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Macomb Township — The Michigan State Police raided Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith's home Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into his use of forfeiture funds, officials said.

Six detectives from state police headquarters in Lansing arrived at Smith's residence on Via Montella about 8:10 a.m. and were met at the door by Smith, who was home with his wife and children, MSP spokesman Lt. Darren Green said.

Green would not discuss what, if anything, detectives were removing from the home, but they were seen taking down outdoor cameras and wrapping up cords.

At 11:52 a.m., the detectives walked out of the house carrying ladders and then drove away. A few minutes later, Smith pulled his car out of the garage, giving reporters a tight smile as he passed them without speaking. 

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Michigan State Police Lt. Darren Green speaks about the search warrant served at the home of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith. Max Ortiz, The Detroit News

Later in the afternoon, he issued a statement saying he was cooperating fully. 

"This morning, as you know, members of the Michigan State Police appeared at my home as part of their investigation into the Macomb County Prosecutor's Forfeiture Fund," Smith said in a statement. "My family and I complied with their requests and cooperated fully, as I have promised to do from the beginning of this process. I will continue to cooperate fully and supply the State Police with any information they need to conclude their investigation."  

The raid came a month after state police executed a search warrant at Smith's office. At the time of the office raid, state police said troopers executed the warrant as part of the investigation into the prosecutor's use of forfeiture funds.

The FBI also is conducting an investigation into Smith's spending of the asset forfeiture funds, The Detroit News has learned.

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A Detroit News review in January of hundreds of checks that have passed through the forfeiture account in the past two years indicate that many sizable checks were made out to various Macomb County police agencies that are supposed to share in forfeiture funds stemming from arrests in their jurisdictions.

Last month, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel asked the state police to investigate Smith's handling of asset forfeiture funds.

Questions over spending from the funds, which total hundreds of thousands of dollars, were raised earlier this year after Jared Maynard, the former chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party, sued to obtain bank records for accounts set up by Smith.

The funds in the accounts come from forfeitures and bad checks.

The investigation was sparked by questions raised by County Executive Mark Hackel about whether thousands of dollars were misspent on inappropriate expenditures, including donations to churches and charities, trips, parties and monthly bills from a security company ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

 

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