Michigan Cuffs & Collars – July 19th, 2013

DISTRICT 1

CO Ryan Aho worked Gwinn-area lakes and observed two subjects who were fishing from a canoe place an undersized bass on a stringer. Contact revealed several warrants for one subject and no fishing license for the other. Both subjects were ticketed for the violations. Another boat with three anglers was observed with the boat being operated carelessly. When contacted, two of the subjects did not have fishing licenses and there were no personal flotation devices on the boat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ryan Aho was getting fuel in his patrol truck at a gas station in Gwinn. While fueling, a side-by-side ORV pulled up to the gas pump next to the CO. CO Aho observed the driver attempt to hide his open can of beer while the passenger stumbled out of the ORV without noticing the CO next to him. Both subjects were in possession of open cans of beer and had just been operating down a state highway. Both subjects were ticketed for illegally possessing open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
CO Elton Luce was driving down highway M-95 when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. An oncoming car had to swerve off the highway to avoid a head-on collision. Officer Luce was able to catch up to the speeding vehicle and make the traffic stop. The speeding vehicle had been clocked at over 85 mph, with a posted speed limit of 55 mph. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jason Wicklund and Doug Hermanson checked a pair of anglers who were fishing from a dock, and inquired how their luck was. The anglers stated that they had caught a 16- and a 17-inch bass. When the COs checked the grass where the bass were, they observed a 12-inch bass the pair had failed to mention. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund was on marine patrol when he heard a subject whistle and then proceed to “moon” him. The subject stated that his friends were telling him to moon the next boater that came close to the dock and didn’t actually think he would do it. However, the next boater that came by was a CO. A long talk ensued about public decency and consuming alcohol.

DISTRICT 2

CO Kevin Postma was on routine fishing patrol along the Charlotte River when a reckless driver came speeding down a nearby road then wound up along the river’s edge. The CO made it to his patrol truck and proceeded after the out-of-control driver. Upon contact, two young men in the vehicle acted as though the whole thing was funny. A ticket was issued to the driver for careless operation of a motor vehicle. At this point, it didn’t seem quite as humorous to them.
CO Kyle Publiski was awarded a “Professional Excellence Award” from the MSP for his efforts in a search and rescue for a missing subject on Drummond Island. The female had been missing for hours after becoming lost while walking in the woods with her dog. The dog ran after a deer as a severe snowstorm was moving in, and she attempted to find her dog. The snow covered her tracks and disorientated her, which left her helpless until CO Publiski located her just before dark.
CO Mike Hammill was checking anglers along the Tahquamenon River when he observed a subject attempting to quickly leave the riverbank and get to his vehicle. Upon contact, the man said he wasn’t fishing. When the CO mentioned some of the things he was observed doing while fishing, he admitted he was and that he didn’t have a license.

DISTRICT 3

CO Matt Theunick responded to a complaint about two golden retrievers running at large that had killed a fawn, and the complainants had witnessed it occurring. The dogs’ owner was identified and interviewed, and warrants are pending review by the prosecutor.
While off duty, CO Carl VanderWall was approached by an acquaintance who told him he had just picked up a fawn the day before because it appeared “abandoned” and wanted to know what he should do with it. CO VanderWall advised him it was doubtful the fawn was abandoned, and the doe normally leaves the fawn for a period of time, then returns. The CO advised him to immediately return the fawn to where it was found. Three weeks later, a Report-All-Poaching complaint was received that the same subject had a fawn in a fenced area in his backyard. When the subject who took the fawn was contacted, he stated he wasn’t sure if he still had it, but to just go get it if he did. CO VanderWall and Sgt. Greg Drogowski went to the residence, captured the fawn, and relocated it. The subject will be issued a ticket for keeping wildlife in captivity without a license.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski responded to a domestic incident in which a mentally unstable and intoxicated subject was threatening to kill his mother. A local deputy was first to arrive on the scene, just as the suspect was departing in a pickup truck. The suspect rammed the deputy’s patrol car head-on, pushing it into a county road where an oncoming vehicle struck the rear of the patrol car. All vehicles involved were disabled, and the injured deputy ordered the suspect out of his truck and onto the ground. The suspect refused to get down and a TASER was used. The suspect then was taken into custody. Assistance was given regarding the injured, the investigation, and with traffic control.
CO Mark DePew watched two anglers as they caught numerous bass and never threw one back. Upon contacting the subjects, the CO found them in possession of nine largemouth bass, with five of them being undersized. Tickets were issued to both nonresident anglers.
CO Mark DePew observed a vehicle driving 30 mph under the speed limit and driving exclusively in a turn lane. CO DePew activated his emergency lights and the driver immediately made a U-turn, nearly striking an oncoming car. Once the driver was stopped, the CO found the driver highly intoxicated; he was arrested and lodged in the Otsego County jail.

DISTRICT 4

COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski had been working with the U.S. Forest Service and local law enforcement authorities regarding a rash of breaking and entering of campground pay pipes at Forest Service and state forest campgrounds. A “Be On the Lookout” was broadcast, with a vehicle description of the suspect vehicle. A local deputy located and stopped the suspect vehicle, which contained components for the manufacture of methamphetamine. It was determined that the suspects were staying at a local campground. Both COs assisted in securing evidence from the campsite, which included additional meth components and evidence from the pay pipe thefts. The next day it was discovered that additional campsite pay pipes had been broken into. Later that evening, CO Converse stopped a vehicle that was stopped in the dark at a state campground pay pipe. With CO Koscinski’s assistance, evidence from this stop developed two additional suspects who eventually were linked to the original suspects. Evidence seized from the stop included a broken lock from one of the campgrounds and a chain that had been used to break into the pipes. All evidence will be turned over to a task force that is investigating the local crime spree.
CO Brian Brosky responded to a charter boat that was dead in the water over five miles from the port of Ludington. CO Brosky was able to maneuver his patrol boat into position and assist in freeing the charter boat from an unmarked commercial fish net. Upon freeing the vessel from the net, it was still unserviceable and CO Brosky was able to safely tow the vessel back to the harbor. CO Brosky returned to the unmarked net with Commercial Fish Specialist Steve Huff, and together they added additional markings to the net until it was recovered from the water.
CO Troy VanGelderen was patrolling Hart Lake when he observed a vessel with four subjects aboard who were fishing. Upon contacting the subjects, only one of the four had a valid fishing license. Along with the fishing license violations, the watercraft was unregistered and there were no PFDs on the boat. Enforcement action was taken, including arresting one of the subjects for providing a fake identification card and being suspected of being an illegal immigrant. The subject was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
CO Mike Wells was working a national canoe race event when he observed a vessel being operated with an expired registration. Upon contacting the operator, it was determined that he had operated the vessel all of last season with the boat registered to the previous owner. CO Wells issued a ticket for the expired registration and provided a verbal warning for failure to transfer the registration.

DISTRICT 5

CO John Huspen contacted two subjects fishing on Jones Lake in Crawford County, which is limited to catch and release with artificial lures only. Both subjects were fishing with illegal gear and were in possession of panfish. CO Huspen ticketed both subjects for using illegal gear on restricted fishing waters and donated the illegal fish to two youth fishing legally in the area.
CO Mike Hearn received a complaint about a subject operating a dozer near a small inland lake. CO Hearn determined that the work was being done in a small cove area that could not be seen from any access points to the lake. CO Hearn located the suspect at the property, where a pond had been dug and a channel with a culvert had been installed, connecting the pond to the lake. No permits had been issued by the Department of Environmental Quality, and the suspect was ordered to cease activities. CO Hearn is working with DEQ staff to take enforcement action.
CO Mark Papineau observed a subject fishing from a boat on Smallwood Lake and contacted the angler, who advised that he had purchased a fishing license but he did not have it with him. A check of the computer license system showed the angler had not purchased a license since 2007. In addition, several marine violations were present, including no PFDs and an unregistered vessel. The angler was ticketed for fishing without a license, and the vessel owner was ticketed for failing to provide PFDs.
CO Mark Papineau located a vehicle parked on state land in Gladwin County. After an hour, CO Papineau observed two individuals walking through the woods, wearing hip boots and carrying a cooler. When CO Papineau contacted the subjects, they quickly attempted to hide the cooler, which contained drug paraphernalia. COs Papineau and Steve Lockwood were able to back-track the subjects’ path through the woods and located and seized 100 marijuana plants with a street value of $100,000. Warrants are being sought through the prosecutor’s office.
CO Warren MacNeill was called to assist at a scene where a son was chasing his father with a tire iron. The suspect was refusing to cooperate with local law enforcement. CO MacNeill had been forced to use his TASER on this individual in a previous similar situation. Upon CO MacNeill’s arrival and sight of his TASER, the suspect immediately stopped his violent activity and surrendered to the authorities.

DISTRICT 6

While patrolling in heavy fog on Lake Huron, CO Seth Rhodea located a boat with two anglers who were fishing with too many lines. A check of the boat owner’s name revealed that he had been ticketed in the past for fishing with too many lines. Another ticket was issued.
COs Seth Rhodea and Josh Wright were checking anglers along the Quanicassee River when CO Rhodea observed an angler fishing on the opposite shore. Upon contacting the angler, the CO found the subject did not have a valid fishing license and tried to claim he wasn’t fishing, even though the CO was standing next to him and he had a fish on a hook attached to his pole. A ticket was issued.
CO Chad Foerster was on his way home after working the Bay City River Roar when his patrol truck was nearly struck by another motorist. The CO stopped the suspect vehicle and found the driver operating under the influence of alcohol and with a blood-alcohol level of twice the legal limit. Sgt. Tony Soave assisted CO Foerster when the female driver’s boyfriend became irate. The operator was ultimately arrested and lodged at the county jail for operating under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and reckless driving.
CO Nick Atkin was on marine patrol when he checked two anglers. The CO asked the anglers how many walleyes they had caught, and they replied they had caught nine. During the check, the CO located 13 walleyes in the livewell. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin was on marine patrol when he observed an angler fishing with too many lines. While approaching the vessel, the angler was quickly reeling in the extra line. The CO contacted the angler and asked how many lines he had out. The angler replied, “four.” The CO then asked how many walleyes the angler had onboard. The angler stated “one too many.” Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 7

COs Dave Rodgers and Chris Simpson worked with the Wildlife Resources Protection Unit while investigating a case in which a suspect placed an ad and was attempting to sell catfish via a social media website. Contact was made with the suspect, and a purchase of 14 catfish taken from the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County was made by detectives. Officers arrested the subject after the sale for selling sport-caught fish, driving while his license was suspended, and an outstanding arrest warrant. Investigating officers say this subject also had previous felony convictions for drug and firearms violations.
CO Dave Rodgers recently was accompanied by a reporter who was writing an article on a typical patrol day of a Michigan conservation officer. During the patrol, CO Rodgers observed an angler take and retain an undersized bass at the Sixth Street Dam; he contacted and ticketed the angler. He then was contacted along the river by a Boy Scout troop and was requested to give an impromptu presentation on the duties of a conservation officer. CO Rodgers continued his patrol to the Lowell SGA and the Flat River Dam, where he located and ticketed three people fishing without licenses and retaining three undersized bass that were thrown back into the river on a stringer as he approached. After being assured these were the only fish the group had taken, CO Rodgers located a bag hidden in the grass containing seven additional undersized smallmouth bass.
CO Dave Rodgers responded to a RAP complaint about an unregistered boat being operated on a small Kent County lake. After locating the boat and checking the occupants along the shore, CO Rodgers found the unregistered boat and both occupants who were fishing without licenses. While one angler went on about his participation in numerous bass tournaments, CO Rodgers discovered he had not purchased a fishing license since 2011. The second occupant of the boat was wanted on outstanding warrants and was taken into custody. In this case, tickets were issued for violations, and one subject was transported to the Kent County jail.

DISTRICT 8

CO Shane Webster and Sgt. Troy Bahlau worked the Michigan Center Carp Carnival in Jackson County. The COs observed a vessel being operated against the flow of traffic in a clockwise manner, with two occupants dancing while standing on seats in the vessel. The vessel was stopped, and it was determined the operator’s ability to operate was impaired by alcohol. All passengers appeared very intoxicated, with two of them falling down inside the boat during the COs’ contact. The vessel and passengers were turned over to a sober relative who was brought out to the location of the stop to operate the vessel safely back to shore. The operator was lodged in the county jail.
CO Todd Thorn checked an angler on a local lake who stated that he was a tribal member so he didn’t need a fishing license. The man did not know what tribe, and did not produce a tribal card or a fishing license. He then was informed that he was not within a treaty area and he needed to have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Derek Miller was on patrol on state land and found two subjects coming out of the woods at dark near a boat launch. When the subjects were asked what they were doing, they told him they were checking out some deer blinds they found earlier in the year. CO Miller found their story to be a little strange, and asked them to show him the deer blinds. CO Miller escorted the subjects back into the woods and found a small deer blind made of wood. CO Miller also observed a plot of land that had been freshly tilled. Upon closer inspection, the CO discovered approximately 30 marijuana plants that had been planted on state land. CO Miller is currently working with the narcotics team on the grow operation and the two subjects involved. Charges are pending.
CO Derek Miller was patrolling the Huron River when he observed a group of anglers from shore. The CO contacted one of the anglers to see how they were doing. One subject advised CO Miller the he did not have any luck and that his license was at home. Upon checking the subject for a license, CO Miller discovered that he hadn't purchased a license in five years. Upon looking around, CO Miller located a bucket under the bridge. The subject stated that it was his bucket, but that it was just for when he caught fish if needed. Upon checking the bucket, CO Miller located several undersized fish. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 9

CO Mark Ennett and an intern observed several people fishing at the warm-water discharge of the Consumers Power plant in Erie. As they approached the group, one of the anglers decided to sit several feet away from the pole he had been using. His partner then began to use that same pole. CO Ennett told them he had been watching them for some time, and that the attempted diversion would not work. The first subject was ticketed for no license.
CO Lacelle Rabon reports nearly every fishing location along the Detroit River shoreline was filled with white bass anglers. At one place, an angler had 19 white bass in a bucket, and when CO Rabon asked who caught the fish, no one would respond or admit to catching the fish. A closer check of the bucket revealed two undersized smallmouth bass that were still alive, and were returned to the water. After checking other anglers who had not caught any fish, CO Rabon shared the catch with anglers who had fishing licenses. During the same patrol, when anglers observed CO Rabon approaching, the unlicensed anglers ran off and left behind a cooler full of white bass. Once again, the contents of the cooler were shared with anglers who had fishing licenses and had not caught their limits.
CO Brandon Kieft was checking anglers on Squaw Lake in Oxford when he contacted two men with a large number of panfish in their boat. CO Kieft counted the fish and determined that they were four fish over their limit. CO Kieft asked if they had ever had any previous violations with the DNR in the past and both answered no. Further investigation revealed that one of the subjects had been arrested for two previous DNR-related violations. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Kieft was patrolling the Squaw chain of lakes when he contacted the operator of a PWC that was being operated within 100 feet of the shoreline. The registration for the watercraft also was expired and the MC numbers were below the high-water mark and not visible. The operator was followed back to the PWC owner’s property, where a number of other "expired" vessels were docked. Enforcement action was taken.
A St. Clair County resident pleaded guilty to taking a sturgeon during the closed season, resulting from an investigation on a Report-All-Poaching complaint by COs Ben Shively and Kris Kiel. The subject was fined $500, assessed $1,500 restitution, and had his fishing rights revoked until Dec. 31, 2014.
CO Kris Kiel and an intern responded to a RAP complaint at a local Wal-Mart where an employee witnessed a subject drive through a family of Canada geese in the parking lot, killing three, and then flee the scene. The employee recorded the license plate number and reported the incident to a supervisor, who was able to locate surveillance video footage of the incident. CO Kiel reviewed the video, which clearly showed the subject walking out of the store, entering his vehicle, and driving away. Another camera showed the same individual driving though the empty rear of the parking lot, then quickly swerving directly into the family of geese. The brake lights never came on. CO Kiel drove to the subject’s residence and observed him outside his residence, cleaning his vehicle. During an interview, the subject admitted that he was not sorry about what he had done and that Canada geese should go back to Canada. Enforcement action will be taken. Warrants are being sought.

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