Michigan Cuffs & Collars – May 11th, 2012


CO Brian Bacon contacted a subject riding his ORV against the flow of traffic on a county road. The operator had not purchased an ORV license and was carrying a concealed pistol without a permit. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brian Bacon and Jason Wicklund contacted two subjects who were fishing on a local lake. Neither had a life jacket and the boat was last registered in 2004. A brief interview revealed the anglers were fishing for bass during the closed season, and only one subject had a valid fishing license. Further investigation led to the vehicle, which did not have vehicle plates or insurance, and a trailer without a proper plate. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brian Bacon and Jason Wicklund contacted a group of ORVers operating in a closed area after they’d observed two ORVers travel through a barricade of rocks and past two “no ORV” signs into a wetland area. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon was observing anglers at a power dam when one subject scaled a 12-foot-high barbed wire fence and began fishing across the top of the dam. A second subject attempted to gain access to the fenced area but was unsuccessful. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing.
CO Dave Painter responded to a call about a wildfire in Iron County. A subject was burning brush at his deer camp when the fire spread to the nearby woods. The fire quickly spread in the dry conditions and eventually destroyed the camp and another outbuilding. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Mike Evink responded to a complaint of burning near a residence in Schoolcraft County. Once there, he found that there were three separate piles of trash that appeared to have been lit on fire, which then spread to a field. Following interviews with residents in the area and with the local fire chief, it appears the fires were lit intentionally by a third party. The information on the arson was turned over to Michigan State Police (MSP) investigators.
CO Jerry Fitzgibbon arrested an angler for taking fish during the closed season and for using live bait in a restricted trout lake. The subject was in possession of nine brook trout.
CO Mike Evink investigated a 2-acre fire that was extinguished by DNR personnel and local firefighters. The owners of the property had dumped ashes from their wood stove in an old burning pit. Later that day, the wind caused the ashes to spread to dry grass and leaves. Tickets were issued.
CO Jared Ferguson stopped an ORV operator in the city of Gladstone for operating an ORV without a helmet. When asked about the helmet, the subject told him he was headed to his house to get it. However, the subject’s residence was in the opposite direction. A ticket was issued.
CO Mike Evink patrolled a problem ORV area in Schoolcraft County. During the patrol, he contacted a subject operating an ORV without an ORV license. The subject’s driver’s license also was suspended. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kyle Publiski observed a dune buggy being operated in a closed area around Dukes Lake in Kinross. The dune buggy was not registered and did not have an ORV license. A followup on the passenger revealed outstanding statewide warrants. The passenger was arrested on the warrants, at which time a search of his person revealed marijuana. The subject was lodged in the Chippewa County jail on the warrant, and also was charged with marijuana possession. The driver was issued a ticket for operating an ORV in a closed area.
CO Mike Hammill set up surveillance on a closed stream that showed signs of recent activity. After some time, the CO observed a subject arrive and begin trying to snag steelhead. The CO proceeded to make contact and issued a ticket for snagging steelhead in a closed stream.
COs Jeff Panich and Kyle Publiski were on routine patrol on Drummond Island when central dispatch called out a break and entry alarm at a nearby residence. The COs proceeded to the location and noted fresh bicycle and footprints near the home. After searching and securing the residence, the COs followed the tracks 3 miles before encountering the suspects. The suspects were turned over to the sheriff’s department for further investigation, and arrest warrants are being sought in the case.


CO Carl VanderWall found a person fishing Silver Creek, a closed trout stream. A ticket was issued.
CO Mike Feagan observed a subject on the West Branch of the Sturgeon River with a fishing rod and reel, observing spawning rainbow trout. A ticket was issued for possession of fishing gear on a closed trout stream.
While on patrol, CO Andrea Erratt observed a huge “mudder truck” covered with mud, being operated down the roadway without a license plate. The driver was ticketed. Information received from this contact led CO Erratt to an area where other ORVers were operating unlawfully on state land. After rounding up the ORVers, nine tickets were issued for ORV violations.
While on patrol, CO Eric Bottorff was passed by a vehicle doing 80 mph. CO Bottorff stopped the vehicle, and was informed by the driver that her father was passed out and she was en route to his residence. The CO escorted the subject to her father’s residence and assisted with first aid until medical personnel arrived.
CO Steve Speigl responded to a call regarding a fire that had escaped a burn barrel and started to burn out of control. Local fire departments were able to contain the fire in short order. The fire spread about 10 minutes after the responsible party had left on an ORV ride. After several hours and attempts, the owner of the house finally was contacted and was issued a ticket.
CO Steve Speigl followed up on a report of hunting within a safety zone. In addition to the reported infraction, CO Speigl was able to obtain a confession from a subject, who admitted taking squirrels 45 days after the season closed. The subject also had not purchased a small-game license in several years. Enforcement action was taken.
Assistant Chief Dean Molnar and Sgt. Joe Molnar were patrolling a designated trout stream when they contacted seven individuals attempting to take fish by various methods, including bow and arrow, snagging, by hand, and with rocks. Six of the seven did not have fishing licenses. Tickets were issued, and numerous warnings were given.


CO Sam Koscinski was contacted by a local law enforcement officer about a seasonal fishing closure on a stream in the Manton area. CO Koscinski was not in a position to respond, so he advised the officer to inform the subject to stop fishing on the closed stream. Later that day, CO Koscinski arrived at the closed stream and observed a subject fishing. Upon contact with the subject, CO Koscinski asked if he had been contacted previously by another law enforcement officer. The subject stated that he had been informed that the stream was closed, but he did not believe it to be true. Running a check for any prior offenses, CO Koscinski discovered that the subject had been cited several years ago for fishing that same location during the closed season. The subject was in possession of an out-of-season trout. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sean Kehoe discovered illegal bear bait placed on public land in Grand Traverse County. Over the course of several weeks, CO Kehoe worked the area, searching for the suspect. CO Kehoe’s patience and persistence finally paid off. In the pre-dawn hours, CO Kehoe observed the suspect return to the illegal bait site and check it. The subject stated that he knew baiting was illegal, but he was looking to see if a huge bear was still in the area. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Rich Stowe observed a boat with three subjects aboard who were fishing on Mickey Lake. CO Stowe observed two of the subjects catch and keep bass. As CO Stowe was coming alongside the boat, one of the subjects advised him they had no valid fishing licenses. CO Stowe replied, “Ok, but what about the bass you caught?” at which time the subject dropped his head and sighed. The subjects were in possession of three bass during the closed season, one of which was undersized. None of the three subjects who were fishing had fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky and Sgt. Kevin Hackworth responded to several complaints about subjects attempting to snag fish downstream from the dam at Ludington State Park. The COs arrived and documented two subjects attempting to take walleyes by snagging them with legal fishing gear. CO Brosky was close enough to listen as one subject gave instructions on how to snag. Tickets were issued for attempting to take fish by illegal method.
Lt. David Shaw observed an elderly couple bring in four river otters to be sealed. Through questioning, Lt. Shaw became suspicious that the wife of the trapper did not actually trap the two otters bearing her kill tags. The wife finally admitted that she didn’t trap either of the otters when it became apparent that she was unaware of the location or date of the catches. The husband said they have been doing this for many years. The two illegal otters were seized, and the husband and wife in their 80s were issued a verbal warning for the overlimit.


In response to a complaint of someone fishing out of season on a trout stream, CO Chuck McPherson located an unattended fishing line along the stream. CO McPherson located the angler at a nearby residence. The subject admitted to fishing without a license on a closed stretch of trout stream almost three weeks before the season.
CO Warren MacNeill assisted other police agencies in locating a missing person. The subject was located deceased in the woods. CO MacNeill then assisted in recovery of the body.
CO Steve Lockwood assisted at the scene of a fatal ORV accident. CO Lockwood, along with emergency medical personnel, administered CPR to the victim who did not survive his injuries.
CO Jon Warner located subjects spearing steelhead that were spawning in a small designated trout stream. The subjects already had speared three fish when CO Warner contacted them. Initially, the subjects claimed to be spearing suckers, but they did not have any in their possession. Tickets were issued.
In response to a complaint, CO Jon Warner located two subjects keeping smallmouth bass during the closed season. Also, neither had a fishing license. Tickets were issued.


CO Chad Foerster received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint at his residence regarding subjects spearing during the late-night hours in the closed area of the Kawkawlin River in Bay County. CO Foerster responded and located the subjects and observed them as they speared several fish. After contact was made, the subjects stated they were aware of the closure, but did not think that it applied to spearing due to the fact that the spearing season had just opened. A search of the area found that they were in compliance with taking legal species. Further investigation revealed that they did not intend to retrieve the speared fish, as several of them were floating down the river. One subject had no fishing license. Enforcement action was taken, and the spears were seized.
While working the Lexington harbor, COs Hobkirk and Brown observed three subjects snagging and netting steelhead. When contacted, the three subjects were in possession of five steelhead. Four of the fish had been snagged, and a fifth was netted. The three subjects were ticketed for snagging and netting the fish. As the COs were leaving the boat launch, they were approached by another angler who told the COs that the men who were just contacted had been there the night before and had engaged in the same activity.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted several anglers after witnessing them snag and net steelhead. One angler also was fishing without at license and attempted to lie about his name and date of birth before finally being truthful. Multiple tickets were issued.
CO Quincy Gowenlock received a complaint about trash being dumped in the Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area. Upon arrival, the CO observed 35 plastic trash bags. Many of the bags were suspended in the branches of trees along the road, as if being thrown from a vehicle. The CO began to dig through the bags and located information that led to an individual in Clinton County. The CO contacted the individual, who advised that it was her garbage, but she had no idea how it got there. The CO said he would give her one day to try and remember or she would be issued an expensive ticket. The next day, CO Gowenlock contacted the subject, who stated she told two of her friends to take the trash to her mother's house to separate it and burn what they could. The two friends decided that would take too long and dumped the garbage in the SGA. The pair admitted to making two trips to dump the trash. One would drive while the other was in the back of a pickup truck tossing trash bags. On the second trip, they switched places and did it again. Both subjects were issued tickets for illegal dumping and are facing fines of up to $2,500 due to the volume of trash.


CO McManus reported an unidentified moving object as he was patrolling the Allegan SGA late in the evening. Contact was made, and it turned out to be a subject operating an illegal dirt bike with a light-colored number plate on the front. The subject did not have any lights, did not have the required spark arrestor, and was operating in a prohibited area. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Dave Rodgers and Cary Foster were conducting a patrol of the Lowell SGA when they located a group of target shooters on the state land. While observing the shooters, it was determined large amounts of trash such as cardboard, glass plates, cans, and other debris were about to be left at the location by the group. The COs observed a table with pizza and food on it and overheard a phone call placed to friends inviting them to join them at the location. Additional people arrived with a car hood, brake drums, and aerosol cans to be used as targets. Officers documented the entire three-hour event and detained nine people attending the shooting/bachelor party in the Lowell SGA. The shooters left behind all trash and targets they had brought to the state land location, as well as trash dumped in the parking lot. Each person was ticketed for littering, and the COs inspected the area after the group was ordered to clean, rake, and bag all trash from the site.
CO Chris Simpson was on patrol in the Muskegon SGA when he contacted vehicle operators running illegally in a stream. While investigating this incident, two four-wheel ATV operators were stopped as they travelled along a power line right of way. Further investigation found one machine had a VIN ground away and recently had been purchased by the rider. CO Simpson impounded the ATV, and the investigation into the origin continues.
CO Steve Mooney was checking anglers at a VanBuren County lake when he observed a subject walking away, dragging a stringer. CO Mooney stopped the subject, and upon examining the fish, discovered that the subject had taken a muskie during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO McGee was checking a father and adult son on a pier in St. Joseph, and the son gave CO McGee a false date of birth. CO McGee checked further and found that the son had two warrants for his arrest, and neither the father nor the son had fishing licenses. The subject was turned over to MSP on the warrants, and the two were issued tickets for the fishing license violations.


CO Kyle Bader contacted two anglers fishing on the St. Joseph River north of Coldwater. He watched one of the anglers catch a bass, then take it over and show his partner. When CO Bader contacted the pair, they had a basket with three largemouth and three smallmouth bass. They first tried to say they didn’t need licenses because they were on private property, and then that they thought bass season opened April 1. CO Bader told them that they were trespassing on private property. They both received a ticket for possession of bass out of season.
While on marine patrol on the Grand River, CO Rich Nickols observed three subjects fishing from shore. CO Nickols beached his boat and contacted the subjects, none of whom had identification. CO Nickols was able to identify two of the subjects from expired fishing licenses; the other subject had no ID and no fishing license. Further investigation revealed that subject had a warrant for a weapons offense. CO Nickols arrested the subject and turned him over to local deputies.
CO Todd Thorn swore to a seven-count warrant involving an adult and a minor. During CO Thorn’s investigation of a RAP complaint, he found that a minor had been shooting deer with a .22-caliber rifle out of his bedroom window. The minor lived in a subdivision with houses in nearby, and many children living in the area. During the investigation, CO Thorn located one deer that was wounded and had to be put down. Charges included hunting within a safety zone and hunting deer with a .22-caliber rifle.
During a foot patrol of a local public lake, CO Todd Thorn contacted three individuals he’d observed fishing from a dock. CO Thorn contacted the anglers, who had waded out to the dock, as a portion of it had been removed so that people would not fish off of it. Two of them did not have fishing licenses, and one of them stated that he was only helping to bait hooks. Enforcement action was taken against both individuals.


CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint of a restaurant offering live fish out of an aquarium for patrons to order. The CO contacted the complainant and asked him to describe the fish. The complainant described what CO Kiel believed to be tilapia. The CO arrived at the restaurant and observed a large aquarium packed with live tilapia and several largemouth bass. An employee explained that the owner of the restaurant had been catching the bass in Lake St. Clair, then putting them in the aquarium to eat for himself; they only served the tilapia to patrons. The largemouth bass, ranging from 1 to 3 pounds, were seized. Four of them were undersized. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.
CO John Borkovich was checking ditches and creeks in northern St. Clair County at night and detected activity off the road along a creek. As he approached, he observed two subjects with spears and lights. When the CO contacted the subjects, he saw a toboggan-style sled that had a few fish eggs in it. After a few minutes, the CO heard something rustling around in the weeds. CO Borkovich investigated and found a large female steelhead that had been speared. The subjects said it was the only fish they saw that night so they speared it and put it in the toboggan. When they saw the CO coming, they threw it in the brush, hoping he would not find it. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler assisted CO Dan Walzak with a complaint of two anglers taking walleyes during the closed season. After several hours of surveillance, the COs were able to contact the anglers as they pulled up to the boat launch. The two anglers had taken seven walleyes during the closed season. Tickets were issued, and restitution will be sought.
COs Mike Drexler, Brandon Kieft, and Mark Ennett conducted a group patrol of Belleville Lake, checking shore anglers. The COs observed one angler holding a freshly caught walleye and advised him that the fish needed to be released. The COs found the angler and two others were fishing without licenses, and all three were wanted on outstanding warrants. Tickets were issued for fishing without a license, and enforcement action was taken on the outstanding warrants.
CO Brandon Kieft responded to a late-night complaint of anglers "spearing" along the Clinton River. The complainant stated that the anglers were spearing bass and transporting them to their nearby vehicles. After watching the subjects for a short time and searching the nearby vehicles, CO Kieft determined that the anglers were bowfishing from two small boats and no fish had been taken. However, neither of the small vessels were registered and no life jackets were present. Enforcement action was taken.

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