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3-Day Sweep Captures 57 Fugitives, Sex Offenders in Macomb County

The three-day "Operation Safeguard" marks the first time the Macomb County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals Service have partnered on an intensive multi-day sweep of sex offenders and fugitives.

Fifty-seven of Macomb County’s most dangerous fugitives and sex offenders are behind bars today following an intensive three-day search orchestrated by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service.

For the past three days, 38 sheriff’s deputies, 21 U.S. marshal deputies, four Michigan state troopers and two Michigan Department of Corrections Officers have been on the hunt for 300 of Macomb County’s most wanted sex offenders, parole violators and dangerous criminals.

“The majority of these suspects are violent and a threat to our community and we felt it was important to come together and try to do our best to take these individuals off the street,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, in a press conference Thursday.

A cooperative effort between the sheriff’s office and marshal service, "Operation Safeguard" had captured 57 of its 300 targets as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

But as U.S. Marshal of the Eastern District Robert M. Grubbs said, the search is far from over.

“Just because we don’t get you in these three days, don’t rest, we’ll be continually coming after you,” Grubbs said, in a press conference Thursday. “When your name appears on a U.S. Marshals Service list, there are only two ways it’s coming off: Either you are tracked down, located and apprehended, or you are no longer of this world. We are relentless, we never give up.”

While 57 of 300 represents only a 19 percent success rate, Grubbs added: “Anytime you take a child molester off the street, just one, (that) is a successful mission in my opinion. Anytime you take one person off the street who has taken the life of another, it is a success because these are people who are apt to re-offend and continue to wreak havoc on the community.”

Although the U.S. Marshals Service has performed similar sweeps with law enforcement in neighboring counties, this was the first such partnership to take place in Macomb County.

“I really appreciate the partnership, not only for Operation Safeguard … but I’ve been the marshal here for 10 years and have endured a great relationship over those 10 years,” Grubbs said. “This is just another shining example of what can happen when federal, state and local agencies come together.”

Of the 300 fugitives sought, Wicerksham said the majority was wanted on probation violations out of the Macomb County Circuit Court.

“These are the worst of the worst,” he added, noting that the warrants for arrest ranged from child molestation and stalking of a minor to drug offenses and murder.

While the intensive three-day operation will come to an end today, Grubbs said the community could be sure his office would not rest until the last suspect was brought to justice.

“If your name is on that list, if not today, if not tomorrow, we will get you,” Grubbs said. “Anyone who hears my voice, if you have a warrant for your arrest, turn yourself in. Make it easier on yourself.”

This operation was conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Anon March 31, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Well to the average citizen are borders appear wide open but they are monitored a bit more than one thinks with camera's etc. Terrorist's etc may plot the northern border because it is less guarded but with adding more agents there becomes a fiscal issue. Politicians believe on average one agent on the northern border arrests about 3 people a year in contrast to down south where the arrests are much, much higher. It is hard for politicans to justify additional spending and guarding of the northern border. Citizens have rights and if we have the sweeps that you are thinking of, we would be thought as a Gustapo state--, and would infringe on your freedoms. "We have to think of the safety of our nation and stop the intentional breaking of our countries laws." There are activists here in michigan and down south that challenge the authority of agents at check points which are legal within 100 miles of the border, and their authority and try to make things difficult. Just look on youtube and put in border patrol (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaA6GUQlwqA&feature=endscreen&NR=1) you will see there are us citizens that just make a game out of things and waste time of our government. I wouldn't be suprised if there were sleeper cells here in michigan, but it seems the united state is more reactive than proactive.
Anon March 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Like all federal agents, ice, dea, BP they do work on intelligence. They don't just STARE at the water. In what you witnessed I would say that perhaps you seen monitoring, searching or them deterring. Those agents probably have a very large territory. If something was to come across the water one would think there is going to be a recipient or perhaps scouts. Cartel's and smuggling organizations are very sophisticated. If a cartel were going to bring say several millions of dollars of drugs or weapons, I am sure they have a network to protect it. If you were a smuggler I would think perhaps you would be deterred because you knew there was that night a strong presence where you were? Check out the show border wars on national geographic. you will see how things are down south
Anon March 31, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Dave to your comment...or advice to that other guy. As a citizen how does he know that a person is illegal? You can't say because a person is hispanic they are illegal. Things need to be a bit more factual than that. Where did you hear stories about chinese people coming across in the place you call algonac? rather how do people KNOW this? do people see it? where did they see it? when did they see it? how did they enter? why didn't they report it? Sounds more rumor than factual.
Dave March 31, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Just to answer your question.. Yes I would and have done all the dirty and physical work they do. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to come here and work and live. I'm just saying the excuse of them doing work we ourselves wouldn't do doesn't hold water. We were doing them before they came and we still do. And Bricklaying and construction work isn't low paying jobs.. they are taking well paying jobs from Americans. But there again it's not their fault.. it's the unscrupulous employers who don't want to pay taxes and workmen's comp and unemployment insurance on their employees. It's the IRS who doesn't enforce the laws against people like Timothy Geitner the head of the treasury dept who avoid paying their legal taxes by hiring illegal workers. But, this story wasn't about illegal immigrants so much as it was fugitives, so i won't get into a full discussion about them right now. I do find it interesting that they just started another 3 day sweep in Detroit yesterday. The task force states they have a list of 300, so either they didn't subtract what we caught here in Macomb county or they've added more people.. or they got another list altogether.
Jeffery Berz April 02, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Anon, I stopped one of the BP agents in the parking lot of Port Sanilac marina. I asked what they look for. he said anything out of the ordinary. He also gave me his card and told me that cottage owners and homeowners along the lake like myself are often their best source of catching something or someone coming across the lake illegally. He was a very nice and interesting guy to talk with. I'm glad they are watching and now I have a better understanding.

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