Michigan Cuffs & Collars – March 1st, 2013


CO Mark Leadman responded to a complaint about illegal snares on state land. The complainant recovered his dog from one of the illegal snares. The dog spent the night in the illegal snare, but is doing well. The case is under investigation.
CO Matthew Eberly assisted local deputies with a rollover accident.
CO Eberly also attempted to locate a snowmobile accident that was called in to the sheriff’s department. After several hours of searching, CO Eberly and department deputies were unable to locate a victim. CO Eberly did find a possible accident scene with no snowmobile or operator present.
CO Dave Painter observed an angler for an extended time on a rural Iron County lake. The subject walked onto the ice from a cabin multiple times to check four tip-ups in front of the cabin. CO Painter contacted the angler and was quickly informed that two of the tip-ups were his, and two belonged to his wife. An RSS check of the female subject revealed she had not purchased a fishing license for 2012. When presented with the evidence, the husband admitted to tending the overlimit of lines. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon contacted the occupants of an ice shack after dark on a snowy evening. The occupants were surprised to see an officer out in the poor weather conditions. Multiple violations were addressed, including fishing without a license and too many lines.
CO Dave Painter responded to the scene of a snowmobile accident in Iron County. The snowmobile operator failed to negotiate a curve on a county road and left the roadway, striking a tree. The snowmobiler died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
CO Brian Bacon responded to a snowmobile accident near Norway. A 53-year-old female operator hit an icy patch on the trail, causing her to lose control of the snowmobile. The snowmobile overturned and landed on the operator. The operator was transported to Dickinson County Hospital with back and shoulder injuries.


CO Kevin Postma observed two snowmobiles without trail permits or registration. Upon contact, one of the subjects yelled and complained about why he was stopped as he pulled the trail permit and registration stickers out of his pocket. It was then learned that the two subjects didn’t like the colors of the trail permit and registration stickers, as they wouldn’t look good on their sleds. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jared Ferguson assisted in the search for a lost ice angler on Little Bay de Noc during a snowstorm. The subject had become disoriented, and without a compass had walked east instead of west and ended up on the opposite side of the bay. No injuries were involved.
CO Jared Ferguson handled another complaint made by someone walking his dog without a leash in an area where legal trapping was occurring. The complainant was upset that the traps were in the area. The laws were explained to the caller, including the leash law.
CO John Wenzel assisted in the rescue of an ice angler who was driving his ORV when it went through the ice of Little Bay de Noc. The water depth was only 3 to 4 feet deep, and the angler had been standing on his ORV, awaiting assistance. Public safety and search and rescue personnel responded to the scene with their hovercraft and rescued the angler. CO Wenzel assisted in the extrication of the ORV from the ice.
While assisting local deputies at an accident scene, CO Mike Evink’s patrol truck, with emergency lights activated, was struck from behind by another vehicle driving too fast for conditions. Upon stopping at the accident scene, CO Evink watched as three vehicles went out of control ahead of him and drove into the ditch. He then saw in his rearview mirror that a fourth vehicle was skidding out of control behind him. The CO was not injured, and the patrol truck sustained minor damage to the rear bumper.
CO Mike Evink worked a fishing derby on Indian Lake again this year. Even with CO involvement for the past several years on prior contact with participants, he came upon a derby participant fishing with six lines. The person’s excuse was that his brother had just left. After waiting for quite a while and after no brother returned to the scene, a ticket was issued.


COs were busy during the Black Lake sturgeon season. This year there was a six-sturgeon harvest limit, and the season lasted three days. The COs assisted anglers before and during the season. There were few problems, with miscellaneous tickets issued for fishing, snowmobiling, and ORVing violations.
At a wrestling tournament on his pass day, CO Carl VanderWall assisted a subject having a heart attack until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.
CO Jon Sklba found an angler in possession of an out-of-season bass. While writing the ticket, the CO found the subject had a warrant for his arrest. CO Sklba arrested the subject and walked him off the ice, where he was met by a sheriff’s deputy.
Officers from District 3 participated in Operation Life Saver with officers from the sheriff’s department and MSP. The officers focused their enforcement efforts near the Lake State rail line, looking for snowmobile riders operating along and jumping the tracks. Thirty-six tickets were issued during the patrol – 15 for railroad trespass and the others for careless operation, and registration and trail permit violations.


Toward the end of the muzzleloader season, a landowner with posted farmland observed another hunter shoot at an antlerless deer on his property in Leelanau County. The landowner contacted the subject and asked what he was doing, hunting on his property. The landowner also asked the subject if he had an antlerless tag. The trespassing subject stated, “No, but my dad does.” The violation was reported, and CO Rebecca Hopkins has been investigating the incident. Once the trespassing subject was identified, CO Hopkins was able to track down the suspect and close the complaint by making an arrest for recreational trespass.
While on snowmobile patrol, COs Rebecca Hopkins and Justin Vanderlinde observed an unusual trail permit affixed to a snowmobile. CO Vanderlinde discovered the operator had taken part of an unused deer license kill tag and had used an ink pen to write “snow 13” across the tag. The subject then affixed it to the snowmobile, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed. CO Vanderlinde also discovered that the operator was suspended and shouldn’t have been operating a snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken.
While on snowmobile patrol, COs Steve Converse and Justin Vanderlinde discovered a new way one snowmobile operator was using to avoid getting caught. COs Converse and Vanderlinde stopped several snowmobilers, five of whom did not have the required trail permit. The owner of all five snowmobiles advised CO Vanderlinde that he had purchased the trail permits but they were back home. CO Vanderlinde asked where “home” was. The operator gave a location. CO Vanderlinde then advised the snowmobile operator that he would follow them home to see the trail permits. The operator then made a cell phone call to his wife. The conversation went: “You are at Meijers now? You need to come home.” Upon arrival at the residence, the COs observed a half-full glass of wine on the table, fresh tracks out of the residence, but no wife. A short time later, the wife returned with trail permits, the ink on which was still wet, but nothing from Meijers. It seems the cell phone conversation included their secret phrase for the wife to run to the store down the street to buy trail permits due to her husband getting stopped. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Brian Lebel, of Mecosta County, and CO Jeremy Payne, of Isabella County, were working a rabbit-hunting contest that has gained in popularity during the past several years. CO Payne came upon a group of rabbit hunters outside of their vehicle who were acting suspiciously. CO Payne later was contacted by a landowner who identified the same rabbit hunters as those who shot from their vehicle onto private property they did not have permission to hunt. The COs contacted the hunting contest party and conducted interviews. Statements were obtained, and the suspect firearm was seized pending a warrant review by the prosecutor’s office.
CO Jeff Ginn was patrolling the Hess Lake Winter Festival and came upon two ORVs that had gone through the ice. Two nearby anglers who witnessed the incident had used their ice auger to assist in the rescue of the two operators. Divers were called to recover the ORVs that had sunk to the bottom.
CO Mike Wells was checking area lakes on foot when he came upon a tip-up with the flag sprung, indicating a fish was on. CO Wells observed the tip-up for some time with no one tending it. CO Wells checked a lakefront residence and discovered that the subject who had set the tip-up was no longer there. CO Wells requested that the homeowner contact the subject and have him return to the residence. A short time later, the subject returned and admitted placing the unattended tip-ups. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Matt Liestenfeltz assisted local deputies with a domestic complaint. The subject involved in the dispute had an outstanding warrant and was believed to have fled before officers arrived. Officer Liestenfeltz went to the house and was able to convince the subject to come to the door. The subject was then taken into custody without incident.
Patrols were conducted during the second weekend of Houghton Lake’s Tip-Up Town. Officers encountered unregistered snowmobiles, no trail permits, failure to wear helmets while operating snowmobiles, operating ORVs without helmets, fishing with too many lines, and fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Warren MacNeill received a complaint about an angler who had gone through the ice on his ORV and had been unable to get out. CO MacNeill organized a recovery effort between responding agencies. The angler and his quad were located and recovered, but the angler had drowned.
Sgt. Glenn Gutierrez responded to a complaint about a subject cutting wood illegally and found the individual with a pickup load of wood that had been stolen from state land. The subject did not possess a fuelwood permit to cut on state land, and had been ticketed in the past for the same offense. He also had a lengthy criminal record.
CO Steve Lockwood assisted CO Joel Lundberg in ticketing a subject who had harvested a bobcat and failed to attach a kill tag.


CO Joel Lundberg acquired a warrant regarding an assault on an individual who assaulted an angler who was legally fishing in his boat on the Tittabawassee River. The property owner, who lived along the river, did not want the fisherman fishing in the river so close to his home. The homeowner retrieved a fire extinguisher and deployed the entire contents of the extinguisher all over the angler and his boat.
CO Joel Lundberg investigated a case in which a bobcat was killed illegally. An interview confirmed that the suspect trapped and transported the bobcat without a bobcat kill tag. The suspect also was trespassing on private property. Enforcement action was taken, and the bobcat was seized.
COs Quincy Gowenlock and Dan Lee were checking ice fishermen on the Saginaw River when they observed two anglers leaving a large group as they approached. The COs contacted the anglers, who were pulling a sled with ice-fishing rods, tackle, and a bucket with live minnows. The anglers told the COs they were not fishing and that they were only out on the ice to visit some friends. Neither had a license. CO Lee checked a little deeper into the sled and found a hidden walleye. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bob Hobkirk had submitted a warrant request for three subjects who were involved in an incident in which they had killed deer while in a motor vehicle during the 2012 deer season. All of the hunters have been charged. One of the subjects, a juvenile, has been petitioned into probate court for killing a deer while in a vehicle and for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Both of the adults have been arrested on their warrants. One was charged with taking a deer from a vehicle and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. The second adult is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
While checking a group of coyote hunters, CO Bob Hobkirk checked a subject sitting in his vehicle on the side of the road. As CO Hobkirk pulled up next to the subject, the man attempted to unload his shotgun before the CO saw him. However, he wasn’t quite fast enough. The hunter was cited for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.


CO Greg Patten conducted snowmobile patrols in eastern Muskegon County. He issued tickets to three operators for having no trail permits and to two riders for operation of a snowmobile with a suspended operator’s license. A computer check led to another operator being lodged at the county jail on an outstanding warrant regarding child support.
CO Dave Rodgers reported observing a group of five goose hunters for a long period of time as they hunted an open crop field in Kent County. CO Rodgers was able to establish that each hunter in the group possessed a firearm and was hunting. Upon the conclusion of the hunt, one person denied hunting and said he was just there with his friends to watch. When informed by CO Rodgers of his activities during the past couple of hours, he admitted to hunting geese without a license and with an unplugged shotgun. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Steve Mooney, Jeff Robinette, Andy Bauer, and Sgt. Zach Doss participated in a group snowmobile patrol on the Kal-Haven Trail after a recent snowfall. The COs made 247 contacts, gave 21 warnings, and issued 17 tickets for various violations.
While on patrol for snowmobile activity, CO Mike Mshar observed a subject drive her vehicle erratically off the road and onto a snowmobile trail. Contact with the subject revealed numerous empty bottles of alcohol and a strong odor of intoxicants. The subject registered over the legal alcohol limit and was lodged at the Allegan County jail.
CO Mike Mshar responded to a complaint about snowmobilers operating off the trail onto the complainant’s property. It was determined that the complainant had blocked the designated trail, which led to the illegal operation. A discussion with the complainant led to a resolution of the situation.
CO Mike Mshar located a vehicle stuck in the Allegan SGA. Upon contact with the driver, a loaded .22 rifle was located and a confession was obtained from the driver, who let his two juvenile sons hunt unsupervised while he drove around and hunted from his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Damon Owens and Sgt. Troy Bahlau were able to close out a reckless boating case after testifying in a bench trial regarding their observations and evidence. The court found the subject guilty of the charge, and fines of $350 were assessed.
CO Rich Nickols finished an investigation of several deer carcasses dumped on state land, where a couple licenses were recovered. A five-count warrant was approved for one subject who was fraudulently obtaining licenses, and two counts were issued to another subject, who is a deer processor, for littering and failing to maintain records.
CO Daniel Prince checked seven local lakes in Livingston County and made 54 ice-fishing contacts. CO Prince issued three fishing tickets for subjects not having fishing licenses, gave eight verbal warnings for fishing violations, and made one arrest for a subject with a warrant out of Livingston County. The subject was lodged in the Livingston County jail. The subject also had an officer safety caution for felonious assault and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
COs Derek Miller and Jason Smith were checking anglers on Devils Lake when they located an angler in a portable shanty who was using too many lines. When contacted, the subject admitted that he knew he could use only three lines in Michigan, but that one or more of them must have fallen down the hole when he was moving around. CO Miller told him they didn’t just bait themselves and fall down the hole. When the subject was moving out of the shanty, CO Miller observed a glass smoking pipe on his fishing gear in his shanty. A small quantity of marijuana was seized from the subject, and a ticket was issued.
CO Derek Miller, while contacting anglers in Washtenaw County, found two subjects who had quite a few fish in their bucket. When he asked the subjects what kind of fish they had, they reported they were all crappies. CO Miller located one fish in the bottom of the bucket that was different than the others – a largemouth bass. One subject admitted to keeping it and said he just couldn’t throw it back.


CO Ken Kovach received a complaint from local dispatch as well as the RAP hotline about coyote hunters road-hunting and trespassing in the south end of the county. CO Kovach, along with local deputies and MSP troopers, responded to the area. CO Kovach found a few of the suspect vehicles and set up surveillance. After a short time, he contacted a group of subjects. All had their valid hunting licenses; however, several had uncased and loaded firearms in their motor vehicles. One subject had multiple prior violations for the same and related violations. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler finalized a case in which a subject shot a 10-point buck with a rifle on opening day of archery season. The subject pleaded guilty and was fined over $500, served five days in jail, and was charged $1,000 reimbursement for the deer. The subject’s rifle was condemned and his hunting licenses suspended until 2017. Less than two months after he was caught with the illegal deer, the same subject was caught shining with a loaded and uncased rifle by COs Mike Drexler, Derek Miller, and Jason Smith. This case also was finalized and the subject paid $800 in fines.
CO Mike Drexler was checking anglers and gave one subject a warning for fishing without a license. One of the conditions of the warning was that the subject needed to purchase a fishing license within a day. Seven days later, the subject still had not purchased a fishing license, so CO Drexler stopped by his residence. The subject said he would purchase a license this time if the CO gave him another break. The subject received a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Brandon Kieft was making contact with a large group of snowmobile and ORV riders when one of the subjects decided to get on his snowmobile and quickly leave the area. CO Kieft recognized the suspicious activity and jumped into his patrol truck. Taking a shorter route, CO Kieft was able to get behind the operator and conducted a traffic stop. The snowmobile was unregistered and did not have a valid trail permit. The operator also admitted that he left the area because he saw CO Kieft checking the other machines. Tickets were issued for operating an unregistered snowmobile and having no trail permit.
CO Brandon Kieft was checking three anglers on a local lake when he determined one of them did not have a current fishing license. While checking the angler's fishing gear, CO Kieft also located a loaded handgun and a small bag of marijuana. The subject did have a valid concealed pistol license, but had failed to disclose it to CO Kieft. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brandon Kieft and Ben Shively interviewed a subject who had posted a number of photographs online of whitetail bucks that he shot during the 2012 firearms deer season. While questioning the subject, he admitted to shooting three bucks in 2012 – a 4-point, a 6-point, and an 8-point. Further questioning revealed that the subject also used another hunter’s license to tag one of the deer. The deer mounts were seized as evidence, and warrants will be sought through the prosecutor's office.

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