Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 8, 2013

Sweep nets a few more warrants

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Getting their man was the idea behind a recent sweep by Garvin County officials looking to clear up a few outstanding arrest warrants.

The sweep came this past weekend as deputies put in a few extra hours looking for as many individuals as they could who had warrants out for their arrest.

Sheriff Larry Rhodes said sweeps like this one, which looks to continue throughout August, are occasionally done as a way to clear up a few of the warrants and at the same time bring attention to the need for people to deal with the warrants rather than ignoring them.

This most recent sweep resulted in a number of arrests as a couple dozen warrants were cleared up either through arrests or arrangements with the court.

“It did go well,” Rhodes said. “We made a lot of arrests. Overall I would say this was a success.

“I also like doing this because it helps raise awareness on the outstanding warrants.”

In all 12 persons were arrested on Garvin County warrants, five were arrested on Pauls Valley municipal warrants and turned over to PV Police and one was arrested for giving false information concerning an individual with outstanding warrants in Garvin and Oklahoma counties.

One of those arrested was a bit unusual.

Robert Alan Sweetman, 28, of Pauls Valley reported to the sheriff’s office early Friday evening to serve a weekend court sentence as a result of a recent DUI conviction.

According to Rhodes, this was the same time deputies were gathering for a briefing on the warrant sweep.

Sweetman’s demeanor and behavior at the back door of the sheriff’s office led to a sobriety check which resulted in him being placed under arrest for public drunkenness, Rhodes said.

Another arrest was Rokki Lawan Harper, 37, also of Pauls Valley. The warrant for his arrest was issued following an earlier undercover drug operation alleging Harper sold an illegal substance.

Other people with warrants avoided the sweep by simply turning themselves in to authorities.

“Of the five featured in our Crime Stoppers last week two of them surrendered themselves,” Rhodes said.

“People pay attention and were turning themselves in. We just want people to come to us or the courts and deal with it,” he said, referring to warrants.

“We have to expend a lot resources and man-hours to find these individuals. It’s troublesome having so many outstanding warrants.”

In fact, the sheriff says in this county there are more than 2,300 outstanding warrants with a total bond amount of more than $3 million.

Many times warrants are issued when someone misses a court date in a case against them or they simply fail to pay any amount on an outstanding ticket or court fine, Rhodes added.