CO Dave Painter was working a marine patrol when he observed a boat operator power-loading at an access site. CO Painter contacted the subject after his boat was loaded and asked if he read the large sign at the end of the launch dock. He stated he read the sign, but felt he could only power-load the boat onto the trailer. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Grant Emery served a two-count warrant on a subject for the illegal take of otters. The subject had put out poison on the back of his boat at a local marina to target a family of otters that had boarded his swim platform.
CO Grant Emery took a call from a woman who had an encounter with a female black bear and her cubs. The woman had fallen asleep while sunbathing in her yard. When she awoke to the ringing of her cell phone, she saw the sow bear pulling down a bird feeder on her deck that she recently had filled. Next to the sow awaiting their free meal were her three cubs.
CO Trey Luce and Sgt. Steven Burton conducted surveillance of two anglers on Deer Lake after dark. The subjects were operating an unregistered boat, failed to have life jackets, and also failed to display navigation lights. Enforcement action was taken.
CO David Miller issued a ticket to an angler who lied about his age. As CO Miller asked to see the anglers’ licenses, one young subject told CO Miller he was only 16. His younger brother immediately corrected his older brother, saying he was 17. A ticket was issued.
CO Mike Evink contacted two dirt bike riders operating on public land. The first bike did not have an ORV license. Upon questioning, CO Evink found that the previous day CO Robert Crisp had warned the second rider to get an ORV license, which he did. The second rider went on to explain that he had told the first bike operator to get one. The first bike operator decided against it. A ticket was issued, along with a suggestion to follow his friend’s advice.
COs Jared Ferguson and Mike Evink were patrolling a local river in plain clothes when they observed three subjects in a canoe. The COs watched as one of the subjects smoked marijuana from a small pipe. The officers radioed ahead to uniformed COs who contacted the subject in the canoe. A file check revealed he was on parole for armed robbery, and possession and use of marijuana was a violation of his parole. One of the others in the canoe also was a convicted felon, and the third was in possession of marijuana and was on probation. Two of the three were transported to the county jail.
CO Robert Crisp and Sgt. Darryl Shann assisted a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper in Alger County with a report of a breaking and entering incident in progress. The caller reported that when he and his wife drove to their camp, they saw a pit bull run into an open door of a shed near the camp. They decided to back away from the camp. Officers arrived at the scene, met with the owners, and approached the camp area. The suspect was arrested as he attempted to leave the scene in his vehicle. The pit bull, which turned out to be a mix of several breeds, was on loan from a local pound as a way to give it exercise. The suspect was arrested, and the dog was returned to the pound.
CO John Wenzel observed two subjects in a canoe who stopped along the river and both smoked what appeared to be marijuana. The CO contacted the subjects and asked them for the pot. The subjects turned over a bag containing marijuana. One of the subjects stated that he had a medical marijuana card, but didn’t have it with him. The other individual was asked if he also had a card, and he said no. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Postma was conducting surveillance of anglers on the St. Marys River when he observed a subject who was snagging fish. Upon contact, the subject stated he knew what he was doing was wrong, but the fish weren’t biting so he decided to snag. A ticket was issued.
CO Kyle Publiski was conducting a marine patrol when he encountered a subject who was herring fishing. The subject was adamant that he was only perch fishing. The CO checked his fishing license and marine safety gear. When asked about a cooler, the subject became nervous and hesitant. He eventually stated that it was just his lunch and that the CO was harassing him. Further investigation revealed the cooler contained an overlimit of fresh herring. A ticket was issued.
CO Carl Vanderwall recently was involved in a court case in Emmet County involving a subject charged with trapping during the closed season, failing to check traps, and using untagged traps. The defendant claimed he was exempt from state laws due to the fact that he was a Mackinaw tribal member. The court, however, ruled that the Mackinaw band is not a federally recognized tribe and thus the defendant did not have standing on those grounds. The defendant was found guilty of all charges.
CO Carl Vanderwall responded to a complaint about college-age subjects shooting ducks from a home on Crooked Lake. An interview with neighbors revealed that this was a common occurrence at this residence. CO Vanderwall attempted to make contact with the subjects at their lake house, which had numerous cars in the driveway and boats at the dock; however, no one would answer the door. The situation currently is under investigation, and efforts to contact the registered property owner are under way.
CO Andrea Albert received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint about two subjects shooting a turkey with a .22-caliber rifle. After several interviews with local residents, CO Albert was able to identify two suspects. Subsequent interviews revealed one subject had shot and killed a hen turkey that was with poults, and the second subject had shot at another hen turkey, but missed it. Charges are pending for taking a turkey out of season and for attempting to take turkeys out of season. The firearm was seized for condemnation.
CO Kelly Ross was off duty when he received a call from the sheriff’s office that someone was yelling for help on Fletchers Pond after dark. The owner of Hill’s Landing launched his boat and was able to locate two adults and three children in the water, which left his boat overloaded and unable to move. The anglers had been in the water for approximately two hours after their boat capsized when they were attempting to land a fish. CO Ross transferred the rescued anglers to his boat and took them to a waiting ambulance, where they were treated for symptoms of hypothermia.
CO Mark DePew reported that the four individuals who shot a bull elk earlier this year were sentenced and will pay $8,400 in fines and restitution. They will spend 30 days in jail, lost hunting privileges for the next four years, and lost the firearms that were used in the shooting the elk.
CO Rebecca Hopkins received a complaint about a subject shooting at mergansers from his deck on Glenn Lake. During the investigation, CO Hopkins was able to locate a subject who admitted to shooting at three mergansers on the water with a .22-caliber rifle. The subject claimed he was attempting to scare the mergansers away. The firearm was seized, and a warrant will be requested from the prosecutor’s office.
CO Brian Brosky was patrolling on Lake Michigan near Ludington when he encountered two subjects trolling with too many lines. When CO Brosky attempted to get them to stop, the subjects acted as though they didn’t understand him and continued fishing. CO Brosky was forced to activate his emergency lights, but the two continued to ignore him and continued to fish. CO Brosky then activated his siren and drove alongside the other boat and ordered them to stop the vessel. The operator finally complied. When stopped, the operator claimed to be from Russia and stated he didn’t understand English. As the ticket was being written, the operator began speaking quite well in English about receiving a ticket.
COs Brian Brosky and Steve Converse responded to a call for assistance regarding a situation in which a subject with a rifle had shot and wounded a Ludington police officer. The COs assisted with perimeter control of the house and ultimately with the physical arrest of the subject after he surrendered.
COs Steve Converse and Carla Soper responded to a residence in the city of Manistee regarding a complaint that the resident had shot and killed a deer in the backyard. The suspect was located and quickly admitted to shooting the deer for damaging his landscaping. The deer was located, and a written confession was obtained. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Hearn conducted a marine enforcement patrol and observed a subject on a boat stumbling as he made his way to the driver’s seat of the vessel. The CO was able to get the vessel stopped as they approached the nearby mouth of a river. The operator failed his sobriety tests and was above the legal limit when given a breathalyzer test. The subject was lodged for boating while under the influence of alcohol, while the passengers on the boat became verbally abusive to the arresting officers.
COs Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz observed several subjects sitting on the back of a speedboat in an area not designed for passengers, while the boat was on plane and moving at a high speed. As the boat hit waves and the wake of other boats, the occupants would bounce into the air. The vessel was stopped, and a check of safety equipment was conducted. During the stop, it was determined the operator was under the influence of alcohol. The operator failed a sobriety test and was taken into custody for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
COs Chris Bowen and Chuck McPherson checked two subjects who were fishing without licenses. The subjects were Canadian residents and indicated they did not know a fishing license was required. As the conversation proceeded, one subject mentioned that in the past they had purchased their fishing licenses at a nearby tackle shop.
Sgt. Jean Davis responded to a complaint about subjects camping near a river, and who had speared a turtle. Sgt. Davis was able to locate a large, dead snapping turtle that had an arrow wound in the neck and through the shell. The campers arrived later in the day and Sgt. Davis was able to locate the subject who admitted to shooting the turtle with an arrow the previous night and who left it lie during the hot weather. The subject had used an illegal method to take a turtle out of season.
While on patrol, CO Mark Papineau responded to a reported boating accident on Wixom Lake. According to the complaint, one operator was attempting to maneuver amongst numerous other vessels anchored in an area known as “Pontoon Alley.” The operator of the vessel attempted to change direction near other vessels by placing the throttle hard into reverse. At that point, the vessel swung quickly out of control and collided with another vessel that was anchored.
CO Warren MacNeill received numerous complaints about houndsmen illegally running their dogs. After several nights of working the complaint, the CO was able to catch the subject, who was training his dogs during the closed training season.
CO Ken Lowell was contacted by the RAP hotline regarding a deer that had been shot after dark from a vehicle in Montcalm County. The CO responded to the complaint and sat in the field, waiting for the suspects to come back and claim the deer. After a while, a vehicle pulled up to the field and two subjects got out. Both ran out to the dead 8-point buck and started to drag it back toward the road. The CO activated his lights and sirens, and both subjects began to run toward the nearby woods. The CO chased the men in his truck until they entered the woods and then chased them on foot. After a chase through the woods, a struggle, and a Taser deployment, the CO finally was able to place one of the subjects in custody. The subject was lodged for resisting and obstructing a police officer, illegal possession of a deer, and for two arrest warrants out of Montcalm County.
While patrolling the Saginaw River, COs Josh Wright, Quincy Gowenlock, and Dan Lee heard excited shouting coming from a vessel. As they approached, the COs could see smoke coming from the vessel. The COs pulled alongside and were able to remove and place on their patrol boat all nine passengers, including four children, from the smoking vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary responded and assisted with towing the vessel back to shore.
COs Quincy Gowenlock and Dan Lee were patrolling the Saginaw River when they observed a large speed boat with a number of other similar vessels traveling at a high rate of speed with an infant on his mother’s lap. The infant wasn’t wearing a life jacket. The COs stopped the vessel and found the mother hastily fastening a life jacket onto the child. The mother stated that her young son gets scared when they go fast and doesn’t like to wear his jacket. The operator was ticketed.
CO Andy Bauer was patrolling Lake Michigan near the Michigan/Indiana state line when he made contact with two anglers trolling for salmon. CO Bauer requested to see fishing licenses, and the anglers held up two blank daily fishing licenses. The anglers stated that they had purchased the daily licenses and did not have a pen, therefore had not filled out any information on the licenses that would make them valid for the day. Enforcement action was taken against both individuals.
CO Greg Patten, of Muskegon County, obtained a felony animal cruelty warrant for an individual who is also a felony habitual offender. CO Patten became aware of a posting on Facebook that showed the subject shook a young raccoon from a tree, allowing his dog to maul the raccoon when it fell to the ground. During the incident, the dog was bitten by the raccoon as the owner stomped and beat the animal with a pipe. Bystanders recorded the event, which was then posted to the suspect’s Facebook page.
CO Patrick McManus patrolled for illegal ORV activity in the Allegan SGA and reports a higher-than-normal amount of illegal activity. Tickets included operating vehicles off-road, open intoxicants, no helmets, and operating on roadways.
CO Chuck Towns responded with the Coast Guard and county marine patrol agencies to several boats in distress on Lake Michigan near Holland. The lake conditions turned rapidly dangerous for small vessels, and several were caught too far from the harbor. Four vessels were assisted throughout the day.
CO Dave Rodgers was on patrol in Kent County when he observed a boat being loaded to a trailer after the occupants were fishing. The boat had improper registration numbers. A computer check of the owner revealed he also held no fishing license. CO Rodgers contacted the operator and found he had caught two pike, had no personal flotation devices aboard, and had recently been released from probation for a kidnapping conviction. Enforcement action was taken for the violations.
CO Dave Rodgers observed a group fishing in Kent County that included several children. CO Rodgers was certain the group had retained fish during this period. Upon contact, one subject began to speak Spanish to a child in the group, and denied having caught any fish. After a brief search and listening to the children talk, Rodgers located bass and catfish concealed in tall grass that were otherwise legal, but the angler was unlicensed. A computer check revealed this person was a wanted parole absconder, with a warrant having just been entered for his arrest. CO Rodger arrested the subject and lodged him at the Kent County jail. The subject was ticketed for fishing without a license.
COs Derek Miller and Mike Drexler patrolled lakes in the Washtenaw/Wayne county line area. The COs contacted two anglers fishing from shore. The COs asked for fishing licenses and the two subjects were not able to present an ID or fishing licenses. After file checking the two subjects, it was discovered they both had warrants out of Washtenaw County. Both subjects were lodged for their outstanding warrants and enforcement action was taken for the fishing license violations.
COs Derek Miller and Mike Drexler contacted a subject who was fishing on shore and asked the subject to hold up his fishing license. The subject said he’d forgotten it in his car and that he’d be right back. The subject left his fishing equipment behind and ran to his car. The subject returned 15 minutes later with a fishing license, and stated that he lost his first license, so he had to run and buy a new one, but that he had purchased one earlier in the year. A computer check revealed the subject did not have a license earlier in the year and that he hadn’t purchased one in five years. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn, while patrolling the Grand River in Lansing, observed a subject standing on his bass boat and waving his arms to get CO Thorn’s attention. As CO Thorn got closer he could see smoke coming from the subject’s boat motor and then flames shooting out of the gas line leading to the motor. CO Thorn threw the subject his fire extinguisher, and after shutting off the gas line and using the contents of two fire extinguishers, they were able to get the fire out with minimal damage to the vessel or its motor.
CO Lacelle Rabon responded to a RAP complaint about reported burning of deer skin and the taking of deer during the closed season. Upon arriving at the given address, CO Rabon observed animal parts in the backyard, sheep skin lying on the patio, and a cow skin stretched across a device and pulled tight for drying. CO Rabon contacted the resident and informed him of the reason for the visit. The subject informed CO Rabon that he and his family were celebrating the birth of his first son and were following a traditional cultural practice. The family had bought both a sheep and a cow from a farmer and the animal skins were to be dried, stretched, and used for rugs. No further action was taken.
While on marine patrol on Belleville Lake, COs Mike Drexler and Derek Miller contacted three shore anglers on opposite sides of a bridge. The COs asked the subjects if they had their fishing licenses. The two anglers on one side did not have licenses, while the subject on the opposite side said he needed to grab it from his car. About 30 minutes later the subject returned with a freshly purchased fishing license, stating that he must have lost his license. A computer check revealed that the subject had never purchased a fishing license before and a ticket was issued. The two subjects on the opposite side were arrested and lodged with local departments on outstanding warrants.
CO Brandon Kieft and Intern Brad Rolfe were checking a few anglers on Bridge Lake in Oakland County when they observed one of the anglers in possession of an undersized largemouth bass. Further questioning of the subjects revealed they’d also driven a vehicle to the lake, but neither of the men had valid driver’s licenses. The subject who admitted to driving that day also had a bench warrant for driving on a suspended license. A ticket for undersized bass was issued, and he was advised and released on the warrant and given a verbal warning for the license violation.
CO Ben Shively responded to a RAP complaint about two ranch foxes that were left unattended in a garage for four days without any food or water and no bedding. They were lying in their own feces, and temperatures outside the garage were near 100 degrees. CO Shively removed the foxes, which were dehydrated, and transported them to a sanctuary. A warrant is being sought on the owner for animal cruelty.