On June 10, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office released documents related to a pair of search warrants from earlier this year. A Michigan State Police detective sergeant is seen here leaving the Macomb Township home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith May 14.

On June 10, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office released documents related to a pair of search warrants from earlier this year. A Michigan State Police detective sergeant is seen here leaving the Macomb Township home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith May 14.

File photo by Alex Szwarc


Prosecutor releases search warrant documents in Macomb County case

Records seized relating to potential embezzlement

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published June 11, 2019

 Recently released search warrants indicate that any computers, cell phones, or digital storage devices will be taken to a qualified forensic computer examiner to search for and seize any and all records and documents relating to the crime of embezzlement. The warrants are in regard to an ongoing investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

Recently released search warrants indicate that any computers, cell phones, or digital storage devices will be taken to a qualified forensic computer examiner to search for and seize any and all records and documents relating to the crime of embezzlement. The warrants are in regard to an ongoing investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

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MOUNT CLEMENS – Further light has been shed as to what was removed as part of two searches earlier this year.

The documents are in regard to an ongoing investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

On June 10, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office released search warrant and tabulation information related to an April 17 search of the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens, and a May 14 search of Smith’s Macomb Township home.

“Out of respect for the Michigan State Police and their request not to interfere with their responsibilities, we believe that the search warrant and tabulation were initially exempt from disclosure under the FOIA,” the June 10 press release from the Prosecutor's Office states. “However, after conferring with the Michigan State Police today, we no longer believe that the release of these documents will impact their ongoing duties.”

Both search warrants state that any computers, cell phones, or digital storage devices will be taken to a qualified forensic computer examiner to search for and seize any and all records and documents relating to the crime of embezzlement.

“The search warrants used the word embezzlement," Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet said. “That is a higher-level of a crime than misappropriation of funds.”

Drolet, a Republican, represents District 13, which includes most of Macomb Township.

In March, under state law, Drolet said two laws that could’ve been broken in this case were misappropriation of funds and embezzlement.

“What the warrants signaled to me is that the state police classify this as an embezzlement,” he said. “It tells me they’re considering a charge at that level.”  

The release concludes that in an effort to be as transparent as possible, the Prosecutor's Office is voluntarily releasing all documents provided by MSP.

The office search warrant indicates the property to be searched and seized is described as all documents and records related to funds received from drug forfeitures, operating while intoxicated vehicle forfeitures, bad check restitution program, and Warren drug court from December 2011 to November 2018.
Both MSP evidence tabulation sheet’s list Smith as the suspect. Over 30 items are on the list from April’s search. They include a couple iPhones, Chemical Bank documents, a file marked “forfeiture witness information,” and assorted documents.

The April sheet states cell phones/smartphone devices used by Smith, Chief Assistant Prosecutor James Langtry and Chief of Operations Derek Miller was searched and seized, as well as all computers used by Smith, Langtry and Miller.  

The May search warrant states Smith’s home was searched for any and all security equipment paid for with public funds including eight Vivotek IP cameras, wireless receivers, and wireless routers.

The tabulation sheet names 25 items were removed from Smith’s home.   

Smith has continually defended his office against accusations of misspent forfeiture funds, which includes money generated from assets seized from drug forfeitures or drunken drivers.  

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