Pre-dawn raids target deadbeat parents, others in Philadelphia area (PHOTOS)

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- More than a dozen people are behind bars following a series of pre-dawn raids targeting deadbeat parents, fugitives and others in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

Dubbed "Operation Sunrise," the coordinated series of warrant sweeps began at 2:00 a.m. Friday and wrapped up several hours later.

They were conducted by the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County along with officers from the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State Police and the Sheriff Departments of Chester, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

Action News was there as at least 15 people were led from police vehicles into holding cells at Philadelphia Family Court.

Those taken into custody face charges ranging from attempted murder, drug dealing and child molestation to failure to pay child support.

According to the Sheriff's Office this is the 17th year in a row such a joint operation has been undertaken in Philadelphia.

Normally the annual warrant sweep is conducted on Valentine's Day.

A winter storm this year prompted officials to reschedule the raids for today.
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