YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A deadbeat parent raid by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office pulled in $43,263 of $486,908 owed in child support payments countywide — more than three times the next highest percentage of any other county in the state, following the arrest or surrender of 51 people.
The amount continued to grow this afternoon as more people are brought before judges, as part of a collaborative statewide effort by sheriff’s departments in all of New Jersey’s counties.
The most recent statewide figures show $264,614 collected of more than $20 million in unpaid child support — a microscopic 1.3 percent.
“These types of raids are important because these families are counting on this money to live and unfortunately these individuals have tried to skirt that responsibility,” Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino said.
“The Bergen County Sheriff Office has a reputation for executing these raids with great success,” Saudino said. “I am proud to say this particular raid was no different.”
Bergen’s 56 total warrants served over three days were behind six of New Jersey’s 21 counties: Mercer (114), Gloucester (89), Camden (80), Hudson and Ocean (72 each), and Salem (62).
However, as usual, the early total collected was among the highest. The next closest was Mercer County, at $27,032, followed by Hudson County, at $25,678, and Morris, at $23,296.
It’s 8.8-percent current collection rate is also the leader by far: The next highest is Morris County, at 3.8 percent collected.
Members of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Warrant Unit conducted the raid without any incidents, the sheriff said.
Kevin Maurice Ellis, 53, of Englewood, tops the list at $118,509.
The ledger includes convicted felons, such as Ronald Barnes, who turned 43 today and owes the second-most in support payments in Bergen County ($56,349).
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Barnes has spent nearly four years in state prison on convictions for, among other crimes, disarming a police officer and robbery.
He’s followed on the deadbeat list by Richard Kuprat, 46, of Carlstadt, at $33,219.
This marked the eighth arrest for non-payment in 13 years for Robert Mascuch, 56, of Wallington, who owed $34,961.
Then there’s the flip side:
Edward Stiefel, 50, a longtime Maywood resident who now lives in Mahwah, had a recorded history of non-payment that dated back to 1996. But he paid his $6,553 in arrears in full, according to the sheriff’s office.
Jose Martino ($2,965), David Christensen ($1,417) Wayne Reissner ($1,116) also made good. Paul Napolitano ($1,539) tacked on an additional $150.
Alfonso Butler immediately paid $5,000 of the $15,478 he owed. David Czerminski paid half of his $10,000 debt. Rowland Metcalf posted $4,500 of his $5,177 in arrears.
Dennis Butler paid $2,500 of an outstanding $5,262, sheriff’s records show.
It isn’t all men, either.
Brygida Soma cleared her $3,000 debt. However, Magdalena Nemesh, 47, of Montclair still owes $29,284.
The $486,908 owed in Bergen is topped by:
Middlesex County ($2.67 million)
Camden ($1.59 million)
Gloucester ($1.4 million)
Monmouth ($1.3 million)
Ocean ($1.07 million)
Cape May ($569,143)