrest encourages a delinquent parent to uphold their obligations or face incarceration. It creates a compounding effect of payments that lasts weeks after the roundup.”

For further information, contact Provenzano at 908-231-7140, ext. 9.