Sheriff to writers of bad checks: pay up or get locked up - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sheriff to writers of bad checks: pay up or get locked up

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A bold warning was left on the doors of people who didn't answer the Sheriff's knock. A bold warning was left on the doors of people who didn't answer the Sheriff's knock.
Sheriff Ana Franklin said everyone on the task force's list will be locked up. Sheriff Ana Franklin said everyone on the task force's list will be locked up.
MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The district attorney's office, Morgan County Sheriff's Office and police departments are working together to round up criminals who wrote bad checks.

One after another, men and women walked into jail with police officers and handcuffs as accessories. More than 150 wanted for writing bad checks and another 230 who owe the courts money.

"It brings a lot of money into the system," said Assistant DA Stacy Adams.

Adams said these folks owe more than $200,000 combined. That is a debt you see the effects of if not paid.

"Its money that the taxpayer and the consumer wind up paying if these people don't pay their own bills," said Adams.

Our cameras were there as nearly half a dozen people got a knock on the door that ended in cuffs. Officials said those arrested should not be surprised. They were given written, verbal, even court-ordered warnings prior to Monday night's roundup.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said everyone will be booked, and some won't be able to leave until they're paid up.

"Get them to where they are set up on payment schedule so these merchants can get their money back so that it doesn't, in turn, cost the public an added amount to their goods and services that they have in Morgan County," said Sheriff Franklin.

The Sheriff said the roundup won't wind down until everyone is either arrested or left with a bold message from Morgan County.

As of Tuesday morning, the task force had arrested 75 people who collectively owed $87,000. Authorities made an additional bust overnight while they checked on one home. Sheriff Franklin said the people inside were caught red-handed using drugs.

"We knocked on the door to serve a warrant, and when the occupants allowed the deputies inside, they were smoking marijuana inside the residence. They also came to jail on a misdemeanor arrest on drug issues," said Sheriff Franklin.

The sheriff's office said the District Attorney's office will work with anyone who turns themselves in to come up with a payment plan and avoid additional fines.

DA Scott Anderson said retrieving money owed to the court system is valuable because of budget cuts. The Sheriff said most of the merchants who get bad checks are the ones who can afford it the least, the ones who do not have a check verification system.

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