NY: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 1

Northern District Highlights

Teaching them young

(Lewis County)

On Sept. 12, ECO John Murphy was contacted by a state trooper
concerning a possible deerjacking on Kirch Road in the town of New
Bremen. He had received a phone call from a concerned citizen who
had heard that “some kids at school” were bragging about shooting a
deer. This person had names of the possible suspects. The deer was
supposed to have been taken on Thursday, Sept. 8, possibly at
night. Murphy met the trooper at the field where it was rumored
that the deer was taken; on posted, private property. Access to the
field is on a dirt laneway off of Kirch Road. It had not rained
since the alleged incident and there were tire tracks in the sand.
The ECO also observed vehicle tracks going into the field, down to
the tree line and looping back out into the laneway. The officers
documented the tire tracks with digital photos then walked down
into the woods where the tracks led. There was no visible sign that
a deer was dragged out. The officers searched the woods and could
smell a “gut-shot” deer type of smell. They found the remains of a
fresh deer: piles of deer hair, the bottom jaw, hip bone, three rib
bones and the shoulder blade, all from a young deer. The viscera of
the deer was dragged and left in a 10- to 15-foot wide swath by
coyotes. The remains were documented. As they were walking back to
the vehicles, the trooper found a .22 shell casing close to the
laneway. The officers searched the immediate area and quickly found
three more shell casings. Murphy secured the casings and they left
the scene.

On Sept. 16, Murphy went to Beaver River High School and
interviewed one of the suspects. After a brief interview, he
admitted to driving his truck into the laneway, and said his
passenger shot at the deer four to five times with the .22 rifle
from the truck. He said it was “kind of dark” when they shot at the
deer. They did not have a spotlight. He stated they drove into the
field to look for the deer but couldn’t find it. After this
happened, he went to get gas, dropped the shooter off and went
home. The shooter took his .22 with him.

The officer then went to the alleged shooter’s residence. After
speaking to his older brother, it was discovered that the shooter
was 15 years old. The ECO asked the minor to get the gun that was
used in the incident. He went inside and got his .22 rifle. He then
stated to the officer “is this what this is about?” The officer
told him he could not speak to him without his parents. The ECO
noted the information on the rifle, but did not remove it from the
residence. The officer left a card with the minor and asked him to
have a parent call when they got home. He then went to the driver’s
residence and took his statement. The ECO went back to the minor’s
residence about one hour later and observed his mother just
arriving home. She was briefed on the situation and gave permission
to speak to the minor and take his statement. The juvenile stated
he was with the driver that day, with his .22 rifle, but claims not
to have shot anything. His statement had him home well before the
driver’s claim when they shot the deer. The juvenile was given
every opportunity to tell the truth. He stuck to his original
story, which was very general and non-descriptive. On Sept. 22, the
driver was issued two citations for taking deer out of season and
possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle. The officer had the
driver reiterate his version of the violation again without him
having a copy of the disposition. The key elements of the case were
exactly the same. After a discussion with Lt. Chris Handley, the
juvenile’s case was turned over to Lewis County Probation
Department, where the charges are pending.

Salmon enforcement detail

(Niagara County)

On Oct. 21, ECOs Robert Peinkofer, James Hunt and Scott Marshall
worked the Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam due to continued
complaints of fishermen snatching and keeping foul-hooked salmon.
The three officers took up various secluded and undercover
positions along the west bank of Eighteen Mile Creek and quickly
started noting violations. In a four-hour period, the officers
noted 26 violations. As the sun set, the ECOs made their way down
the creek bed and rounded up seven fishermen from Ohio and three
from New York. A total of 26 summonses were issued for various
violations, including over the creel limit, illegal tackle,
possession of foul-hooked fish and fishing without a license.

Illegal disposal of waste tires

(Wyoming County)

On the afternoon of June 5, ECO Roger Ward was informed that an
individual who resides adjacent to the Carlton Hill Multiple Use
Area observed a male and a female who had backed a utility trailer
next to a deep gully, throwing tires into the creek bed. When the
complainant attempted to confront the male and female, a chase
ensued. Speeds reportedly reached 80 miles per hour, with some of
the remaining tires ejected from the trailer as they travelled. The
complainant eventually confronted the male and female, ordering
them to return and pick up the tires. To ensure that he didn’t
forget the violator’s registration number, the complainant carved
their plate number into the fender of his own vehicle with his
truck key. The registration number returned to a Pavilion, N.Y.
resident. On the night of the incident, she was not home.

The next morning, Ward returned to her residence for an interview.
She admitted her son and niece were operating her vehicle the
previous afternoon. The son’s name was familiar to Wyoming County
ECOs; he was charged in 2005 after he was burning tires in order to
salvage the rims. A background check of revealed he had four
driver’s license suspensions, each for failure to answer a summons.
As a result, Wyoming County ECOs decided to apply for an arrest
warrant for the man.

Ward was able to locate the niece on June 10 at her residence.
During a short interview, she admitted some of the tires were hers
and she was with the son on the afternoon of June 5. She then
declined to speak any further. She was charged with several solid
waste violations and two vehicle traffic law charges, including
facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation.

On June 11, Ward was contacted by a Warsaw attorney, who informed
Ward that the niece wished to cooperate and give a full statement
against her cousin. In her statement, she admitted to being with
him while he transported about 40 tires on a utility trailer and
then disposed of them on or near Carlton Hill MUA.

On June 28, after several unsuccessful attempts to locate the main
suspect, Ward teamed up with a state trooper to attempt to execute
the arrest warrant. They checked the suspect’s residence and spoke
with his girlfriend. She explained he was with his cousin grocery
shopping and visiting his father, who recently suffered a stroke.
She also admitted she was currently facing DWI and drug possession
charges. The officers checked her story and were able to determine
she was not being truthful. The officers returned to the residence
and spoke with her for a second time. During the second interview,
she reluctantly admitted the main suspect was hiding under a bed in
the house. She also said he had been drinking all day and he has a
tendency for violence against her and against police officers. She
also said there was a loaded .22 in the house. After waiting for
backup to arrive, the officers entered the residence and took him
into custody without incident.

The pair were transported to state police barracks in Warsaw for
processing early in the morning on June 29. The main suspect was
charged with several solid waste violations as well as aggravated
unlicensed operation and criminal possession of a weapon, both
felonies. He was arraigned in Warsaw Town Court and was remanded to
the Wyoming County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $10,000 bond. His
girlfriend was charged with obstruction of governmental
administration.

Fugitive capture

(Tompkins County)

On Sept. 17, Region 7 ECOs ended the search for a reportedly armed,
dangerous and suicidal fugitive. The man was a soldier who had
escaped custody at the Fort Drum Military base. He had led police
on car chases (in stolen vehicles) in nine counties – Jefferson,
Oswego, Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Otsego, Herkimer, Tompkins and
Cortland. The search encompassed three days in DEC regions 4, 6 and
7. After the last chase he escaped on foot into the woods near the
Village of Dryden. The suspect had said he would force police to
shoot him to end his life. At about 3:20 p.m. on Sept. 17 while
assisting state police in the search, Region 7 Lt. David McShane
and ECOs Chris Nielsen, Osman Eisenberg, Brett Armstrong, Jim
Milewski, and Tom Fernandes responded to a general radio message
through the command post indicating the suspect was coming toward
Bradshaw Road in the town of Dryden. The ECOs responded to Bradshaw
Road in time to see the individual exiting the woods onto the road.
McShane, Nielsen and Armstrong covered the subject, who was
reported to be armed.Eisenberg then took the man into custody
without incident. A cursory search revealed a knife but no firearms
in his possession. He was turned over to state police for
processing pursuant to an active bench warrant for burglary and
additional grand larceny charges. It was expected he would be
charged with multiple crimes in several jurisdictions. He was being
held in the Tomkins County Jail on $50,000 bail or $100,000
property bond.

Marine resources

enforcement

Felony commercialization

(Queens County)

In the spring of 2010, ECO Jamie Powers received a call from NMFS
Agent Jason Couse regarding a case he was working on. Couse had
been working on an illegal horseshoe crab case that involved a
seafood company located on 32nd Avenue in Flushing, N.Y. Over the
next several months, Powers worked with the feds on the case. Along
with investigating the commercial reporting aspect of the case,
officer Powers was also doing some surveillance work as well. One
day during the investigation, Powers was able to find a second
hidden location in College Point that had never been inspected
before. The agents and officers were now concentrating their
efforts on both locations – the one on 32nd Avenue in Flushing and
the newly discovered site on 119th Street in College Point. While
working on the investigation, Powers was able to determine, through
researching the records of the New York Department of State, that
the business was operating without a valid New York State Food Fish
and Crustacea Shipper and Dealers Permit (FF&C). The original
FF&C permit possessed was under a company listed with the
Department of State as a dissolved company, dissolved in October of
2010. The operator of the company had since opened another company,
under a new name, which currently has no permits. In June of 2011,
NMFS agents from all around the Northeast teamed up with DEC
officers from the marine enforcement unit and Regions 1, 2 and 3 to
execute federal search warrants on both company locations. During
the beginning stages of the search at the 119th Street location,
MEU ECO Kevin Thomas was able to observe several dozen undersized
blackfish. At the 32nd Avenue location, officers quickly observed a
dead, frozen, whole white-tailed deer in the freezer. Powers and
Thomas obtained a New York search warrant from the Queens County
District Attorney’s office. Signed warrant in hand, the officers
returned to both locations, where they documented and photographed
the illegal product. At the 119th Street location the blackfish,
oyster toadfish, including undersized fish, were measured, weighed
and released back to the waters of the state. The value of the fish
was close to $40,000. At the 32nd Avenue location there were black
sea bass, blackfish and oyster toadfish with a retail value of
approximately $38,000. The total value of the product at both sites
was in the range of $78,000 – well over the threshold value for a
felony commercialization charge, which is $1,500. There were also
several other violations found throughout the search. NMFS and DEC
continued to work on the investigation over the following months.
On Oct. 20, Powers arrested the owner of the companies. The
defendant, along with the companies, were all charged with the
following: tampering with physical evidence (E felony), purchase of
marine food fish for commercial purposes without a food fish
dealers and shippers license (E felony), shipping or transporting
marine food fish without a food fish dealer’s and shipper’s license
(E felony), failure to possess a shellfish shipper’s permit,
distribution of untagged shellfish, possession of untagged
shellfish, possession of undersized marine species, possession of
an illegal white-tailed deer, possession of an untagged
white-tailed deer, offering a white-tailed deer for sale and using
a point source discharge without a permit.

Environmental

enforcement

Enforcement assistance

(Westchester County)

On Sept. 27, ECOs Aaron Markey and James Davey patrolled to
Scarsdale in response to a complaint from a Brownfield inspector
out of Albany. The inspector had informed Markey that he was
supervising the cleanup of an old gas station with contaminated
soil. The problem was the company being supervised refused to use
licensed waste haulers as required and would not follow the
inspector’s directives. Markey and Davey patrolled to the location,
stopped multiple vehicles leaving the site and issued several
tickets for “364” permit violations. A week after the ECOs took
enforcement action, Markey heard back from the Brownfield inspector
stating that since the ECOs’ action, the company had come
completely into compliance.

Environmental justice

(Westchester County)

On Oct. 12, ECOs Aaron Markey, Keith Manners and Brian Toth, along
with MTA Police and the Mt. Vernon Police Department, conducted a
commercial motor vehicle detail on Oak Street in Mt. Vernon. During
the course of the detail, 11 vehicles were inspected. The
inspections resulted in three vehicles taken out of service and
towed, one person arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation in
the second degree, and 41 tickets issued between the three
agencies. The ECOs were responsible for writing 10 tickets and
turning over 11 tickets and the arrest to Mt. Vernon police. Markey
issued five tickets for noisome/unwholesome, exhaust leak, no fire
extinguisher, oil leaks and took a truck out of service for both
front tires having insufficient tire tread depth. Manners issued
five tickets for no safety or emissions inspections, noisome
unwholesome exhaust, no parking break and a bald tire.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *