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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – August 31st, 2012


CO Brian Bacon contacted a subject on an ORV who was riding double on a machine not designed for two riders. The operator was educated on the law and safety concerns regarding operating with a passenger.
COs Dave Painter and Jason Wicklund assisted Iron County law enforcement officers with the removal of a marijuana grow that was nearly ready for harvest. The plants were pulled and destroyed.
CO Dave Painter contacted a large vehicle full of kids near a popular local swimming hole. The subjects were getting ready to leave as CO Painter pulled up. Inside the vehicle were six kids who were all under the age of 19. Also found in the vehicle was an open case of beer. CO Painter turned the scene over to a local deputy who was nearby. As the deputy ticketed the minors for possession of alcohol, CO Painter found beer cans littered along the beach and floating in the water that matched the case of beer from the vehicle.
CO Jason Wicklund was on patrol when he observed an ORVer traveling on the highway toward him. The CO pulled over and contacted the driver, who immediately told the CO he had a warrant for his arrest. The driver also was driving an unregistered ORV and his license was suspended. The driver was lodged in the Baraga County jail.


COs Jerry Fitzgibbon and Jared Ferguson responded to a complaint on the Manistique River regarding a large group of rowdy youths canoeing the river and camping at a state forest campground (SFC). The report indicated many in the group were underage and were consuming alcohol, riding ORVs illegally, and littering. The COs checked the area but found the group was canoeing a long stretch of river at the time. CO Fitzgibbon checked the area later and contacted the group. All were respectful and confessed to the inappropriate behavior. Some of the parents of the youths arrived at the scene and also addressed the group’s inappropriate behavior.
CO Kevin Postma was conducting a marine patrol on the St. Mary’s River when he encountered a subject fishing. Upon contact, the subject indicated that he’d had some luck and caught a northern pike. When asked how big the fish was, he stated that it was 24 inches; however, when the CO saw the fish it was quite a bit smaller than the 24-inch minimum size. A ticket was issued for the undersized northern pike.
During the Chicago to Mackinac Island yacht races, COs observed a group of suspicious subjects near the fort on Mackinac Island. Upon their approach, it was found that the subjects were underage and in possession of alcohol. CO Kevin Postma smelled the odor of marijuana, which led to the discovery of 5 grams of marijuana on one of the subjects. Almost simultaneously, CO Mike Hammill identified the owner of a backpack that was under a park bench in which more alcohol was located, along with another 10 grams of marijuana. Reports were taken, the marijuana was seized, and warrants are being sought through the Mackinac County prosecutor’s office.
COs Jeff Panich and Mike Evink responded to a call for help in reference to overdue subjects who were canoeing on the Carp River in Mackinac County. The COs conducted a joint search and rescue with other agencies, which lasted over 11 hours. In the end, four subjects were located and airlifted to the hospital by the U.S. Coast Guard. All subjects were found to be in good health and were released. They all expressed their thanks, as they didn’t think they would be found any time soon. It later was learned that they became stranded because of low water levels in the river.


CO Bill Webster policed a busy fishing tournament on Long Lake in Alpena County and made several contacts. CO Webster talked with an angler who stated he fished in the tournament the previous year, and couldn’t believe that someone brought an undersized fish to the weigh-in. A check of the angler’s catch produced an undersized pike, and it also was discovered that the angler did not possess a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bill Webster has been investigating multiple complaints of trespass involving ORVers. While working one such case, CO Webster encountered three people riding on a single four-wheeler, without helmets, and in possession of an uncased firearm. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark DePew, while on routine patrol, observed an ORV being operated on a sidewalk along a busy road leading to downtown Gaylord. Upon contacting the subject, it was discovered that his driver’s license had been suspended, and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Bond was taken on the warrant, and a ticket was issued for operating with a suspended driver’s license.
CO Nick Torsky encountered two individuals out for a “Sunday drive” in their side-by-side ORV. When contacted, the subjects were operating in a closed area, and the passenger tried to hide what turned out to be an open beer. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kelly Ross responded to a residence where the owner had reported that he killed a bear that was on his deck and would not leave. The subject told CO Ross that he had fired at the animal with his .22-caliber rifle, intending to scare it away, but discovered the dead animal the next morning. The investigation continues.
While on marine patrol on the Cheboygan River, CO Matt Theunick stopped a boater operating with a 3-year-old child on board who was not wearing a life jacket and towing two juveniles without life jackets. A ticket was issued for not having a personal flotation device on the toddler.
CO Jon Sklba worked on a complaint for several weeks regarding a subject taking overlimits of panfish. CO Sklba contacted the subject on a small lake in Presque Isle County, and found him with multiple bluegills over his limit. The fish were seized, and a ticket was issued.
CO Jon Sklba worked the Nautical Festival at Rogers City Harbor. For three days, an air show took place over Lake Huron, with DNR, the Michigan State Police, and Coast Guard patrol boats keeping recreational boats outside of a safety zone perimeter. Associated marine patrol on Lake Huron resulted in a ticket issued to a kayaker for not having a PFD while he was over a ¼ mile off shore. Several warnings were issued for minor marine violations. CO Sklba was assisted by COs Matt Theunick, Mike Feagan, and Sgt. Greg Drogowski.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski responded to a road-killed cougar complaint on I-75, south of Mackinaw. The animal was found in the location described by the complainant and was determined to be a large bobcat.


CO Sean Kehoe responded to a Report-All-Poaching complaint in which a landowner heard a gunshot after dark and observed a suspicious vehicle leaving the scene. The landowner waited and watched the field from which he’d heard the shot and eventually observed the suspect vehicle return and drop off two subjects who ran into the hayfield. The complainant was able to catch up to the suspect vehicle and obtain a license plate number. The CO made contact with the driver and after some evasive statements, the female driving admitted that her husband shot a deer. The suspects had left when CO Kehoe arrived to investigate the scene. A freshly shot doe was recovered from the location. The investigative report was completed and forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, which is seeking warrants for the three subjects for numerous violations.
CO Jeff Ginn was checking anglers along the Muskegon River when he contacted two subjects who stated they had not caught any fish but quickly informed the CO that the group fishing downstream was keeping undersized trout. CO Ginn continued to check the subjects’ fishing licenses while they insisted he should hurry to check the other anglers. CO Ginn told them he would check the group fishing downstream after he completed his time with them. CO Ginn inspected their catch and located an undersized trout. A ticket was issued for the violation, and then CO Ginn continued downstream to check the next group. The check revealed that they had not caught any fish, and they inquired if the CO had located the undersized trout the group upstream had in their cooler.
CO Mike Wells was checking anglers at the Croton Dam on the Muskegon River when he contacted several subjects in possession of undersized trout and fishing without licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky responded to a complaint about a subject selling marijuana from a Jeep in the parking area of Silver Lake State Park dunes in Oceana County. CO Brosky located the vehicle and contacted the occupants. The operator had open intoxicants, and two of the occupants had medical marijuana and permits to possess marijuana. The operator was ticketed for possessing open intoxicants.


COs Chris Bowen, Mike Hearn, John Huspen, Matt Liestenfeltz, Bobbi Lively, and Chuck McPherson conducted marine safety patrols during the annual “Bud Bash” event on Houghton Lake. The event draws thousands of revelers to the lake, where alcohol consumption and bathing suit competitions are the activities of the day. The event typically results in hundreds of arrests for numerous violations including drunk and disorderly, assault, MIP, OWI, marine safety violations, BUI, trespass, and littering. The officers also assist event-goers who are injured.
CO Mike Hearn investigated a complaint of fishing gear being stolen from a boat moored on a lake at a state forest campground in the early morning hours. The next night, the victims observed their stolen items in the back of a pickup parked at a campsite in the campground. The subjects at the camp were questioned and admitted to stealing the fishing gear.
CO Mike Hearn was first on the scene of a two-car personal injury accident in which a subject failed to stop at a stop sign and pulled into the path of an SUV pulling an 18-foot boat. CO Hearn rendered first aid to the occupants until EMS personnel arrived.
While patrolling state forest lands, CO Mark Papineau observed a pickup truck backed into the turn-out off a two-track. He checked the vehicle and observed fresh footprints in the sand that led into the woods. CO Papineau followed the footprints and came upon a subject carrying a plastic container filled with bacon grease. Upon contact with the subject, CO Papineau learned that he was tending a bear bait that was illegally established several days earlier. Further investigation led to the bait pile, which consisted of bread, berries, and a gallon of bacon grease. The subject also had additional illegal baits set throughout the county. Enforcement action was taken.
While on marine patrol, CO Steve Lockwood checked an angler who was fishing without a license. A LEIN check also indicated there was a warrant out for the subject’s arrest. After being issued a ticket for fishing without a license, the subject was arrested and turned over to a local deputy on shore.


CO Quincy Gowenlock was conducting a marine patrol with Sgt. Ron Kimmerly on the Saginaw River when they observed four subjects shore-fishing near Cheboyganing Creek. Upon contact, the officers observed a wire basket in the water that was full of fish. As they inspected the fish, two smallmouth bass were located in the bottom, which appeared to be undersized. When measured, one fish was 11 inches and the other was 111⁄4 inches. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Scott Brown assisted local deputies with a complaint at Sleeper State Park. Rangers had called 911 regarding an intoxicated camper who had been causing problems at his site and who was attempting to leave. The ranger attempted to keep the subject at the scene until law enforcement arrived. The subject was arrested for OUIL, and a small container of marijuana was seized.
While on patrol in Huron County, CO Bob Hobkirk encountered a golf cart being driven along the shoulder of a state highway. With numerous other violations present, CO Hobkirk took enforcement action.
While checking boaters at the Grindstone public access site, CO Bob Hobkirk observed a subject operating a personal watercraft without wearing a PFD. CO Hobkirk was able to contact the operator, along with a second PWCer. Numerous violations were encountered between the two subjects, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Joshua Wright received a complaint from the RAP hotline regarding marijuana plants being grown on state land. The complainant came upon the suspected marijuana plants while he was scouting for deer-hunting spots. COs Wright and Seth Rhodea were able to locate the plants and pull them. A total of 32 plants were pulled and turned over to the area narcotics unit for further investigation.


CO Chris Holmes worked an ongoing complaint on a local lake of a subject fishing without a license and keeping undersized catfish at night. CO Holmes set up surveillance on the lake after dark while wearing night vision, and observed the subject fishing in a boat. CO Holmes watched the subject for approximately three hours and then made contact. Several marine and fishing laws were being broken, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer was checking dams on the St. Joseph River when he located a subject who had gone around a “No Trespassing” posted fence and was fishing from the low-head dam. CO Bauer contacted the subject and explained the trespass and safety issues. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike McGee was on marine patrol on Lake Michigan when he observed a boat being operated on plane with two subjects being towed by the boat, two subjects on the foredeck of the boat where seating isn’t allowed, and two subjects standing on the swim platform outside of the cockpit of the boat. CO McGee stopped the boat and issued a ticket for the dangerous operation of the boat.
CO Andy Bauer was following a vehicle in traffic when he observed the vehicle turn the wrong way onto I-94, entering the exit ramp to enter the highway. CO Bauer quickly maneuvered to stop the vehicle before it entered the highway going in the wrong direction, thus preventing a head-on collision. CO Bauer made contact with the elderly driver, who was flustered about being late to an appointment and had made the wrong turn.
CO Ivan Perez responded to two ORV injury accidents at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in which rental vehicle operators were involved in rollover crashes after cresting steep dunes. During the same patrol, CO Perez ticketed three people for operating against the flow of traffic in the directional travel area at the dunes.
Area conservation officers continue stepped-up enforcement efforts at Grand Haven State Park, targeting alcohol violations. COs report more than 20 tickets were issued for alcohol in the state park or minors in possession of alcohol. At least 30 people were evicted by COs for alcohol and behavior issues during the past two weeks. Hot weather and the Coast Guard Festival continued to bring large numbers of visitors to the park.
Area officers patrolled the final day of the Coast Guard Festival at Grand Haven with foot patrols at the state park, PWC patrols on the Grand River and Lake Michigan, and two patrol vessels assigned to the nighttime fireworks event. COs reported lighter-than-normal crowds but ticketed seven people for alcohol violations and one for an expired boat registration. During the patrol, COs were summoned by citizens to render aid to a woman who fell from a building and sustained serious head injuries. COs stabilized the victim and assisted medical personnel at the scene.


COs Jeff Walker, Todd Thorn, Damon Owens, and Sgt. Troy Bahlau responded to a complaint about two young sandhill cranes standing on the fog line and in the passing lane of I-94. The cranes would not leave after the adult female was hit and killed. The COs requested assistance from local police officers to slow and shift traffic into the other lane of I-94 while the COs used three patrol trucks to block the cranes in between the highway and fence. The COs then used a boat cover to trap the cranes and get them in a cage. Both cranes were captured and were removed from the highway, and both lanes of the highway were safely re-opened.
CO Dan Bigger, while meeting with a subject to return a firearm that was seized, found that the subject had a valid warrant in another county. When the subject arrived to pick up his firearm, he was taken into custody and turned over to the other department for its warrant.
CO Shane Webster, while patrolling a local fishing spot, began checking licenses after observing several anglers for a few minutes. As he began conversing with one of the anglers, another angler a short distance away packed up and started to walk away. CO Webster made contact and was informed the angler was waiting for a friend to come back and get his fishing gear. CO Webster asked to see a fishing license and informed the individual that he had been watching him fish. The angler stated he didn't have one because he wasn’t very good at fishing. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn, along with other DNR employees, located approximately 53 marijuana plants growing on state land after they received a tip from a local resident. The local narcotics enforcement team was contacted, and the case was turned over to them.
While checking anglers at the Moores River dam in Lansing, CO Todd Thorn was told that some subjects were fishing in the river downstream with a cast net. CO Thorn located the individuals and observed them using a cast net as the anglers had stated. After observing the activity for approximately 30 minutes, CO Thorn contacted the individuals and found they were in possession of 32 fish, 10 of them short bass, and two short channel catfish. Enforcement action was taken.
While conducting a weekday marine patrol on Woodland Lake, CO Daniel Prince checked a subject who was fishing with his two sons. The angler had three undersized northern pike and two undersized largemouth bass. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint in progress in St. Clair County. The complainant was watching two spotted fawns in a field near his house when he heard two gunshots. At the same time, one of the fawns bucked like it was hit and they ran off. The CO responded and stopped two vehicles leaving a nearby field. He contacted two young males who stated they had permission to be on the property to target shoot. After a little more questioning, one subject admitted that when they were target shooting, they walked around the property and were “plinking.” One subject admitted to shooting at a pheasant and the other shot at a groundhog. CO Kiel took their information and released them. The CO continued to walk the property, and with direction from the complainant, searched the area where the complainant saw the fawns. CO Kiel located a spent .17-caliber rimfire shell casing. He could not locate the deer. The following day, with the assistance of CO Ben Lasher, the COs searched the property again and still found nothing. The pair went to the subjects’ residence and questioned them again. One subject finally admitted to shooting at the deer. More follow-up will be conducted, and warrants will be sought for both subjects.
CO Mark Ennett checked a boat that had three anglers on board. When asked about the sizes of the catfish they had taken, they began to give each other “the look,” which indicated a problem. Upon examining the fish, the CO noted five undersized catfish. The boat owner took responsibility and was ticketed.
CO Brandon Kieft and intern Brad Rolfe were on marine patrol on Tipsico Lake in Oakland County when they contacted a subject who was operating a watercraft that hadn’t been registered since 2001. The operator stated the watercraft was a friend’s and he didn't know it was a violation. A ticket was issued for operating an unregistered watercraft.
CO Todd Szyska had a bench trial in Macomb County regarding a subject who shot a turkey over a bait pile from an elevated platform with a shotgun, and did not tag the turkey. The subject pleaded guilty to taking the turkey illegally over bait and was sentenced to fines and costs and $1,000 reimbursement to the state for the turkey.

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