Michigan Cuffs & Collars – January 31st, 2013
CO Brian Bacon came upon a vehicle parked in the roadway of a two-track in Dickinson County. A check of the vehicle revealed an uncased crossbow on the front seat. CO Bacon contacted the subject a short distance from the truck who was hunting small game without hunter orange. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon checked early ice walleye anglers and encountered a subject who had seven valid arrest warrants. The subject was lodged in the Dickinson County jail.
COs Jason Wicklund and Dave Painter checked a local lake for tip-up activity after dark, and found tip-ups spread all over the lake. After walking the lake and not finding any activity, the COs tracked the owners of the tip-ups to a cabin on the far end of the lake. Many violations were addressed, including an overlimit of lines, unregistered ORV, and unattended lines.
After CO Dennis Gast observed a group of anglers fishing on a remote inland lake. The CO conducted a routine check for fishing licenses. The check revealed that no one in the group had a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Doug Hermanson and Jason Wicklund worked an annual fishing tournament in Baraga County and addressed several violations, including unregistered snowmobiles, fishing with too many lines, unattended lines, open intoxicants in/upon motor vehicles, no helmets while on ORV/snowmobiles, and riding ORVs with too many passengers.
COs Dave Painter and Jason Wicklund worked several Iron County lakes for fishing activity. The COs found a number of violations, including one group of anglers who were fishing with unattended lines and were ticketed for the fourth time in the past five years.
While on patrol in the Garden Plains area, CO Mike Evink contacted two subjects in a vehicle. Once contacted, the driver asked, “Hey, do you remember me?” CO Evink said that yes, he did. The subject was written a ticket a few months earlier for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. CO Evink then asked if the gun on the seat was unloaded. The driver said that it was, and handed it to the officer. After finding the gun loaded in the chamber, CO Evink asked him about it. The driver explained that even though it was his gun, his partner was planning to shoot a deer. A ticket was issued for transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
During follow-up on an illegal deer complaint, CO Mike Evink and Sgt. Darryl Shann contacted subjects at their residence. Three of the subjects were asked if they had purchased licenses, and all had shown their licenses to the officers. Also during the contact, several deer heads with antlers still attached were discovered. During discussion, one of the subjects explained who shot which deer. All three individuals already had shown him unused kill tags. Tickets were issued to all three for failure to tag their deer.
CO Mike Hammill responded to a complaint in which he found a large amount of illegal deer bait, and an 8-point buck tagged with someone else’s tag. The buck was illegally taken with a crossbow. The subject tried to implicate a friend from downstate in the Bay/Saginaw area. CO Hammill contacted CO Chad Forester who works the Bay/Saginaw area to conduct an interview with the new possible suspect. Upon contact, CO Forester took a statement that explained how the original subject had called him and asked him to be his alibi for an illegal deer. The man was able to prove that he had not been in the U.P. for some time. After the wild goose chase, the first subject was charged with the illegal deer and bait. Reimbursement for the deer is being sought, and the crossbow and the deer were seized.
CO Kyle Publiski was on routine patrol when he encountered two subjects illegally riding double on an ORV. The pair were ice fishing and neither had a fishing license. Further investigation revealed that the driver was operating with a suspended/revoked driver’s license and didn’t have an ORV license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kevin Postma and Kyle Publiski were assisting with a domestic dispute call when they observed a vehicle being operated in a careless manner. As the vehicle neared their patrol truck, the subject started honking and flashed his high beams. He then swerved recklessly and came to a stop near the officers. CO Postma approached the driver, who claimed to be drunk. The COs asked the man to exit the vehicle, and upon doing so he came to the startling realization that he was dealing with the police. The subject failed the field sobriety tests and was lodged in the Mackinac County jail.
CO Duane Budreau contacted a subject coming out of the woods in a truck who stated he had lost a dog in the area. The CO then contacted two bowhunters in the area, just heading out in to the woods and checked their licenses. A short time later, CO Budreau received a complaint from central dispatch that the bowhunters he had talked to just reported their pop-up deer blind stolen, with fresh tracks leading to where the subject (looking for the lost dog) had parked his truck. After a few days’ investigation the suspect was identified and contacted, and it was learned he recently had been sentenced to serve time in prison for other larcenies. The deer blind was recovered and returned to the owner.
CO Mike Feagan completed a hunter harassment investigation from deer season, involving a subject who would park his vehicle next to the complainant’s deer stand, blow his horn and yell, and who did so for a period of several days. Warrants are pending.
CO Matt Theunick received a complaint that a mink had been in a leg-hold trap for several days. The trapper was identified and received his second ticket within a few weeks for failure to check traps within a 24-hour time period.
COs Duane Budreau and Carl VanderWall responded to a night shooting complaint, and found a subject had shot a deer over a lighted bait pile behind a residence. The suspect is tribal, and the case has been forwarded to tribal authorities for enforcement action.
COs Mike Feagan and Eric Bottorff patrolled snowmobile trails and checked hundreds of snowmobilers. Several tickets were issued for registration and trail permit violations, as well as warnings for minor offenses.
While on patrol, CO Jon Sklba observed a subject sitting in a vehicle that was parked on a highway, and holding an uncased shotgun. Upon contacting him, CO Sklba found the shotgun loaded and the subject waiting for dogs to run a coyote across the highway. He also didn’t have permission from the adjacent landowner. A ticket was issued for hunting from a motor vehicle.
Sgt. Joe Molnar contacted three individuals who were fishing for splake in Montmorency County. They had 14 fish in their buckets, and when measured, seven of them were undersized. When asked who caught the fish, one subject admitted to catching 10 of them. Two of the anglers were issued tickets for keeping the short fish and also taking an overlimit.
While on patrol, CO Holly Pennoni observed an untagged deer hanging in a tree behind a residence. While inspecting the deer, she also observed a light focused on a bait pile that was in excess of two gallons. Further investigation revealed that an individual at the residence had shot a 9-point, a spike, and an antlerless deer during the season, but only possessed a combination license. Another adult at the residence had shot two 6-points in violation of the antler point requirements. When the investigation was complete, charges were issued for untagged deer, using the tag of another, loaning a deer tag to another, an overlimit of deer, and antler point restrictions on three subjects. They stated they played the tag-swapping game so they could get more venison for their freezer. The lighted bait pile also helped.
Back in September, a complaint was called in regarding three gun-shot bucks dumped just outside of Traverse City with only their antlers removed. COs Sean Kehoe and Rich Stowe investigated and were able to recover security video from a nearby business that provided a description of the suspect vehicle. A couple of days later, a second complaint was received about three more gun-shot bucks with their antlers removed, dumped in Benzie County. COs Kehoe and Stowe, along with CO Rebecca Hopkins, developed several suspects through an intensive investigation and were able to obtain a search warrant toward the end of October. COs Hopkins, Kehoe, Stowe, Justin Vanderlinde, Sgt. Robert Torres, and Lt. David Shaw, along with local deputies, executed the search warrant. Evidence seized included the antlers from numerous illegally shot bucks and parts from a black bear taken with the aid of a spotlight. Several subjects were charged with seven counts each of illegal possession of deer and one count each of the illegal killing of a black bear. Additional charges are pending upon the conclusion of the investigation.
CO Matt Liestenfeltz investigated a trespass complaint regarding subjects trespassing and taking a large buck. The CO found they had tracked the deer onto the complainant’s property. The deer had been shot with a crossbow after hours the previous night over a lighted bait pile. Warrants for the subjects are being sought.
CO Chris Bowen was contacted by a landlord regarding a deer left hanging in a garage by tenants who had moved out. CO Bowen executed a search warrant and found the deer with no tag, a live black squirrel in a cage, and a marijuana-growing operation in a closet. The marijuana grow was turned over to the Michigan State Police and CO Bowen is attempting to locate the former tenants for further investigation.
CO Chuck McPherson reports that a subject who took a bobcat during the firearms deer season pleaded guilty and paid $340 in fines and costs and an additional $500 in restitution for the bobcat.
CO Mark Papineau received a complaint regarding a large plume of black smoke coming from behind a residence. CO Papineau responded to the area and was able to see the smoke from several miles away. When the CO pulled into the driveway, several subjects quickly jumped into vehicles and fled. The remaining subject was standing over a large hole in the ground containing the remains of approximately 30 burned tires. CO Papineau also observed approximately 100 additional tires ready to be tossed into the blaze. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Warren MacNeill received a complaint about a lost child who had received new hunting boots for Christmas and wanted to go try them out in the woods. The child went exploring in unfamiliar woods and didn’t return home when expected. A multi-agency search for the child led to his safe recovery 13 hours after he left home.
CO Jon Warner stopped a large group of ORVers operating without helmets and with expired licenses. The spokesman for the group stated they didn’t have to wear helmets because the motorcycle helmet law was repealed. CO Warned educated the group and issued tickets for no helmets.
CO Ken Lowell was checking ice anglers when he observed an angler walk over to another angler and place some bluegills in his bucket. The CO continued to watch the subject repeat the practice. Upon contact, the CO found that the generous angler had his 25 panfish and thought he would catch another limit for someone else. A ticket was issued for taking more than 25 panfish.
CO Joel Lundberg received a call from a subject who wanted a bobcat sealed on the last day of the season. After talking with the trapper, the CO became suspicious. The CO asked the hunter to take him to the location the bobcat was taken. Upon arrival and checking the area, the CO became even more suspicious. At this time the trapper said he did not want to talk any more. The CO then obtained a search warrant for the trapper’s residence. A computer at the residence was checked and found to contain photos and dates the bobcat was taken. The bobcat was taken out of season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Phil Hudson observed a subject chasing a turkey in a field, so he decided to sit back and watch for a while. The turkey chased the subject back to his residence and then the turkey ran back to CO Hudson’s location. The CO observed blood coming from the turkey’s head, so the CO dispatched the turkey and discovered it had a small BB hole in its head. CO Hudson went to the residence where the turkey chased the subject and questioned the homeowner as to why he and the turkey were chasing each other. Upon further investigation, CO Hudson received a confession and located a 12-gauge shotgun the subject used to shoot the turkey. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Phil Hudson was on a foot patrol when he located a large bucket full of perch in the phragmites. With assistance from the local county undersheriff, CO Hudson was dropped off and conducted four hours of surveillance in the bushes. An angler left the area several times and kept returning to check the bucket and look around in the woods to see if anyone was watching. Finally, as it started to get dark, the subject returned to get the bucket. CO Hudson followed the subject back to his vehicle and located more fish. CO Hudson located and seized 181 perch from the angler. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Greg Patten responded to a complaint, near the Muskegon SGA office, of a safety zone violation after shots were fired by hunters near the office buildings. CO Patten arrived and located an 18-year-old apprentice hunter who was accompanied by another hunter in his 20s. The apprentice was hunting small game without a license, and both hunters had hunted and discharged firearms within the safety zone of the game area buildings. Each hunter was ticketed for violations, and a discussion took place on the purpose of the apprentice hunter program.
CO Greg Patten ticketed a hunter during the firearms season for tagging a button buck with a firearms license. At the time of the incident, the CO advised the hunter he could still purchase an antlerless license but could not purchase a second firearms license. A computer check revealed the hunter went ahead and purchased another firearms license after being instructed not to do so, and is now facing charges for the illegal purchase.
CO Greg Patten was requested to check a report of shots fired in northern Muskegon County along a gas pipeline after MSP troopers could not navigate difficult trails into the area. CO Patten investigated and located three people in possession of numerous firearms, who were shooting and consuming alcohol. The driver of the vehicle was arrested for third offense operating while impaired, possession of firearms while intoxicated, possession of unregistered handguns, and refusing a breathalyzer test. CO Patten lodged the subject in the Muskegon County jail and sought warrants for the charges.
CO Gary Raak responded to a complaint of shots fired in Kalamazoo County where the complainant heard a shot on property he was hunting and found a dead deer. CO Raak was taken to the scene and conducted surveillance. At nightfall, CO Raak watched a subject enter the property on an ORV, look around nervously with his flashlight, and attach tow straps to the illegally taken deer. The subject was surprised to see CO Raak. Charges are pending for the illegal taking of the deer and for recreational trespass.
CO Steve Mooney was on patrol when he observed a vehicle being driven slowly down a dirt road next to a blueberry field, frequently stopping in the middle of the road. CO Mooney stopped the vehicle and located a loaded, cocked muzzleloader on the seat next to the driver. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Derek Miller responded to a complaint of litter and carcasses being dumped in an area in Lenawee County. On his patrol, CO Miller saw a vehicle being driven slowly down a dirt road and then saw its lights turned off. CO Miller figured the subject was shining, loading a deer, or dumping carcasses, so he stopped the vehicle. After a short interview and the CO seeing one subject with blood on his hands, the subjects admitted to dumping deer carcasses on the property without permission. The carcasses were picked up along with a small amount of trash, and a ticket was issued.
CO Derek Miller responded to a complaint about a subject who reportedly shot a deer illegally and had another one hanging in his barn. Upon contact, he advised the subject that he observed a deer hanging in his barn and that they needed to discuss both deer. The subject gave a confession to shooting one deer without a license, and advised that the other was a car kill and they had not obtained a permit. A ticket was issued for the illegal deer, and both sets of antlers were seized.
CO Jason J Smith received a trespass complaint that occurred during the firearms deer season. When CO Smith interviewed the subject at his home, he gave a full confession to trespassing and having an uncased firearm in his motor vehicle. The subject also admitted to trespassing on other property in that area for several years.
CO Kyle Bader responded to a RAP complaint, and upon arriving at the scene, contacted a 13-year-old hunter coming out of the woods by himself. The young hunter was carrying a shotgun, barely had any orange on, and said he thought his dad had his license. The young hunter told CO Bader about the deer his dad had shot this year. After the close of hunting hours, a hunter came out of the woods on an ORV. The hunter was not wearing any orange, not wearing a helmet, and had a loaded and uncased 12-gauge shotgun on the front of the ORV. The hunter was a nonresident, but purchased Michigan resident licenses. The hunter admitted to not tagging the 8-point he shot earlier in the season, and produced two unused combination licenses. He gave CO Bader a validated antlerless tag that he used earlier in the year. The hunter had no more antlerless tags, so he was hunting the antlerless season without a license. Later in the contact, the hunter admitted to killing a second doe and putting his 13-year-old son’s tag on it, meaning that not only was the youngster unsupervised and not wearing orange, he had no license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Todd Szyska and Kris Kiel report that the subject who they caught taking a large sturgeon out of season took a plea bargain. The defendant pleaded guilty to taking a lake sturgeon during the closed season. He was ordered to pay $600 in fines and costs, $1,500 restitution for the sturgeon, received a one-year fishing license revocation, $10 conservation fee, and his fishing poles were condemned. The 90 days of jail time was suspended pending he pay all of his owed monies by mid-February 2013.
CO Ken Kovach assisted CO Ben Lasher with a lighted bait pile on state land in St. Clair County. The COs checked the stand several times in an attempt to catch the subject. One evening, nearly two hours after the end of legal hunting hours, CO Kovach observed fresh footprints in the snow heading back to the stand. Using a thermal imager, CO Kovach sneaked back into the area and found a subject in the treestand over an illegal amount of bait. After identifying himself, the CO ordered the subject down and observed him through the thermal imager un-nock his arrow. The subject had a string of green Christmas lights stuffed in a box that was connected to a battery on a timer. It was placed on the opposite side of the bait pile and at certain times, it would turn on and illuminate any deer that were on the bait. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach received a complaint of trespassing on property that wasn’t posted. CO Kovach walked the property to confirm it was not posted, and observed drag marks in the snow. He followed them to a nearby house and contacted a subject who stated his son recently shot a deer. Upon inspecting the deer, CO Kovach found it was not tagged, and a check revealed the shooter did not purchase a hunting license. Enforcement action was taken.