TUCSON - Federal authorities are searching for about 500 people in Arizona who have outstanding tickets for littering at a campsite, getting drunk and disorderly, and other minor crimes.
Tonto National Forest spokesman Vincent Picard said those people now have arrest warrants. The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish & Wildlife will work with the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix to round them up.
"This isn't just litterers," Picard said. "It can cover a wider array of misdemeanors. Alcohol, drug possession, illegal campfires, discharging of firearms, drunken disorderly behavior, that kind of thing."
U.S. attorney spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said the campfire violations are the most serious.
"The whole point of this program is an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions," Hornbuckle said. "It may seem like a small matter to some, but if someone doesn't put out a fire, it can damage homes and can even take someone's life."
Hornbuckle said the U.S. Attorney's Office will seek penalties of up to a $5,000 fine and six months in jail for some of the charges.