MIAMI COUNTY, Ind. — Authorities in Miami County have arrested 5 men and have warrants for 6 more after finding they were not making child support payments during Child Support Amnesty Month.
The investigation into non-payment of child support in Miami County began in March when the county prosecutor’s office sent a statement to the local Peru Tribune newspaper warning those with delinquent child support payments that they will be arrested. The statement read:
“Non-custodial parents with child support cases through the Miami County Title IV-D / Child Support Enforcement Office, who are delinquent on their child support payments, may avoid jail time and other penalties if they take advantage of an initiative beginning March 1st. Child Support Amnesty Month will run the entire month of March, while payments are collected.”Miami Co. Prosecutor’s Office
According to Indiana State Police, there are over 1,800 children that are dependent on child support payments in Miami County. However, there is currently over $10 million in delinquent payments owed to these children, ISP said.
In response to this disparity, the Miami Co. Prosecutor’s Office and Dep. Prosecutor Abigail Smith organized a one-month amnesty program in March, which allowed a grace period for delinquent child support payments to be collected.
The statement from the prosecutor in the Peru Tribune told those who are not paying child support that on April 1 felony charges would be filed and that arrest warrants would be granted.
In May, ISP and Miami County authorities made good on that promise. In total 11 felony warrants were filed, all for non-support of a dependent. Of the 11 suspects accounted for, ISP said 5 have since been arrested.
The five men arrested so far include:
- Michael Jenkins, a 41-year-old from Peru
- Eric Labare, a 58-year-old from Peru
- Justin Lees, a 42-year-old from Peru
- Derik Thompson, a 30-year-old from Peru, and
- Jason Whitmer, a 39-year-old from Peru.
According to ISP, there are still 6 suspects with active warrants for non-payment that remain at large. The names of the suspects were not provided.