Warrant Sweep Set for Friday in Lufkin

There are just under 40,000 residents in the City of Lufkin, but the town has millions of dollars in outstanding Class C warrants.

Lufkin has "a little bit in excess of $4 million in outstanding municipal court warrants alone; that doesn't include JP (Justice of the Peace) courts," said Rhonda McLendon, Municipal Court Administrator.

Those unpaid warrants are for assault, theft under $50, traffic violations and other minor offenses. This Friday, Lufkin police officers will come looking for the offenders. If you have an unpaid warrant, they are suggesting you turn yourself in.

Lufkin City Marshal Brian Smith said, "We would rather them come up here and take care of their warrants than have to go out and pick them up. It's much easier that way and if they come up here and want to take care of their fines, I'm not going to arrest them."

If you are arrested and cannot clear your warrant, you will go to jail instead of being released on a personal recognizance bond. That's because Angelina County recently signed a contract with the city to house Class C offenders in the county jail. How long you stay in jail depends on how much money you owe on your warrants.

McLendon said, "We're looking to clear as many warrants as we can - some of that may be by people sitting in jail; some of it may be by making payments. Our big concern is just getting the warrant file reduced some because we have in excess of 16,000 outstanding Class C warrants right now on almost 7,000 defendants."

Class C offenders who turn themselves in Friday can make payment arrangements with the court to clear up their outstanding warrants. More than $20,000 was collected during last year's sweep in Lufkin.

If you have an active warrant, you need to contact the City Municipal Court before Friday to avoid getting arrested during the sweep. For more information, call City Marshall Brian Smith at (936) 633-0315.