MI: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 19
CO Brian Bacon contacted a group of anglers fishing in a bay off of
Way Dam. The boat operator initially stated that they’d only caught
a few perch. However, a check of the livewell revealed two short
walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy checked bear-hound hunters
training in Dickinson County. A check of the area resulted in
enforcement action being taken for a strike bait that was placed
out two weeks early.
CO Dave Painter completed an investigation of a large litter pile
found on state land. Evidence led to a subject who was interviewed
and confessed to dumping the litter. Enforcement action was
CO Matt Eberly assisted in the search for two missing and overdue
hikers in the Keweenaw Point area. The hikers failed to meet their
completion time, and family called about their disappearance. After
a three-day search, the civil air patrol located the hikers in a
remote swamp. Ground crews reached the hikers an hour later. The
hikers had lost their compass and did the right thing by staying
put and building a fire until found.
CO Mark Leadman responded to a complaint about reckless boating on
West Bass Lake in the Gwinn area. When contacted, the boat had four
adults and four children on board without the proper number of life
jackets. Additionally, the owner had purchased the boat earlier in
the year and had failed to register it in his name. Enforcement
action was taken.
CO Derek Miller was flagged down by an ORV operator and was asked
if he was there to handle the motorcycle accident. Just up the road
from that location was a motorcycle accident in which a husband and
wife had laid the bike down and crashed into the woods. CO Miller
assisted with various injuries until an ambulance arrived at the
CO Derek Miller responded to a call from a citizen watch group
attempting to protect the shoreline area on Lake Superior. The
caller advised there were ORVers operating on the shoreline. When
contacted, one operator said he was only trying to deliver gasoline
to personal watercraft (PWCs) on the beach. He had driven past
several signs and a barricade.
CO Derek Miller assisted Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers with
a complaint about a subject waving a gun around near a residence. A
check of the scene found the subject inside his residence was
intoxicated. No further incidents occurred.
CO Mike Evink arrested an ORV operator after finding him driving
down a state highway with no ORV license. After trying to hide in a
random driveway, the subject who was having difficulty standing was
contacted. Not only was the subject too drunk to drive, he also had
a suspended license.
CO Mike Evink ticketed a male subject who was operating an ORV on a
state highway, carrying his 8-year-old son on the ORV with him, and
operating without helmets on either subject.
CO Steve Speigl worked with the Traverse Area Narcotics Team on a
marijuana observation flight. After the narcotics grow operations
were discovered from the air, MSP troopers, local deputies, COs,
and other enforcement personnel held down the sites until the TNT
unit arrived on the scene to take over the investigation.
COs Mark DePew and Kelly Ross interviewed two individuals about
bobcats they claimed to have harvested in the Upper Peninsula. The
hunters admitted to shooting them in the Lower Peninsula and
tagging them with the Upper Peninsula tags so they could continue
hunting in the Lower Peninsula. The bobcats were seized, and
charges are being sought for their violations.
CO Bill Webster was parked on the side of a county road and
observed the operator of an ORV travelling down the road without a
helmet. CO Webster motioned for the operator to stop, but he failed
to do so and fled into a nearby wooded area. CO Webster contacted
the landowner, who gave him permission to look for the ORV on his
property. CO Webster located the ORV operator, who admitted to
fleeing because he was not wearing a helmet and his machine was not
registered. He was ticketed for the violations.
CO Bill Webster was checking anglers in the city of Alpena and saw
an individual frantically looking for a spot to put his fishing
pole and then walk away. The individual initially denied fishing,
but finally admitted to not having a license and not wanting to get
in trouble because he just got out of jail and was on probation. He
was ticketed for fishing without a license.
Area conservation officers worked the Top O’ Michigan International
Hydroplane Boat Races on the Inland Waterway with local deputies.
The officers gave a presentation on regulations and safety to the
race boat drivers, cleared the rivers of recreational boaters prior
to the race, and kept them back from the river mouths during the
race. COs assisted several race boat operators when their boats
flipped or capsized, and blocked them from collision with other
race boats. Enforcement action was taken on three race boat
operators who drove out of the buoyed course and near recreational
boaters and spectators at a high rate of speed – after being
advised specifically of this issue at the presentation.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski stopped a “mudder” truck for not completely
stopping at a stop sign on an ORV route. The driver had been
drinking, but was not intoxicated. A cooler in the truck was full
of beer on ice. The driver assured the CO that he’d stopped and
drank a beer outside his vehicle along the trail road. The problem
was there weren’t any empties in the truck. The subject accompanied
Sgt. Drogowski back down the trail, where his empty beer can was
found. A littering ticket was issued.
CO Sean Kehoe observed a subject fishing from a boat and using four
lines on Long Lake in Grand Traverse County. The subject appeared
nervous and frequently was looking around. CO Kehoe observed a
group of kayakers paddle near the subject without the subject
getting nervous. CO Kehoe then launched his kayak and paddled out
to the subject without the angler noticing who he was. Upon
contact, CO Kehoe found that the subject had kept several
undersized walleyes and was fishing with too many lines.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky worked surveillance on the Pere Marquette River.
During a short period of time he observed four subjects each commit
fishing violations. Two of the subjects snagged and retained
salmon, one subject attempted to foul-hook salmon, and a fourth
subject assisted by netting the illegally taken fish. When
contacted, one of the subjects requested a break due to the fact
that he attempted to catch the fish legally and only resorted to
snagging when his legal attempts failed. Enforcement was taken on
CO Brian Brosky returned to a location on the Pere Marquette River
where he had earlier observed snagging activity. CO Brosky observed
one subject snag a salmon and place it on a stringer already
containing a salmon. When contacted, the subject admitted to
foul-hooking both salmon, stating that he got too excited because
the fish were running early. Enforcement action was taken, with the
subject being thanked for his honesty.
CO Troy Mueller responded to a complaint about a bear bait site
established before the legal date. CO Mueller located the illegal
bait station several days before the legal date. On the opening day
to establish bait stations he revisited the area and observed a
vehicle parked nearby. CO Mueller contacted a subject returning
from the direction of the illegal bait site who stated he had just
established a bear bait that day. CO Mueller asked the subject to
take him to the newly established site. The subject took CO Mueller
to the illegal bait station. When the subject was advised that the
site had already been documented as illegal, the subject admitted
to the illegal baiting. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason McCullough responded to a complaint about several geese
being killed by a boat operator. After interviewing witnesses, CO
McCullough determined that two unsupervised minors were operating
the boat and had intentionally hit the geese. Charges are being
sought against the parents for allowing the minors to operate the
boat without supervision.
COs Joshua Wright and Seth Rhodea were working state land in an
area closed to ORVs when they observed a Jeep operator trying to
climb up a sand hill. The COs contacted the driver. His wife, who
was in the vehicle, stated, “I told him that we should not drive in
here.” Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joshua Wright investigated a suspicious fire that he observed
while on patrol in Tuscola County. When he pulled up to the fire he
saw that someone was burning the remains of a trailer house. The
fire department was called to put out the fire, and a ticket was
issued for illegal disposal of solid waste.
CO Hudson investigated a complaint about an abandoned boat on
Saginaw Bay. The boat was registered in Arizona, and the owner did
not have a current address in Arizona or Michigan. CO Hudson had
the boat removed and conducted a lengthy investigation. The subject
finally was located, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Seth Rhodea made numerous contacts with ORVs that were being
operated in violation of safety and licensing laws. Several tickets
have been issued for failing to wear helmets on ORVs and failing to
license ORVs. Numerous warnings also have been given for speeding,
carrying passengers, and underage operation.
CO Jeremy Payne organized a group patrol in Mt. Pleasant to address
a large number of college students aiming to “Fill up the Chip.”
The event drew 3,400 RSVPs to canoe and tube the Chippewa River
into Mt. Pleasant. On a normal summer weekend the Chippewa River
sees disorderly conduct, alcohol violations, drug use, and
littering issues. Officers were in place to address the large
influx of returning college students. Mother Nature did not
cooperate, however, and the event was mostly a rainout. Officers
did contact several hundred tubers and assisted those who were not
prepared for the thunderstorms.
While patrolling state land, CO Jeremy Payne observed an ORV
operated by an adult with two kids on board. When CO Payne
attempted to stop the ORV, the operator fled. The three ditched the
ORV on private property and ran. CO Payne tracked them through the
woods to a residence and made contact with the adult operator.
Charges are being sought for operating an ORV on state land where
prohibited, operating an ORV with passengers, fleeing and eluding,
and child endangerment.
DNR Wildlife Division employees alerted CO Quincy Gowenlock
regarding a large pile of trash dumped in the Gratiot Saginaw State
Game Area (SGA). CO Gowenlock responded and located evidence in the
trash that led to an address in Montcalm County. CO Gowenlock went
to the address and discussed the issue with the residents. They
admitted to dumping their trash, were ticketed for the violation,
and were ordered to clean it up.
CO Mike McGee was on marine patrol when he observed a PWC being
operated without registration numbers. Upon contact it was found
that the operator did not have a boater safety certificate as
required. CO McGee followed the operator to shore, ticketed the
operator for the safety certificate violation, and explained to the
owner about the safety certificate requirements and warned him for
failing to display registration numbers. A short time later, CO
McGee observed a PWC operated at high speeds within 50 feet of a
swimmer, and stopped the PWC. It was the same PWC that he had
talked to the owner about a short time earlier; the owner had
placed numbers on the machine and had then allowed his 16-year-old
son to operate it without a safety certificate. CO McGee followed
the 16-year-old to shore and issued a ticket to the owner of the
watercraft for allowing the 16-year-old to operate without a safety
CO Andy Bauer and Sgt. Zach Doss were on marine patrol on Lake
Michigan when they observed a 36-foot boat without any type of
registration displayed. When contacted, the owner stated that the
boat was a documented vessel, therefore did not need any state
registration. Further investigation found that he had not paid
sales tax on the boat. The registration laws were explained, and
enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike McGee was at a boating access site when an ORVer pulled
into the access with two occupants on the machine, neither of whom
were wearing helmets, and the ORV had been illegally operated on
the road. Contact was made with the operator who had his young
granddaughter on the back. The ORV rules were explained, and
enforcement action was taken.
While working the Silver Lake Dunes, CO Greg Patten reported a busy
patrol including 27 contacts and 13 warnings for various ORV
violations at the park. Two parents were issued tickets for
allowing unsupervised minors to operate without safety
certificates, and three were ticketed for failing to wear eye
CO Dave Rodgers was on patrol in downtown Grand Rapids when he
observed three people begin fishing along the river and share a
marijuana pipe. While the CO observed the activity, a person riding
a bicycle told the anglers they were being watched by CO Rodgers.
CO Rodgers quickly returned to his vehicle and stopped the trio as
they were leaving the river. Two were ticketed for fishing without
licenses, and one was ticketed for litter after he threw a drug
pipe into the river.
CO Patrick McManus responded to a trespass complaint received by
the MSP along Lake Michigan in Saugatuck. After following tracks
through private property, contact was made with the subjects who
were camping illegally in Saugatuck Dunes State Park.
While on marine patrol, CO Shane Webster encountered many
violations, including a vessel towing a skier without an observer,
vessels without the required PFDs on board, no fire extinguisher on
board, improper registration, and fishing without licenses.
Enforcement action was taken in all instances.
CO Todd Thorn observed two ORVs being operated illegally on the
highway. Upon contact, the CO noted that the operators were
14-year-old juveniles who were not being supervised by an adult and
who had never taken an ORV safety class. The juveniles’ parents
were contacted, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Damon Owens reports that an illegal deer case from last November
finally received a disposition. The case involved two subjects who
illegally killed a deer in the city of Jackson and tried to hide
the crime. The two subjects were found guilty of all charges and
paid $2,500 in fines, costs, and reimbursement. They also served 90
days in jail and had their hunting privileges revoked.
CO Todd Thorn contacted a subject who was fishing near the Moore’s
River Dam in the Grand River. The subject could not produce a
fishing license and stated that he had never heard of one and
didn’t know he needed a license to fish. CO Thorn checked his
history and noted that he had purchased a license in 2010.
Enforcement action was taken.
CO John Borkovich investigated a complaint about an unlicensed
wildlife rehabilitator rehabilitating animals. When the CO
inspected the facility he found the subject was unlicensed and in
possession of several fawns and migratory birds. The subject stated
she was acting as a sub-permit holder under the authority of
another rehabilitator. An inspection was conducted of the second
rehabilitator’s facility and he too was in violation by having
migratory birds, and did not have the first subject on his permit.
Enforcement action was taken. CO Borkovich then contacted the
complainant, who was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. When he
arrived at her facility, he found she was in violation of her
permit by possessing migratory birds and animals not listed on her
CO Ken Kovach was the second officer on the scene of an accident in
which a subject with a medical emergency drove a tractor into a
lake. The CO was requested to attempt to pull the tractor out of
the lake. The victim was still on the tractor and appeared to be
unconscious. The victim was transported to a hospital by helicopter
and later was pronounced dead at the hospital. It appeared the
subject died of a heart attack.
CO Ken Kovach was called to investigate a vessel that was in the
permitted swim area of a Genesee County park. CO Kovach contacted
the operator of the vessel, and a ticket was issued for the unsafe
violation. CO Kovach also contacted several other vessels in the
area of Holloway Reservoir and issued several tickets, including
one for an expired registration, no life jackets, and no life
jacket on a child under the age of six.
Working a group patrol on the Detroit River, COs Dan Bigger and Dan
Walzak contacted two anglers with several fish in their livewell.
While checking the fish, CO Bigger pulled out five undersized
smallmouth bass. One of the subjects kept asking, “What kind of
fish is that?” even though the fish all looked the same. While CO
Bigger was checking the fish, he observed the subject trying to
push something out of sight with his foot. This turned out to be a
miniature version of the fish being removed from the livewell. CO
Bigger removed a 4-inch smallmouth bass that the other subject had
caught and impaled on his hook as bait to try and catch larger
fish. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Lacelle Rabon received a complaint about two subjects who were
keeping undersized smallmouth bass. CO Rabon checked the area and
found the two subjects fishing where they were reported to be. An
investigation revealed that one of the subjects took and possessed
three undersized smallmouth bass. The subject stated he did not
intend to keep the fish and was going to measure and throw them
back into the water prior to leaving the park. He was ticketed for
possessing undersized smallmouth bass.
CO Mike Drexler checked anglers along the Detroit River in Ecorse.
The first angler CO Drexler contacted had four fish on his
stringer. When the CO asked for the angler’s fishing license, the
subject stated he left it in his friend’s car. A license check
revealed the subject had no license history at all. The subject
stated he did not think CO Drexler was going to check. After
releasing the fish, the subject received a ticket for fishing
without a license.
While patrolling Maceday Lake, CO Brandon Kieft made a stop of a
watercraft towing a skier with no observer. The operator admitted
he knew his actions were illegal and also was unable to provide a
valid registration for the watercraft. Enforcement action was
While patrolling Lake Oakland, COs Brandon Kieft and Kris Kiel
contacted the operator of a small motorboat being operated with
expired watercraft registration. The most recent registration decal
on the watercraft was from 1998. The operator claimed he was
“testing out” the vessel. However, he later stated he had owned it
for about two years. A ticket was issued for operating an
While checking anglers on Lake Oakland, COs Brandon Kieft and Kris
Kiel checked a vessel with three male anglers on board. The
subjects stated that they had been catching bluegills but had a few
largemouth bass in the livewell near the front of the boat. CO
Kieft checked and measured the fish, with no violations present.
However, CO Kiel discovered another livewell in the rear of the
boat that contained an undersized largemouth bass. Enforcement
action was taken.
While heading to Kearsley Lake one morning to address a marine
safety complaint, CO Linda Scheidler observed a man and his
daughter on a Gator UTV in a front yard. As the CO passed the
residence, the subjects pulled out and proceeded down the road. The
CO turned around and followed them a short distance until the
operator stopped. Both subjects had T-shirts on that said
“Security” on the back. The operator informed the CO that they were
headed to the Genesee County Fair, six miles away, to work
security. When the CO explained the numerous violations, including
operating on the roadway, the operator stated other police agencies
didn’t mind as long as he was not operating in the middle of the
road. Enforcement action was taken.