Michigan Cuffs & Collars - June 8th, 2012
CO Marv Gerlach responded to a complaint about an eagle that was killed when struck by a car. The eagle was recovered by CO Gerlach and turned over to Wildlife Division staff.
CO Brian Bacon contacted a subject who was fishing in Dickinson County. The angler had no personal flotation device (PFD) on board his vessel and had not renewed his boat registration. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Postma responded to the scene of a fire that was threatening area homes. Upon his arrival, the fire was still going and DNR fire crews were working alongside local volunteer fire departments to save a garage and homes. The CO investigated the fire’s origin and developed a suspect who admitted to setting some debris on fire and who then couldn’t contain the fire once it got into the trees. A ticket was issued for allowing a fire to escape. Fire crews were able to save the nearby homes, and the threatened garage sustained damage to one side from the heat of the blaze.
While on patrol, CO Carl Vanderwall observed vehicle tracks around a logging road that was bermed against vehicular traffic. Officer Vanderwall followed the tracks that led a long distance onto state land, finally ending at a pickup truck abandoned in a wooded area. A check of the vehicle revealed that it had been stolen from a salvage yard in southern Michigan. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Andrea Erratt checked four adults riding double with children on unlicensed ORVs. They were picking mushrooms on state land and operating the ORVs without any helmets and cross-country in an area with no posted ORV trails. CO Erratt ticketed one of the family members for operating an unlicensed ORV and issued several warnings for operating unlicensed ORVs, operating ORVs in a closed area on state land, no helmets, and riding double. Later the same day, CO Erratt stopped a father riding double on a county road with his 3-year-old son. His 11-year-old son was following on his own ORV. CO Erratt ticketed the subject for operating an unlicensed ORV and warned him for riding double, allowing his 11-year-old son to operate a four-wheeler, and operating an ORV on a state highway.
CO Andrea Erratt responded to a 911 call regarding two elderly women who got lost while picking mushrooms on state land. The women described their location as on state land near a trail with blue dots. CO Erratt was able to locate the women on the North Country Hiking Trail and return them to their vehicle. They had been lost over three hours and were happy to see CO Erratt. The sisters suspected their husbands would not let them go mushroom picking alone again.
CO Andrea Erratt stopped a 14-year-old boy who was operating his dirt bike unsteadily on the shoulder of a county road. CO Erratt followed the juvenile to his home and talked to his mother, who said she had let her son ride his dirt bike to a party. The mother said she knew the rules and already had an ORV rule pamphlet. CO Erratt ticketed the mother for allowing her 14-year-old son to operate the dirt bike without adult supervision and without taking an ORV safety class.
CO Andrea Erratt checked several anglers as they returned to a launch on Lake Charlevoix. The CO ticketed one angler for operating an unregistered motorboat and warned another for failing to display his current registration decal.
While patrolling a known mudder truck site in Charlevoix County, CO Andrea Erratt encountered two trucks stuck in a creek. Both vehicles were untitled and had no insurance, plus one of the drivers had had his driving privileges suspended several times. Trucks were seized and enforcement action was taken.
CO Eric Bottorff responded to an accident involving a motorcycle flipping over on the rider at the Black Mountain scramble area. The rider was located and was found to have an injury to his leg; however, he refused an ambulance. First aid was rendered at the scene.
While patrolling an ORV restoration area, CO Mike Feagan came across three ORV operators, two of whom were riding double on their machines, and with none of the riders wearing helmets. In addition, one of the operators was carrying a concealed weapon and failed to disclose it to the CO. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sean Kehoe observed four subjects walking the banks of the Boardman River searching the water with a hand-held light; three of the subjects were carrying home-made spears. CO Kehoe watched the subjects but did not see them use the spears. CO Kehoe then contacted the group and identified himself as a CO. The subjects were cooperative and advised him they were spearing lampreys. CO Kehoe explained that the possession of a spear along a trout stream was a violation. CO Kehoe had the subjects show him the lampreys they claimed to have been spearing. The subjects took CO Kehoe to a boat access site on the river where he observed a dead lamprey. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Converse was travelling through Manistee when he observed a number of individuals cleaning fish near Manistee Lake. He stopped to speak with the anglers and ultimately determined they had an overlimit. One angler was issued a ticket for the possession violation.
CO Angela Greenway followed up on a burning violation in Lake County in which a landowner had set a fire that got out of control and burned a significant area of his neighbor’s property. He was issued a ticket for the violation.
CO Angela Greenway observed a vehicle parked illegally near a bridge. CO Greenway stopped and located a subject who had illegally parked and then walked past a pair of no trespassing signs to fish. CO Greenway had met with the same subject earlier that day to return equipment taken in a trespass case a couple weeks earlier. The subject was issued a second trespass ticket.
CO Mike Wells was on patrol on a Newaygo County river when he contacted three subjects trout fishing. One of the subjects told the CO that he had left his fishing license at home. CO Wells located a total of three undersized fish in two creels. Enforcement action was taken against two of the subjects for possessing undersized brown trout, and a warning was issued for fishing with no license in possession.
CO Mike Wells observed a watercraft on a local Newaygo County lake that has proved in the past to be an area where anglers keep bass out of season. Surveillance was set up on the watercraft, and after two hours, all three subjects in the vessel were observed catching several panfish. CO Wells contacted the anglers when they returned to shore, and 31 panfish were located in the vessel. When asked for licenses, one of the anglers told the CO that she was not fishing. After CO Wells explained that he’d watched her fishing for the past two hours, she apologized for giving a false statement to the CO, and accepted a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Brian Lebel was patrolling near an access site on the Muskegon River in Mecosta County when he observed several people fishing. He stopped and watched as the subjects caught several walleyes. The anglers appeared nervous and spent a great deal of time looking back at CO Lebel. After several minutes, one subject began counting fish from a basket. After counting, the subject started throwing fish back into the river. The boat was ordered to shore, where an overlimit of walleyes and undersized walleyes were discovered. Enforcement action was taken.
CO John Huspen was contacted by a subject who observed a pickup truck loaded with home debris being driven onto state land near his subdivision and later observed the vehicle come out empty. CO Huspen was able to locate a large pile of trash, including an inflatable pool and carpet dumped in the described area. CO Huspen located the suspect’s vehicle in the nearby subdivision and interviewed the a person who admitted to dumping the trash on state land.
CO Chuck McPherson was contacted by a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper who was investigating the breaking and entering of a cabin. The cabin owner had photographs taken at the cabin of an adult and a young male riding on a golf cart with a dead turkey in the back and an uncased rifle on the front of the cart, and a dog running with them. The trooper was able to identify the individuals in the photo when he observed them and the dog in their vehicle at a public place. A search warrant for the subject’s residence resulted in locating the stolen items, as well as a rifle and the blood and feathers from the turkey. The father admitted he allowed his 10-year-old son to shoot the turkey without a license while trespassing. The juvenile also was with the adult during the breaking and entering.
CO Bobbi Lively recently completed a 6-month investigation of five individuals who were illegally cutting veneer-grade hardwood logs from state land and selling them to a local lumber mill. The investigation covered two counties and 12 separate sites where logs had been cut. The sites were discovered after weeks of extensive searching of the two counties. Between January and December 2011, the subjects had been cutting top-quality hardwoods in remote locations of state land, taking only the prime 8-foot veneer-grade logs and selling them to the mill. All of this was done with a come-along, bobcat, and a pickup truck. The estimated value of the illegally taken timber was approximately $47,100. A total of 19 felony warrants and five misdemeanor warrants have been served on the five subjects.
Sgts. Glenn Gutierrez and Jean Davis, along with COs Brian Olsen, Jon Warner, Bobbi Lively, Warren MacNeill, John Huspen, and Matt Liestenfeltz assisted in evacuations, traffic control, and origin investigation of two large wildfires totaling nearly 450 acres in Ogemaw County.
CO Joel Lundberg responded to a call about a turkey-poaching incident and contacted the complainant, who had heard a gunshot close to his house. The complainant had seen a vehicle pull over along the road, where two subjects ran into the woods and retrieved something in a plastic bag. The car then left the scene at a high rate of speed. CO Lundberg patrolled the area and located a vehicle matching the car’s description. Interviews were conducted with the two occupants, and they admitted to shooting a hen turkey. The subjects took the turkey and disposed of it in a nearby woodlot and put the firearm in a nearby trailer. CO Lundberg recovered the firearm, the hen turkey, and received confessions from both the shooter and the driver. Neither individual had a turkey license. Tickets were issued, and the firearm was seized.
CO Dan Lee was patrolling the Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area (SGA) when he observed a vehicle parked along the roadside. A check of the registered owner showed that he had a private land turkey license. As CO Lee was approaching the vehicle, a man exited the woods in full camouflage clothing but not carrying a firearm. He explained to CO Lee that he had been scouting for turkeys but not hunting. Inside the vehicle was an empty gun case. The man insisted he was not hunting, so CO Lee told the man he was free to go. CO Lee stayed at the location to search for a firearm. A short time later, the CO could see the subject in his vehicle down the road, but not moving. Eventually the man came back with questions about where his turkey-hunting license would allow him to hunt and if he could cut through state land with a firearm without a public land license. CO Lee explained that he had to get back to work, looking for the firearm the man had left in the woods. The hunter admitted to hiding the shotgun when he saw the CO approaching. CO Lee seized the firearm and issued a ticket for hunting turkeys on public land without a license.
CO Dan Lee and Sgt. Ron Kimmerly responded to a trespassing complaint in which the complainant had called after setting up to catch the habitual violator. While CO Lee interviewed the subject, Sgt. Kimmerly retrieved the trespasser’s equipment. Sgt. Kimmerly located a bag of sunflower bird seed with the equipment; however, the subject denied baiting. Sgt. Kimmerly then located the bird seed shells on the ground. Again the trespasser denied baiting. Sgt. Kimmerly then located sprouting sunflowers in between the turkey decoys the trespasser had set up. Finally the trespasser admitted to baiting. The subject also did not have his turkey license with him, had been previously convicted of purchasing a private land license when not eligible, and taking an illegal bear.
CO Joshua Wright received a tip that a person had been out fishing on the Saginaw Bay, had returned to shore, and had dropped off some fish in a cooler in his vehicle, and then went back out fishing. CO Wright contacted the subject when the angler returned from his second trip. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Joshua Wright was waiting for turkey hunters to come back from an evening hunt on state land when he observed one of the hunters discharge his firearm. CO Wright quickly contacted the hunter and asked him to look behind him. The hunter was only 50 yards from a house where only a few minutes earlier CO Wright had watched kids playing in the yard. Enforcement action was taken.
While at the county courthouse, CO Hobkirk found that a subject that he was looking for was awaiting a pretrial. CO Hobkirk had investigated the individual for illegally possessing a raccoon that recently had bitten someone. When the individual was contacted in the courthouse hallway, he admitted to taking a raccoon from the wild and keeping it in his residence for a year. The raccoon now weighed 44 pounds. The subject was ticketed for the violation, and arrangements are being made for the removal of the animal.
CO Gary Raak contacted a subject in possession of marijuana who was fishing along Dagget Lake in the Barry SGA. The subject had a three-count warrant for drug-related offenses, including a felony for delivery of controlled substances. The subject was lodged on the warrants, and charges are pending for the possession of marijuana.
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers and CO Paul Higashi contacted subjects fishing a channel between two inland lakes near Portage. The subjects reported catching some bass and panfish. When an investigation was conducted, a largemouth bass was located, which neither subject could accurately identify. When the anglers were informed bass season wasn’t open yet, they then stated someone had given it to them. The bass also was undersized. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Mooney responded to a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint about a subject who had taken three goslings from the wild to keep as pets. The goslings were returned to the wild, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Cerny was contacted by a hunter in Three Rivers SGA who stated that a vehicle was parked in a closed area. CO Cerny investigated and found that subjects had gone around a closed gate and had driven into a closed area and were camping. A ticket was issued for operating a vehicle in the closed area.
CO Kyle Bader conducted a marine patrol on Coldwater Lake and checked two anglers, who said they left their licenses back at a cabin. Before CO Bader was able to check the computer license system, they admitted they did not have fishing licenses. CO Bader wrote each of them a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Jeff Goss was transporting an orphaned fawn to a rehabilitator when he was almost sideswiped by a driver. CO Goss followed the driver a short distance and initiated a traffic stop. Upon making contact, the CO realized the driver smelled of alcohol and did not speak English; fortunately the driver’s friend was following them and was willing to act as a translator through the investigation. The subject was found to have a .17 BAC and was lodged in jail.
CO Derek Miller issued several warnings for possessing bass during the closed season. One group of anglers was at Mill Lake fishing from shore. The subjects said they were catching a few bigger fish and that they were fighting really well. The CO checked their stringer and found they had two bass in their possession. The subjects had no idea that bass season was closed and were proud to show them off. CO Miller educated them on the closed season, and the bass were released.
While on marine patrol, CO Dan Bigger received a RAP complaint that a subject had shot two turkeys. CO Bigger was able to contact the subject over the phone and obtain a confession and the location of the birds. Upon the completion of the marine patrol, CO Bigger contacted the subject at his residence and located both birds. CO Bigger explained that although he had tagged one of the birds, it was with a spring 2011 license and that both birds were not legally taken and therefore were seized. A warrant request is pending.
CO Linda Scheidler received a RAP complaint about someone snagging fish at the Holloway Reservoir Dam. The CO approached by walking along the quarter-mile dike. When she reached the halfway point, she saw the suspect walking across the dam to leave. CO Scheidler sprinted, and when she reached the dam she saw the suspect put the fish in the back of his pickup truck and walk toward the cab of the truck. CO Scheidler then noticed a uniformed police officer standing nearby. She hollered to him, “Officer, stop that man!” The officer held the suspect for the CO, who took enforcement action for four snagged walleyes weighing a total of 8 pounds.
While checking anglers at Metro Beach, CO Todd Szyska came upon a fisherman who handed the CO an Alabama fishing license. The subject stated he thought it was good for all 50 states. CO Szyska ran a license check on the subject and found he had purchased a 24-hour license four years earlier. Enforcement action was taken, and $100 bond was taken at the scene.
Sgt. Arthur Green and COs Mike Drexler and Lacelle Rabon worked a group patrol targeting anglers on the lower Detroit River. Sgt Green issued one ticket for possessing an overlimit of white bass and two for marine violations. Seventy-one white bass were seized during the patrol. All tickets issued for overlimits of white bass are accompanied with requests for restitution of $5 per fish. A total of 441 fish were seized.
CO Kris Kiel was testifying on all tickets issued during a group patrol since he was the observer and witnessed the violations. The subject appeared in court and complained that the lure that was seized was not his and that he was not fishing with that lure, and demanded a trial. CO Kiel called Sgt. Green and advised him of what was happening, then returned to the court room to tell the prosecutor Sgt. Green was on the way. The subject then pleaded guilty and was fined $300.
COs from Districts 9 and 8 worked a group patrol focusing on anglers in the lower Detroit River. Several subjects were issued tickets that resulted in the seizure of 170 fish. In total, 21 tickets were issued for offenses including possessing overlimits of white bass, fishing without a license, possessing fish without a license, operation of unregistered watercraft, and various marine equipment violations.
While working a group patrol, COs Dan Bigger and Dan Walzak contacted three subjects who had quite a bit of luck fishing for white bass on the Detroit River. The COs counted 174 fish – 99 more than what the anglers were legally allowed to take. When the COs reminded the subjects that the limit was 25 fish per person, one of them tried to defend their actions by claiming they were told that the limit was 35, lowering their take to 69 fish over the limit. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler was checking shore anglers when he contacted one angler who stated that he left his fishing license at home. When asked if he purchased a fishing license, the angler stated that it might be expired. After a computer check revealed that the angler had never purchased a fishing license and was wanted on several outstanding warrants, a ticket was issued for fishing without a license; enforcement action was taken on the warrants.
CO Ben Shively finalized a case from the 2009 deer season on a subject charged with hunting while revoked. The subject pleaded guilty, was fined $500, was placed on probation for the remainder of 2012 with hunting license revocation extended through 2012, and he forfeited his crossbow, treestand, and climbing sticks.