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.