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Macomb County prosecutor plans back child support arrest sweep

Macomb County prosecutor plans back child support arrest sweep
Macomb County prosecutor plans back child support arrest sweep 03:34

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido has been thinking a lot about the holiday season. 

But how many kids can't enjoy Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa because one of their parents owes a lot of money in back child support?

Lucido has a plan to play Santa. 

His office estimates about 7,500 people in Macomb County owe at least $5,000 in back child support, totaling at least $37 million. One person alone owes $1 million. 

"This goes on and on and on. Everybody. You know, I wish they could do something about my ex, who owes almost $44,000 in child support," said Lucido while reading Facebook comments from people who are struggling to get by because their ex won't pay up, even when ordered by a court. "This is a wrong system. When somebody's out there making the money and not giving the children a chance."

The goal is compliance, but maybe the only way to get that is a large-scale sweep. 

Sometimes, jailing people is the only way to get their attention. There are details to sort out, but Lucido's made up his mind.

"Let's just get it done, period. Let's just get it done," Lucido says. 

Lucido is not content to let his deputies do all the work. He wants buy-in, and that means meeting with local police and the sheriff's office.

After setting up a meeting with Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, it's off to Chesterfield Township and Chief Brian Bassett. 

It's a felony in Michigan to owe more than $5,000 in back child support. If they're arrested in this sweep, an individual will have to pay at least 25% of that to get out of jail. 

"One big sweep, and then send a message," said Lucido.

If you're one of the thousands who owe back child support in Macomb County, it might be time to pay up before the holidays.

"We have to start somewhere," Lucido said. "And when we see success, we expand it to the next level." 

The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office stresses that jail is a last resort, and they'd much rather have people pay what they owe. There are options to come up with a  payment plan.  

You can contact them at 586-493-4488 or email them at     

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