Michigan Cuffs & Collars - April 13th, 2012
CO Trey Luce served a warrant on a subject for taking a deer last firearms deer season without a license.
CO Dave Painter responded to a call about a suicidal subject in Iron County. CO Painter observed a set of boots extending out from a small bridge in the area of the complaint. With the assistance of a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper, CO Painter was able to talk the subject out from under the bridge, and the subject was taken into protective custody without incident.
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy responded to a complaint about an ice shanty left out in Dickinson County. An early spring caused ice conditions to become unsafe, and left anglers scrambling to remove ice shanties. The COs were able to track down the owner, and enforcement action was taken for failing to properly identify an ice shanty.
CO Mark Leadman observed a subject fishing on the Carp River and stopped to check him. When asked for a license, the angler assured the CO he had one. A check of the computer license system revealed that the subject hadn’t purchased a license since 2003. A ticket was issued.
CO Trey Luce observed a subject clad in a trout-fishing vest who was fishing on the Carp River. When Officer Luce approached, the subject had put down his pole and denied fishing. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license.
COs Michael Evink, Jared Ferguson, and John Wenzel assisted Delta County Search and Rescue in looking for an overdue angler. Following several hours of searching, the angler was found safe in Rapid River. As it happened, when the subject returned from fishing his truck wouldn’t start. He then used his snowmobile, and on the way home his snowmobile became stuck. He then hiked out to the highway where he got a ride into town. He failed to notify anyone that he’d made it to town safely.
CO Michael Evink was checking a group of anglers on an inland lake in Schoolcraft County and found that two of the group members had extra lines out. While he was dealing with those violations, another group of anglers proceeded to put out extra lines about 150 yards away. CO Evink walked over to them and after a short discussion on distance and visibility, ticketed them, as well.
COs Kevin Postma and Kyle Publiski conducted surveillance on several groups of anglers on Munuscong Bay. After several hours they identified three subjects who were using too many fishing lines. They proceeded to make contact, and all three subjects tried to say that the extra lines were not theirs. One subject was in a panic to pull up the extra lines as the COs made their approach. When the surveillance information was relayed, the subjects realized they were caught and admitted to using the extra lines. All subjects were issued tickets for using too many lines.
CO Jeff Panich checked three anglers on a Mackinac County lake. The subjects showed the CO a limit of bluegills and attempted to lead the CO away from another 5-gallon bucket of fish. Upon inspection, the bucket the anglers said held garbage actually held a large number of fish. In the end, the three anglers were over their limit by 120 bluegills, and one subject didn’t have a fishing license. Many other nearby anglers were appreciative of the flagrant violators being apprehended. Tickets were issued for the overlimit, and $1,200 is being sought for restitution.
CO Carl VanderWall ticketed a subject who was trapping coyotes during the closed season, failed to mark his traps with his name and address, and also failed to check his traps on a daily basis. After leaving his business card on a nearby tree, the CO also seized a game observation camera that was set at the scene and had recorded a coyote in the trap for at least three days without being dispatched. A ticket was written for failing to check and attend a trap within 24 hours.
CO Duane Budreau is investigating a complaint about a subject who trapped a red fox without a fur harvester license, then posted information on his Facebook page. A quick check of his record through the license system revealed that he had not purchased a license before trapping the animal.
COs Carl VanderWall and Duane Budreau were sent out to an area where a bear cub had climbed up a tree in Emmet County and was surrounded by a group of concerned citizens. Upon arriving, the COs observed that the alleged bear cub was actually a raccoon, causing the disappointed and embarrassed onlookers to vacate the area.
An Antrim County man pleaded guilty to a 4-year felony of manufacturing and distributing marijuana. The subject was growing the plants on state land near the Jordan River Valley when COs Andrea Albert, Steve Speigl, and Sgt. Mike Borkovich arrested him and seized his ORV for condemnation. Some of the 24 plants seized had grown to over 8 feet tall and were scattered over a 3-mile-wide area.
COs Eric Bottorff and Jon Sklba responded to a complaint about an abandoned gill net off Rogers City Harbor in Lake Huron. A boater’s motor had become tangled in the net. The COs located and removed the balled-up net, which apparently had been left out since last year. Identifying marks were found on the net, and the investigation to identify the responsible party will be turned over to the Commercial Fish Unit.
CO Jon Sklba apprehended a coyote hunter operating a motor vehicle with an uncased rifle on the front seat. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Nick Torsky and Mark DePew have been assisting CO Dan Prince with an investigation of a bobcat that was shot during the firearms deer season. The hunter claimed to have shot it in January. A confession was obtained by CO Prince, and the bobcat was seized at the hunting camp in Otsego County.
CO Bill Webster conducted taxidermy inspections and located two bucks that appeared to have been taken illegally. Interviews were conducted with the hunters, and confessions were obtained from them that they shot the deer, and then purchased their hunting licenses. Charges are being sought.
CO Mark DePew reports dispositions on two cases he investigated of illegally taken deer. One hunter received fines totalling $1,450, and the second paid $1,200. Both poachers lost their bows, and one will have his license revoked.
CO Steve Converse was patrolling small streams in Manistee County when he observed a vehicle parked near a bridge with a person standing on it. The person appeared to be watching up and down the road and communicating with someone below on the closed trout stream. As CO Converse approached the location, the subject on the vehicle motioned toward the river and another person appeared, climbing up the bank. After unsuccessfully attempting to mislead the CO about their actions, a fishing rod was located along the river. The subjects admitted to fishing the closed section of water and received a ticket for the fishing violation.
CO Steve Converse and a U.S. Forest Service officer were checking camps in the Manistee National Forest when they encountered a subject living in a camp along a local stream. The subject was in possession of an illegal homemade firearm and illegal traps, and had a warrant for his arrest. The subject was lodged in the Manistee County jail.
CO Angela Greenway and Sgt. Kevin Hackworth were patrolling streams in Lake County when they observed an adult and a juvenile passenger without helmets riding a dirt bike. The ORV had just exited a wooded area and continued down a county road. A traffic stop was made, and it was determined that in addition to the helmet violations and the illegal operation on both the road and through the woods, the operator also had a suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Troy Mueller responded to a grass fire that was started by a subject burning in a barrel. The fire escaped the barrel and burned several acres of adjacent property. A ticket was issued for allowing a fire to escape.
CO Troy Mueller responded to a complaint about an ice shanty left on an inland lake past the date of removal. CO Mueller had contacted the shanty owner earlier in the season when the owner was attempting to remove the structure, but the subject was unable to move it due to deep, wet snow conditions. The owner then tore apart the shanty and allowed the remaining parts to freeze into the ice. The remaining sections of the shanty later went through the ice and sunk to the lake bottom. The owner was issued a ticket for littering.
CO Troy VanGelderen was conducting surveillance of a creek containing steelhead when three subjects arrived to look at the fish. Two of the subjects stood lookout along the rural two-track while the third individual went down to the creek and began taking steelhead with his hands. CO VanGelderen contacted the group and issued a ticket to one of the subjects for illegally taking fish.
CO Mike Hearn located a litter pile on state land that contained a significant amount of packaged food that was spoiled, along with household trash. Officer Hearn located a name in the litter and contacted the subject. The homeowner stated that his caregiver had taken his trash after he had lost power and the food had gone bad. A follow-up interview revealed that the caregiver had tossed the food and trash onto state land on his way home instead of setting it out for trash pick-up. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Olsen investigated a wood-cutting complaint and located two subjects in the process of cutting large, live oak trees on state land. When the CO contacted the subjects, they immediately asked him what they had to do to cut the trees legally. He educated them on the permit process and issued them a ticket for cutting trees without a permit.
CO Jon Warner was checking anglers along the Au Sable River when he noticed the smell of burned marijuana. CO Warner followed the odor, which led him to two subjects who admitted to smoking marijuana and immediately showed him their medical marijuana cards. They did not have any more marijuana in their possession. One of the subjects was fishing without a license and was issued a ticket. The CO also educated both subjects concerning regulations prohibiting smoking marijuana in public.
COs Jason McCullough and Steve Lockwood followed up on a tip regarding a bobcat that was harvested illegally. Once the COs began interviewing suspects, the investigation quickly snowballed into six illegally harvested bobcats by six different individuals in two counties during the past five years. The investigation continues, and charges are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
COs Joel Lundberg and Dan Lee conducted a kayak patrol in Saginaw County where the walleye season is closed and the rivers have gear restrictions to protect spawning fish. The COs observed a boat with two men on board who were fishing with jig heads and plastic worms, which are illegal. When asked if they were aware of any restrictions during the closed season, the subjects indicated they knew of some restrictions but didn’t think that jig heads with plastic worms were restricted. When asked what they would use to catch a walleye if the season was open, they responded that they would use jig heads with plastic worms. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joel Lundberg watched several anglers fishing a section of river that was closed to fishing due to spawning walleyes. The CO observed the subjects catch and keep several walleyes. The CO then contacted the anglers and seized the fish and issued tickets for the taking of walleyes during the closed season, and warned them for fishing the closed section of river.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received information from the Gratiot County Court concerning sentencing information on a deer poacher arrested this past fall. The subject was found guilty on all five counts and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, $1,000 restitution to the state, and $1,000 in fines.
CO Quincy Gowenlock responded to a call from central dispatch regarding a subject wanted on felony warrants who was involved in an unknown disturbance at the caller’s home. While the CO and deputies responded, they received information that the subject may have been involved in a double shooting in Muskegon. As the deputy arrived, the subject fled out the back door and into a field. When the CO arrived, the deputy jumped into his patrol truck and they drove into the field and started searching for the subject on foot in the dense area. The subject was found hiding in a culvert and was taken into custody. The subject stated that he could not believe he was found. The CO replied that conservation officers have been tracking people since 1887 and they’re pretty good at it. The subject was lodged on warrants for weapons charges and probation violations.
COs Nick Atkin and Phil Hudson were patrolling the last ice on Saginaw Bay and contacted two anglers with overlimits of perch. One angler was in possession of 74 perch and another angler had 58. Enforcement action was taken.
While watching an area that held numerous steelhead, CO Seth Rhodea contacted a subject after observing him and his son catch a steelhead in a net and keep the illegally taken fish. A ticket was issued for the violation.
COs Bob Hobkirk and Scott Brown patrolled the shoreline of Saginaw Bay in their airboat and located four waterfowl blinds that were not removed from last season. The COs have a good idea who owns the blinds, and follow-up on removal of the blinds is forthcoming.
CO Chuck Towns met with two subjects who were small game hunting illegally on railroad property near Fennville. The subjects were not wearing hunter orange and did not have licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers responded to a complaint from campers in the Barry SGA about subjects operating their Jeeps illegally on state land. A subject who was operating off-road while doing donuts at high speed and resulting in erosion damage to the game area trails was apprehended.
CO Chris Holmes reported that he apprehended a subject in an ongoing investigation of someone setting untagged traps and trespassing. Twenty-three untagged traps were located, along with one raccoon that was taken out of season. After reviewing information from local law enforcement agencies, he met with the subject and obtained a confession. The subject was charged with taking a raccoon out of season and one count of possessing untagged traps. Numerous warnings were issued.
CO Mike McGee was checking fishing licenses on the piers in St. Joseph and located a subject fishing with five lines and no fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer responded to a complaint about a mudder-style vehicle that had trespassed on a blueberry farm and became stuck. CO Bauer located the driver and obtained a confession. This vehicle was suspected in earlier trespass incidents on farms in the area where damage had been done to the farmers’ fields. The subject was ticketed, and a tractor was required to pull the vehicle out of a large mud hole.
CO Steve Mooney was working closed trout streams for illegal fishing activity and located three subjects fishing a closed section of the Black River. The subjects were well aware that the section of the river was closed, and attempted to hide their fishing poles. All three were ticketed for fishing on a closed trout stream.
CO Mike McGee located a subject at a dam on the St. Joe River who had gone around a fence and numerous “no trespassing” signs into a dangerous area near the dam. The subject was ticketed for recreational trespass.
CO Mike McGee responded to a fire that had escaped at a local captive cervid facility. The subject had been burning improper material when the fire escaped, and the local fire department had responded to put the fire out. CO McGee issued a ticket to the subject who had let the fire escape, and warned him for improper disposal of solid waste.
CO Jeff Goss responded to a complaint of shots fired and trespassing. Upon arrival, CO Goss located two suspects already at their vehicle. CO Goss checked their firearms and found both to be loaded in the vehicle. The landowner decided he did not want to prosecute for trespass. A ticket was issued for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Derek Miller was patrolling anglers on the Huron River. One subject said his fishing license was at his home. Upon checking the computer license system, it was found that he had not purchased a fishing license since 2002. CO Miller asked the subject about his license at home, and he admitted that he had not purchased one in quite a while but was unsure if the officer was able to check on it. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Daniel Prince responded to a waterfowl complaint in which the complainant reported observing four teenagers with a shotgun and goose-calling equipment shoot and kill a Canada goose. The complainant continued to watch as one of the teenagers hid the goose under a large section of plastic behind their home. The teenagers then left the area. CO Prince was able to recover the dead goose and caught up with the teenagers the next morning. The teenagers stated that the guns were air-soft and paintball guns. The 18-year-old admitted to chasing down the goose and killing it with a boat oar. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Pete Purdy contacted an angler who said he forgot his fishing license at home. CO Purdy also noted the subject’s vehicle parked near the lake had several bass-fishing decals on it. CO Purdy checked the license system database, which revealed the subject had not purchased a fishing license in two years. When questioned, the angler stated that he hadn't purchased a 2011 or 2012 license. The subject also stated that he stopped buying licenses because he had never been checked and was actually bragging to co-workers that he doesn't buy fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
At the Clinton River Spillway, CO Kris Kiel observed a subject walk down to the water’s edge and look around. The subject then set up three poles with perch rigs and cast them into the spillway and hid one of the poles in the bushes. The subject picked up a fourth pole rigged with an artificial lure and started fishing. After a few minutes, CO Todd Szyska, who also was in the area, contacted the subject, who initially denied the four poles and the oversized hooks. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Drexler, Brandon Kieft, Kris Kiel, Ben Lasher, Ben Shively, and Todd Szyska, along with Lt. David Malloch and Sgts. Arthur Green and Tom Wanless participated in a group patrol. The officers worked the Clinton River Spillway targeting subjects fishing for northern pike and walleyes during the closed season. A total of 15 tickets were written, along with 15 verbal warnings for taking/attempting to take prohibited species during the closed season, fishing with illegal gear, and fishing without a license. Two of the subjects ticketed had outstanding warrants for their arrest; one of them was able to post bond in lieu of going to jail.
CO John Borkovich worked the Flint River and issued warnings to young anglers who were fishing with illegal tackle. The CO contacted an 80-year-old angler who was in possession of a bass out of season. After a brief discussion and a verbal warning, the CO had the angler release the bass back into the water.
CO John Borkovich assisted local authorities with a search warrant of a convicted felon’s residence. The officers found a dead deer hanging in the garage with a single small-caliber bullet wound to the head. When searching the backyard, CO Borkovich located a tent blind overlooking an illegal bait pile. In the blind the CO recovered a .22 magnum shell casing. A .22 magnum rifle also was recovered from the house. The subject eventually admitted to taking the deer illegally. Numerous charges will be sought.
CO Ben Shively watched two anglers in a boat targeting bass during the closed season on Kent Lake. CO Shively watched the subjects as they caught more than 20 bass and one pike. CO Shively contacted the anglers when they came to the launch; when asked what they were fishing for, the anglers stated dogfish and bluegills. When asked about bass, the subjects denied fishing for bass because the season was closed. CO Shively pointed out that he had been watching them, and both anglers were ticketed for taking bass during the closed season.