State police spend day rounding up unpaid child support offenders

Updated: 08/25/2014 5:15 PM | Created: 08/25/2014 4:44 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico State Police spent Monday catching up with some of the parents of New Mexico who have racked up millions of dollars in unpaid child support.

There was a chance for some of the parents to pay before police came knocking. An amnesty period is in effect until August 29, but police were allowed to start their sweeps earlier.

"We're just holding people accountable," Officer John Cunningham said.

"[Offenders] can come in to any of our child support division offices and pay on their bench warrants," Matt Kennicot of the New Mexico Human Services Department said.

In Bernalillo County alone, three people owe more than $100,000 in unpaid child support.

Michael Padilla owes more than $119,000, Kenneth Martinez owes more than $117,000 and Fernando Vallecillo owes $107,000.

But men aren't the only people not paying their child support; Janelle Abeita owes more than $30,000.

New Mexico has been doing the same sort of roundup since 2011. This year, about 600 warrants have been served throughout the state so far, with half of them coming in Bernalillo County.

"Once they're paid, that money goes directly to the child to whom the support is due," Kennicot said.

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