The Hudson County Sheriff's Office has arrested 64 "deadbeat dads" who owe a total of nearly $970,000 in child support and they also picked up 11 people wanted on criminal warrants, officials said.
"Pay up or get locked up," warned Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari in a press release on the three-day warrant sweep ending Thursday.
At the top of the list of those arrested for nonsupport is Demetrious G. Margetis, 46, of Country Village Road in Jersey City, who owes $158,000, authorities said. Margetis is the former owner of what was The Colonette Restaurant on Route 440 in Jersey City, officials said.
Next on the list is Walter Brandon, 49, of Bergen Avenue Jersey City, who owes $58,100 and has done two prison terms for a weapons offense and two counts of aggravated assault, officials said.
A close third is Douglas Garrett, 49, of Bayview Avenue in Jersey City, who owes $56,406 in child support, officials said.
Among the 11 people arrested on criminal warrants during the sweep was Alex Baker, 26, of Claremont Avenue in Jersey City, who was wanted on conspiracy charges related to firearms and drugs, Sheriff's Office Capt. William Joy said.
Baker is a registered sex offender and has served prison time for dealing drugs near school property, corrections records said.
Tyrone Rabb, 28, of Academy Street in Jersey City, was arrested on a criminal warrant for aggravated assault and a weapons offense, officials said. Rabb has already served prison time for failing to pay child support and for dealing drugs near school property, corrections records say.
Other Hudson County residents arrested who owe large sums include Ronald Pendelton, 48, who owes $50,500 and was also picked up on a criminal warrant; Charles Santorella, 49, who owes $48,500; Ricardo A Mejia, 42, who owes $48,800; George Hopper, 38, who owes $35,600; Darren Ford, 47, who owes $29,500; Anthony Constantino, 34, who owes $22,700 and Rafael Rivera, 44, who owes $21,400, officials said.
Once arrested the defendants appear in Hudson County Superior Court Family Division.
"Usually an agreement is made in Family Court for an up-front payment and then resumption of the scheduled payments," Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. "It is a case by case determination based on the history of the obligor."