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Operation Iron Snare: Alabama's 'sleazy' trick to catch deadbeat dads

One sheriff's elaborate ruse inadvertently turns wanted suspects into sympathetic characters

The video: It's not easy collecting child support from deadbeat moms and dads. But in one Alabama county, the task has apparently been particularly difficult. That's why the sheriff of Lee County, Ala. tried to lure 140 local residents who had outstanding warrants for unpaid child support by using the state's biggest football game as bait. Operation Iron Snare — which some are labeling a 'sleazy' maneuver — began with a letter telling the suspects they had won two free tickets to the Iron Bowl between rivals Auburn and Alabama. But after being met late last month with a celebration of their good fortune — complete with balloons, cheering, and Black Eyed Peas music — the suspects were escorted to a back room, introduced to a sheriff, and arrested on the spot. (Watch the video below.)

The reaction: Forget sleazy, says Meredith Carroll at Strollerderby. This borders on "cruel," and is somehow making me "feel really, really, bad" for the deadbeat parents who I should be furious with. That's for sure, says Tom Fornelli at CBS Sports. "Yes, they deserve what they're getting, but it just feels wrong." Plus, the whole scheme is a waste of time and money. Was such an expensive, elaborate ploy catering to the news media really necessary? Judge for yourself:

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