A Michigan State Police detective sergeant from the Special Investigations Unit of the First District carries a ladder while leaving the Macomb Township home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith May 14. A search warrant was executed in regard to an ongoing investigation into Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

A Michigan State Police detective sergeant from the Special Investigations Unit of the First District carries a ladder while leaving the Macomb Township home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith May 14. A search warrant was executed in regard to an ongoing investigation into Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Search warrant executed at prosecutor’s home

Police take surveillance cameras from residence

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published May 14, 2019

 Michigan State Police detectives spent more than three hours searching Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s Macomb Township home on the morning of May 14 as journalists gathered outside. Surveillance cameras were removed from outside the front of the home.

Michigan State Police detectives spent more than three hours searching Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s Macomb Township home on the morning of May 14 as journalists gathered outside. Surveillance cameras were removed from outside the front of the home.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — For the second time in a month, members of the Michigan State Police executed a search warrant in regard to an ongoing investigation into Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s usage of forfeiture funds.

On May 14, a search warrant was executed by detectives from the Special Investigations Unit from the 1st District at Smith’s Macomb Township home in the area of Romeo Plank and 26 Mile roads.

Six detectives were at the residence from 8:10 to 11:52 a.m.

“I believe the entire Smith family was home,” Michigan State Police Lt. Darren Green, a public information officer for the agency’s 1st District, said outside the home. “We didn’t anticipate any problems, but with search warrants in general, you want to have that many officers for safety reasons.”

Green did not comment on specific evidence that was seized, and said Smith answered the door when detectives arrived.

Green indicated that investigators removed mounted surveillance cameras from outside the front of the home.

A few weeks ago, on April 17, investigators removed records from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office in the Macomb County Administration Building in Mount Clemens.

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

He did not comment the morning of May 14 as he drove off from the home after investigators left.

In April, after investigators removed evidence from his office, Smith said he recognizes that what happened doesn’t look great.

“After six months of hearing all these falsehoods in the press about what we’ve used this money for, I am so happy to have impartial investigators in our office, looking through our documents, which we gave them a bankers box full of receipts, documents and explanations on how this money was spent,” he said.

When asked why this was the right time to execute a search warrant on the home, Green said that “with ongoing investigations, you find out different things throughout the investigation and it leads you in certain directions. Probable cause was established for a judge to sign a search warrant at a place like this.”    

On April 5, it was announced that the MSP had launched an investigation into the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Macomb County’s Office of Corporation Counsel was informed that the Michigan State Police, 1st District Special Investigation Section, has opened a criminal investigation into the Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office use of forfeiture funds,” an April 5 press release from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office states.

The investigation is ongoing, and Green said he didn’t want to give a timeline for when it could be completed.