Illinois Cuffs & Collars – March 22nd, 2013
A District 1 sergeant started an investigation involving a deer that was illegally taken in Rock Island County. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined numerous deer were illegally taken and possessed. The last pending case was completed in February of this year. As a result of this investigation and at the conclusion of all pending cases, the violator pleaded guilty in two states and three counties. He pleaded guilty to three felonies (unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Muscatine County, IA; violation of felony probation for aggravated domestic battery in Mercer County, and unlawful taking of protected species (deer) in Rock Island County). He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully taking wild turkey. Several wildlife charges were dismissed as part of plea agreements reached in all jurisdictions. He was sentenced to approximately three years in jail. His fines in all jurisdictions totaled $4,396. All equipment and evidence seized in both Illinois and Iowa was awarded to the Illinois and Iowa DNR.
A District 1 sergeant was called while off duty regarding a traffic stop initiated by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department. A deputy stopped a vehicle that was occupied by three subjects who were in possession of firearms, cannabis and two dead raccoons. One of the subjects was a convicted felon. The sergeant went on duty and responded to assist in the investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined the subjects were illegally raccoon hunting. During interviews with the subjects, the sergeant also determined the felon illegally shot two deer during the 2011 deer season and that two of the subjects had illegally squirrel hunted. The convicted felon was charged with: possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful transportation of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of illegally taken protected species (raccoons), unlawfully hunting squirrels without a valid hunting license, unlawfully deer hunting without a valid deer permit, unlawfully deer hunting without a valid hunting license, unlawful taking of a deer (doe), illegal hunting method (.22 rifle), and unlawfully taking a deer (8-point buck) without a valid deer permit. The other subject was charged with: unlawful possession of cannabis, contributing to unlawful transport of loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of illegally taken protected species (raccoons), and unlawfully hunting squirrels without a valid hunting license. Both the subjects were issued multiple written warnings for additional wildlife violations. The second subject pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis. His fines and costs totaled $670. He pleaded guilty to unlawful transportation of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (driver) and unlawful possession of illegally taken species (raccoons). His fines and costs totaled $789 for his conservation violations.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department called a CPO to report a personal injury single sled snowmobile accident involving an 8-year-old girl and her uncle outside the village of Roscoe in Winnebago County. The victims and their families were met at Rockford Memorial Hospital, where written statements were obtained. The investigation revealed the uncle was allowing the 8-year-old girl to drive her parents’ unregistered and uninsured full-size snowmobile around a friend’s private property while he was riding on back. Upon approaching a snow mound, the uncle reached around and grabbed the handlebars while blanketing the little girl’s hands then depressed the throttle to full as they jumped the mound. This action caused a loss of control which resulted in the snowmobile to colliding head-on with the backside of a parked pickup truck. The collision ejected the uncle over the head of the 8-year-old, causing bruising to her face, three front teeth to be chipped, and deep lacerations to each shin. The uncle struck the tailgate face first causing a severe concussion and broken nose. In addition to the careless operation, registration, insurance violations, the uncle’s blood- alcohol concentration was 0.197 percent.
Following up on a complaint, a CPO interviewed a subject about a deer he killed. The subject admitted to killing the deer without a valid permit in possession. The subject was cited and his 10-point buck seized.
Conducting random checks on the Internet, a CPO located two subjects that appeared to have illegally killed animals without valid licenses. The subsequent interviews found that one subject had killed a turkey without a valid tag in possession. The other subject admitted to killing deer and placing his wife’s tag on the deer. Both subjects were cited.
A CPO handled a personal injury snowmobile accident on the Fox River. The two subjects were found to have skipped open water and sunk their sleds in the Fox River. One driver was carrying a passenger at the time. She was transported to a local hospital. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. This same CPO handled two snowmobile accidents; one was another personal injury accident. The first one involved a subject falling through ice and the second involved two young children pulling each other on a sled behind a snowmobile. The subject hit a park pole and injured his ribs. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.
A CPO in Henderson County responded to a complaint of unlawful taking of paddlefish during the closed season on the Mississippi River. The investigation is ongoing.
Two CPOs in Winnebago County responded to a complaint of a Rockford resident who was shooting rabbits in his back yard in the city limits. The investigation revealed the man did, in fact, repeatedly shoot a wild cottontail rabbit using a pellet rifle. This subject was a repeat offender for this poaching activity and was arrested for unlawful taking rabbit during the closed season. The shooters pellet rifle was also seized as evidence in this case.
Two CPOs in Stephenson County responded along with the Illinois State Police and Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department to a school lockdown as a result of handgun shots being heard by students in the immediate area. After unsuccessfully locating an assailant around the school, it was believed that coyote hunters in the area were the cause of the firearm shots being made. The CPO learned the shooting originated from a father and son who were target shooting with a newly purchased handgun at a nearby rural residence.
A CPO and CPOT conducted a deer permit investigation where a man checked in a deer shortly after buying the tag. The tag was also purchased after legal hunting hours. When asked what happened, the man was upfront in stating he killed the doe but did not want to burn his “buck” tag on it. He then decided to go to a nearby convenience store and buy an over-the-counter antlerless-only firearm tag. The man was issued a citation for failure to immediately tag his deer upon kill.
A CPO conducted a deer permit investigation where a man checked in a deer shortly after buying an archery deer tag. The man initially was very confident that he had killed the 15-point buck the day after the tag was purchased. When confronted with the information from the POS system, the man started to change his story, but eventually admitted to killing the deer and buying the tag the next morning. It was also determined that the 20-year-old killed a buck with a muzzleloader but did not have an FOID card. Citations were issued for failure to tag, failure to report harvest by 10 p.m., unlawful take of white-tailed deer, and hunting without a valid archery deer tag. The FOID violation is being presented to the State’s Attorney for possible prosecution. The 15-point deer rack was seized as evidence.
A Madison County Officer was called to Cahokia Mounds for a complaint of an individual bowhunting on the site. There is no hunting allowed at the site, and this incident occurred on Feb. 7. The CPO spent about 2½ hours searching the woods with no suspect being located.
A Montgomery County CPO was checking fishermen below Lake Lou Yaeger spillway and observed two males smoking cannabis. Both males were arrested and booked into Montgomery County jail for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cannabis less than 2.5 grams.
A Montgomery County CPO issued two tickets and four warnings to a group of raccoon hunters for failure to have hunting licenses and habitat stamps.
A District 13 officer received information of possible fraudulent use of deer permits in Washington County. After investigating the complaint, the officer discovered that a hunter had illegally shot two deer and called another person to bring their deer permit to tag the deer. The investigation was completed and citations were issued to the individuals for their illegal actions.
A St. Clair County officer arrested a subject after conducting a deer permit investigation. It was found that the subject went out in the field without a hunting license/habitat stamp, and without a deer permit. He shot a doe and then went to purchase a deer permit after he field-dressed the deer and left it lay in the field. After returning to apply the tag, he then called in the deer harvest. After an interview by the officer, he admitted to the violations. He was cited with hunting with no valid hunting license and failure to tag deer immediately upon kill. He was issued written warnings for hunting with no valid habitat stamp and failure to have a hunting license and deer permit in possession while hunting. He has a mandatory court date in Macoupin County.
A District 13 officer received information of possible fraudulent use of deer permits in Randolph County. After investigating the complaint, the officer discovered that a hunter had illegally shot a buck but had not obtained a deer permit at the time of the harvest. The hunter then purchased a deer permit after the fact and reported the harvest. The investigation was completed and citations were issued to the individual for the illegal hunting.
A CPO in Madison County continued with deer permit investigations. A Godfrey man was issued a citation for failing to immediately tag upon kill when he decided not to burn his “buck” tag on the doe he just shot. Instead he went to the local Wal-Mart and bought an over-the-counter antlerless firearm permit and used it later to tag his deer.
A District 13 CPO assisted a local police department with a child neglect/endangerment case. An 8-year-old autistic child was left at home in a bedroom with no access to food or water. The child was accompanied only by the family dog, which had urinated and defecated several times on the floor. The parents were arrested by the local police department. The 8-year-old and two younger siblings were placed with family members.
A St. Clair County CPO issued a written warning to a St. Clair County archery deer hunter. The subject failed to report his harvest in the correct county.
A case initiated by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department led to securing two felony arrest warrants for obstructing justice, and two search warrants. A convicted felon shot a coyote with a rifle and then coerced his girlfriend into confessing to shooting the coyote even though she was not present. Unfortunately, these plans were made while the felon was incarcerated and the entire conversation was recorded after being advised it was being recorded. The subject raised money for bail by selling a large deer mount. On Feb. 7, the Jasper County State’s Attorney issued two arrest warrants for the subject and his girlfriend for felony obstruction. A CPO and a Jasper County Deputy served the first arrest warrant on the girlfriend when she appeared in court on the original charges. Based on an interview with her, a search warrant was obtained for two residences in Crawford County. CPOs and Jasper and Crawford County deputies started to serve the other arrest warrant while a sergeant was securing the search warrant. While serving the arrest warrant, an active meth lab was discovered, the felon and one other subject was arrested. The ISP Meth response team was called out. The search warrants were executed with multiple wildlife parts being seized along with evidence of the meth lab. Multiple charges are pending.
A CPO conducted a timber truck stop. The driver had no proof of ownership which led the officers to investigate the timber buyer. The officers observed timber buyer records violations, and the case is still under investigation.
A CPO assisted the White County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police in investigating the report of a vessel capsized on the Wabash River near the Mount Vernon Indiana Bridge. The vessel was determined to have been abandoned and washed ashore in a log jam.
A CPO is investigating two Louisiana residents who deer hunted in Crawford County this past season. One of the subjects shot a buck with doe-only permits, and the other subject shot a buck with a rifle and did not have permits. The CPO worked this case with the officers in Louisiana.
A CPO and CPOT caught two subjects rabbit hunting on Feb. 23 in Marion County. They had killed one rabbit.
A CPO investigated a trapping complaint in Union County. A subject had his great dane dog caught in an unlawful leg hold trap on his own property. The traps were seized pending investigation. A total of six unlawful traps were discovered.
A CPO performed motorist assist of a subject who had struck a deer which was crippled. The CPO dispatched the deer and it was taken to motorist’s home where documentation was completed and the deer awarded to subject.
A CPO and a CPOT responded to a 65-foot houseboat that drifted from the Rend Lake marina and was on the rocks in rough weather conditions. The watercraft was checked for operator and passengers, secured and the owner was notified of the situation.
A CPO had two dispositions from Hamilton County cases during the first firearm deer season of 2012. Two men pleaded guilty to failure to tag and unlawful possession of deer. The men were fined $1,880 and given 24 months of supervision. A $250 civil penalty was assessed for each of the three deer, totaling $750. A separate out-of-state hunter was fined $1,500 for deer hunting violations.
A CPO caught two subjects with loaded uncased guns in a vehicle while snow goose hunting in Marion County.
A CPO cited a subject in Lawrence County for unlawful take a deer. The subject killed a doe and wanted to save his either sex tag for a buck.
An unlicensed outfitter case resulted in the unlicensed outfitter pleading guilty and paying a fine of $3,400.
A CPO responded to a call reporting that a trumpeter swan had flown into a highline wire. The bird was banded and was recovered at the site. The USFWS was notified of the incident.