CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE: Bergen County Sheriff’s officers and their statewide counterparts have been rounding up deadbeat parents, producing nearly $300,000 in unpaid child support — just in time for Christmas.
Abdo Namrud, Jesse Sadej (FACEBOOK photos)
Among those processed in Bergen since Tuesday: a convicted sex offender, a fugitive out of Florida, a failed mayoral candidate from Upper Saddle River and a Paramus pediatrician. Then there’s the mom who owes nearly $45,000.
With totals still coming in, Bergen County leads the state with $65,280 collected as of Friday afternoon. That’s well more than double the next-highest, Ocean County, which reported the most arrests (88) but collected $28,295.
Add Hudson ($13,059) and Passaic ($15,000) counties to Ocean’s amount and it’s still $10,000 short of Bergen’s total.
Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino
“It’s perfect that we’re doing this right before before Christmas,” Saudino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “Hopefully, some of the money that’s recovered can immediately go to the families of children who otherwise wouldn’t get the things they need right now.”
Some of the 71 parents taken in by the sheriff’s Fugitive Warrant Unit — all without incident — have paid all or part of their debt and been released.
Others remain behind bars, either because they haven’t paid anything or are still waiting to see a judge.
Saudino’s officers also hit a jackpot of sorts:
One of the arrestees, 32-year-old Ventura “Vinnie” Correia, was also wanted by Passaic County authorities on a burglary charge, by West Milford police for skipping court after not having the necessary documents during a traffic stop and by the Martin County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department for credit card fraud.
The respective agencies have filed detainers to have Correia transferred to their jurisdictions for processing. That’s four outstanding warrants cleared — including the one in Bergen County for owing a reported $35,490 in child support.
Also taken into custody was Ruth Rangel of Garfield, who has tangled with both the civil and criminal systems in North Jersey for decades. Rangel, a 4-foot-11-inch Bronx native who turned 42 last month, has faced various charges, including promoting prostitution and driving while on the suspended list, public records show.
Meanwhile, her non-payment of child support has grown: It was at $44,589 when Saudino’s officers served the warrant, records show.
Topping the Bergen list is Abdo Namrud, a 57-year-old Turkish national living in Cliffside Park. He owes $53,641, according to jail records.
Next in line is Jesse Sadej, 49, a Polish immigrant who ran for mayor of Upper Saddle River as an independent candidate four years ago. Sadej, who finished with only 230 votes to incumbent Kenneth Gabbert’s 1,127, has publicly vowed to run again in 2015.
He also owes $49,299 in child support, records show.
Also picked up:
• William Thorden, 62, who lives in Toms River and spent the night in the county jail after being arrested for non-payment of $45,200, according to public records.
• Stanley Winckowski, 55, who has had a variety of addresses, as well as a criminal history that includes a sexual assault on a teenager in Ridgefield Park, for which he served less than a year in prison. This is the second time in three months that Winckowski has been taken into custody for failing to pay support. His total is now $27,231, records show.
Statewide, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano, Sr. said 987 delinquent parents were rounded up in an intensive three-day sweep, hosted in cooperation with the New Jersey Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).
A total of $284,828 was collected of a delinquent $15.5 million, Provenzano said.
Some of those brought in had yet to go before a judge this afternoon, however. The collection amount is expected to increase as they are processed.
“Our 21 County Sheriffs and their officers strive to do their best during the year and especially during these sweeps to make sure that the children of our state receive the support they are supposed to receive,” he said. “Hopefully during this particular time of year, these efforts will provide the children with the safe and secure holiday they certainly deserve.”
Saudino’s officers were still serving warrants early this morning. Those brought in include a Paramus physician, William Onwuka, 57, who owes $32,108, according to court records.
The total currently owed in Bergen is now $888,640, down from the $953,920 outstanding debt when the sweep began.
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