McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

December 9, 2006

DA offers amnesty for those with bogus check warrants

Hundreds of cases, some dating back 10 years or more.

That’s what members of the District 18 Attorney’s office found when going through bogus check files recently while searching for cases that had not been completely resolved.

“We’re trying to work through the backlog of all our cases,” District 18 Attorney J.B. Miller said. “We’re trying to catch up on stuff that has been outstanding for some time.

“We’ve been so busy with current charges we’ve not been able to work on the backlog.”

Many of the bogus check cases officials found in the files were partially resolved, with offenders signing payment plans and agreeing to make restitution. Then “For some reason they didn’t live up to their agreements,” Miller said. “They either didn’t pay or stopped paying before they were finished.”

Other cases hadn’t gone that far toward resolution, but in either case, charges were filed and warrants were issued.

Miller is offering people amnesty from possible arrest if they contact his office and make arrangements to pay their outstanding restitution and costs.

“All we’re doing is offering to recall the warrant,” Miller said. “It has no affect on the charges being filed.

“We’re not talking about dismissing the case. We’re giving people an opportunity to avoid arrest on a warrant.

“This is an economical means of trying to get cases resolved quickly and efficiently.”

Those on a long list of names who have outstanding bogus check warrants, and who don’t make arrangements to pay, can expect to be picked up, he said. “We’re going to have what we call a warrant party,” Miller said.

In essence, that means various law enforcement agencies will get together and have a mass roundup of people with outstanding warrants. People who live outside the immediate Pittsburg or Haskell county jurisdictions won’t be immune either, since “We’ll contact law enforcement at the person’s last known address,” Miller said. “I don’t think we’ll find everybody immediately, but we’re going to take a serious stab at catching these people.

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