NY: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 18
Northern District Highlights
On June 5, ECO Scott Pierce noticed three fishermen fishing on the
Piseco Outlet in the Town of Arietta. While the first two fishermen
were eager to show they had valid fishing licenses, the third
fisherman attempted to hide in the bushes. This subject was from
Florida and did not have a fishing license. The officer checked the
area the fishermen had been fishing in and found an 18-inch samurai
sword hidden in the bushes belonging to the Florida subject. As the
weapon was being secured in their vehicle and the rear hatch was
opened, Pierce immediately smelled the odor of marijuana coming
from the interior of the vehicle. A blow gun and darts lay inside
the vehicle, as well as a small box of fireworks and a sandwich bag
in the front console of the vehicle was found to contain marijuana.
Pierce then had the three subjects stand together, where he found
them to be in possession of a pair of brass knuckles and two
marijuana pipes. The ECO called Hamilton County Deputy Wilt for
assistance. Within minutes, Deputy Wilt and Trooper Handy arrived.
The three officers charged the appropriate three subjects with
fishing without a license, unlawful possession of marijuana, and
fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
You never know when we’re watching!
On May 6 at approximately 11:45 p.m., 15 minutes before the opening
of walleye season, ECO Chrisman Starczek was observing anglers on
the Oneida River. He could see some fishermen fishing near a dam.
Since it was late at night and dark, he walked across the dam and
watched the two fishermen from about 35 feet away. The two
fishermen repeatedly walked over to the trunk of their car and were
bending over into the trunk by their tackle box. Thinking the men
might be tying on different fishing lures or hiding fish, Starczek
kept watching. After a few more trips to their trunk, Starczek
noticed what they were actually doing – snorting drugs off the top
of their tackle box. Starczek approached the car and could see the
residue by the tackle box. He confronted the fishermen and, after a
brief investigation, arrested and charged one of the fishermen for
criminal possession of cocaine.
Tri-Lakes area flood response
In early May, several ECOs participated in the flood response,
along with multiple agencies and volunteers in the Tri-Lakes
region. ECOs were tasked with performing safety boat patrol duties.
Assignments included removing debris in the waterways that became
navigational hazards. They removed logs, floating docks and several
propane tanks from the water. ECOs also transported civilians for
inspections of various public safety issues, including wastewater
School days South Lewis
Mike Comet, a New York state hunter education instructor, and ECO
Shana Hutton taught a hunter education class in an after school
program at South Lewis School. Comet has been a biology teacher at
South Lewis School for 18 years and had hoped to have a hunter
education class taught at the school for some time. Hutton proposed
the idea to the South Lewis Board of Education and they approved it
for South Lewis students only.
There were 15 students who took the course from 2:45-5:10 p.m. over
five days. South Lewis High School still has a rifle range in the
basement of the high school and students were able to shoot
firearms at the range in the hunter education course. The students
really enjoyed the class, were glad they didn’t have to give up a
full Saturday, and think the class should be offered again.
On May 2, ECO Brett Armstrong responded to a location on Jackson
Hill Road in the Town of Greene to assist New York State Police
with a report of a 16-year-old who had been reported missing for
four days. The arriving trooper had observed the subject leave a
residence and run down the railroad tracks to a vacant commercial
building. Armstrong, upon his arrival with K-9 Nitro, met with
Trooper Glen Riggerman. The K-9 tracked the subject to the
building, and he was observed through a window disappearing into
another room. Armstrong circled the building with his K-9 partner
and immediately called out to him giving K-9 warnings that his
partner would be let into the building. The subject immediately
called out not to let the dog go and voluntarily exited the
building without further incident. Riggerman transported the
subject to the Norwich City Police Department.
Chautauqua County Investigator Robert O’Connor reported that a
Silver Creek, N.Y., man pleaded guilty to offering a false
instrument for filing in the second degree in connection with his
forgery of certificates of attendance at DEC pesticide
recertification training courses.
The individual settled the case in Town of Perrysburg Court, where
he was fined $500 and also ordered to pay a mandatory court
surcharge of $250.
The case involved the man’s submission of eight “Certificates of
Attendance” to the DEC’s Bureau of Pesticide Management. The
certificates purported to certify that he had attended eight
pesticide recertification training courses. The courses were
required in order to be recertified as a “Private Restricted Use
Pesticide Applicator.” The suspect had applied for the
re-certification on Feb. 1, 2010. All eight of the certificates he
submitted had been forged. The investigation revealed that he had
been at his full-time job on the dates and during the times the
recertification courses were given. As part of the plea, the
suspect affirmed that he had received the assistance of another
person who provided him with the eight certificates.
Southern District Highlights
Right place, right time
On June 12, ECO Aaron Gordon was on his way to meet L. Martin
Townley for a day of patrol in Orange County. When passing by a gas
station not far from the meet location, Gordon observed three men
standing over the gas station’s large underground storage tank.
They appeared to be pumping fluid out and onto the ground nearby.
Curious with the unusual actions, Gordon turned around to
investigate. The gas station owner and worker were pumping gasoline
out of the monitoring wells for the tanks. A slow leak in the line
was causing gasoline to fill the monitoring wells. Instead of
having the problem fixed properly, the owner decided to just pump
the gasoline out onto the ground with a small pump. Townley arrived
at the location to assist and a brief inspection of the facility
was performed. The officers called in a spill report and issued the
appropriate tickets to the violators. A member of DEC’s petroleum
bulk storage unit was to meet Gordon at the station at a later date
to perform a thorough inspection of the facility.
Check your oil?
On April 15, ECO Vern Bauer assisted DEC fisheries personnel with a
trout stocking detail on the East Branch of Delaware River while
ECOs Nathan Doig and Anthony Glorioso worked undercover along the
stocking route to conduct surveillance for any fishing violations.
Bauer was approached by two eager fishermen at the first drop
point, waiting for the fish to be put in. They handed their fishing
licenses to the ECO without being asked, stating they wanted to
show him they were “legal.” The ECO checked their licenses and then
continued with his detail. Shortly after, Bauer was notified by
Doig and Glorioso that they had observed an over-the-limit fishing
violation. They gave the description of the fishermen and the
vehicle and said that the older fisherman was hiding the extra fish
in a bag in the engine compartment on the driver’s side. Bauer
immediately recognized them as the two fishermen who had introduced
themselves about two hours earlier. Bauer then rolled up to check
the fishermen before they left the fishing hole. He asked the
fishermen if they had any luck. The older fishermen smiled and
showed the ECO seven trout, stating that he had caught four and his
friend had caught three. His friend nodded in agreement. The ECO
asked them if they had any other fish in the vehicle and the older
fisherman opened the tailgate, extended his arms toward the truck
and said, “Look anywhere you want to.” Bauer then asked the
fisherman to open the hood. Their eyes got as big as saucers at the
request and they hung their heads when the ECO walked around the
truck and pulled two bags of trout from the engine compartment. An
investigation revealed that the older fisherman couldn’t help
himself from taking twice the limit since the fish were biting so
well. He was ticketed for the violation and was later fined $275 in
Town of Middletown Court.