Dozens Of Hot Check Writers Arrested During 3-Day Roundup
El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal today announced the arrest of 54 individuals with hot check warrants during a 3-day roundup that ended Thursday night. Thirty officers from the El Paso Sheriff's Office, County Constables Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, and investigators from the County Attorney's Office participated in the operation.
During the round ups the officers not only cleared 50 Theft by Check warrants, but also 50 additional misdemeanor warrants and 4 felony warrants.
Among those facing multiple charges was 40-year old Salvador Morales (AKA Salvador Muñoz) who was arrested on Wednesday March 9, 2011, at a residence in East El Paso. At the time of his arrest Morales, a suspected Barrio Azteca gang member, faced one misdemeanor theft by check charge and one Deceptive Business Practices charge. While booking him in the county jail, officers learned that Morales had an outstanding warrant from the State of Nevada, where he faces drug charges for trafficking with methamphetamines. Morales remains in the County jail waiting to be extradited to Nevada and his bond was set at $10,000.
Individuals arrested during the roundup also paid more than $36,000 in restitution to local merchants. That amount, along with the $140,000 collected since the beginning of the amnesty period on January 28, 2011, brings the total collections for the amnesty program to more than $177,000.
El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said the money collected will be returned to the victims.
"We will continue to aggressively pursue those persons with outstanding hot check warrants. I encourage those persons to pay," Bernal said
"I want to thank the El Paso Sheriff's Office for their support in organizing the round ups, particularly Sergeant John Rodriguez from the Warrants Division. Also I would like to thank the Constables from Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 and their deputies, who helped make this hot check round up the most successful yet," Bernal concluded.
In the upcoming weeks investigators from the County Attorney's Office will continue their search for individuals with outstanding arrest warrants.
Individuals can avoid arrest by paying their outstanding hot checks as soon as possible at the following locations:
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio, room 503
M- F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
El Paso County Ysleta Annex
9521 Socorro Rd., Suite A-3
M - F 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Forms of payment accepted include credit cards, money orders, cashier checks, and cash; however, those paying with cash will have to bring the exact amount.
In addition, individuals can make payments online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through "Hot Check E-pay," by visiting the El Paso County Attorney's Office web-page at www.epcounty.com/CA
For more information regarding hot check payments and balances please contact the El Paso County Attorney's Office Hot Check Unit at 546-2051.
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2011 Hot Check Roundup Results Press Release.pdf