New York Cuffs & Collars – July 26th, 2013
Geese from the road
On the afternoon of March 23, ECOs Mark Colesante and Chrisman Starczek approached a truck stopped in the middle of Sherwood Road in the town of Scipio. The driver of the truck was watching a flock of 10,000 snow geese feeding in a field near the road. He was so focused on the flock of feeding snow geese he didn’t notice the marked patrol car approaching. The ECOs pulled alongside the vehicle and obviously surprised the driver. When Colesante asked the hunter if there were any firearms in the truck, he said “yes” and looked down. Colesante quickly exited the vehicle and asked if the gun was loaded. The driver admitted that it was loaded in the magazine. Colesante removed the Benelli shotgun and unloaded two goose loads from the magazine. The driver claimed he was scouting the area. He was issued a ticket for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. The ECOs were patrolling the area in response to several complaints from the locals about people road hunting snow geese and jump shooting them without permission from the landowners.
In March, a Clyde, N.Y. man was issued appearance tickets by ECO Todd A. Smith, returnable in the town of Rose Justice Court, for unlawful tagging of a lawfully taken regular-season buck deer and failure to report the harvest of a white-tailed deer within seven days of taking it.
The arrest stemmed from a routine inspection of a Wayne County taxidermist in December 2012. Smith noticed an unprocessed 13-point whitetail head, antlers and cape. It was tagged/taken on the last day of Southern Zone early bow season on Nov. 16, 2012 in Wayne County with a bow/muzzleloader. deer carcass tag issued to the individual. After closer inspection, Smith noticed what appeared to be a bullet or slug wound and lead fragments on the inside of the deer cape or hide. This was unusual since antlered male deer typically fully lose the velvet from their antlers before the end of September. Also, if shot with a firearm, it would have been tagged with a bow/muzz tag during bow season in an area where muzzleloader season does not open until December.
After further forensic investigation and interviewing the suspect, it was determined that the deer was a very rare, sexually underdeveloped, fall season antlered male deer with a full winter coat that was taken lawfully on opening day of Southern Zone regular season by the man with his muzzleloader. It was then unlawfully tagged by him with his bow/muzz tag in order to preserve his regular-season tag for future use. According to the suspect, and supported by NYSDEC deer harvest reporting records, he reported this particular deer take in mid December 2012. This is approximately three weeks after taking/killing it in violation of state law requiring the take to be reported within seven days of its taking/recovery.
Unlicensed guiding doesn’t pay
On March 7, Lt. Matt Lochner and ECOs Scott Angotti and Todd Smith participated in a waterfowl hunting enforcement detail and conducted a compliance check on ECOs Erik Dalecki and Brian Wade (who were hunting in an undercover capacity) with two unlicensed guides and three other paying hunters in the town of Lyons. The compliance check was performed by uniformed officers when the undercover officers signaled that the hunt was almost done. The hunt was the result of an anonymous call received on Feb. 19 by Dalecki about an ad on craigslist regarding guided snow goose hunts in the town of Lyons. The complainant stated the guide was unlicensed and conducting hunts throughout the Finger Lakes region. A bit of Internet research found the subject in question did not have a license to guide in New York state. With the support of Region 8 Division of Law Enforcement and Central Office DLE, Dalecki and Lt. Matt Lochner were able to set up an undercover snow goose hunt with the subject from the craigslist ad. The operation was a success, netting eight total violations for unlicensed guiding and other duck stamp/HIP number infractions.
Over the limit and out of season
On March 8, ECO Steve Farrand received a call of two individuals taking over the limit of fish and short pickerel through the ice on Lamoka Lake. While driving to the lake, Farrand spoke to the complainant by phone and received good information where to look for the subjects and how to best approach without being seen. Once at the lake, Farrand positioned himself along the side of a cottage where the fishermen in three ice shanties could not see him. Using his field glasses to observe the fishermen, he observed two subjects matching the description the complainant had given. After watching the subjects take some fish and counting tip-ups, Farrand walked out onto the ice and identified myself. The subject’s catch included 64 crappie, 3 perch and 8 pickerel. Farrand also found a hidden largemouth bass in their shanty. Two men were issued tickets for taking over the limit of crappie and taking black bass out of season. A driver’s license check revealed that the driver had driven to the fishing hole with a suspended driver’s license. Deputy Field of the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department responded and took care of the vehicle and traffic violations.
On Feb. 7, ECO Denise Ferraro was called to Roosevelt High School after a teacher observed a contractor digging a hole and pouring a murky liquid into it. Upon her investigation, it was determined that it was a contractor who was resurfacing the gym floors who disposed of the liquid. The employee of the company had a barrel full of wastewater and stripping fluid that he didn't know what to do with. He decided that burial was the answer. The company was charged with unlawfully disposing of the material.
Brooklyn air detail
On Feb. 20, ECOs Jennifer Okonuk, Dustin Dainack, Matthew Clemens, Shea Mathis, Christopher Lattimer, Eric Dowling, Brent Wilson, Jared Wooden, Lts. Bruce Hummel and George Steele, and members from NYPD’s 73rd Precinct participated in a Brooklyn air detail in East New York. The detail’s focus was on air quality violations, the Environmental Conservation Law and Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle (HDDV) safety compliance. The detail lasted for eight hours, with the ECOs issuing summonses for 18 air quality regulations, 4 ECL-related charges and 4 additional HDDV violations, totaling 26 tickets in all. The level of offense for the charges consisted of 20 misdemeanors and 4 violations, with possible penalties totaling over $10,000.
Idling trucks and uncovered loads
On Feb. 26, Officer Neil Stevens received a citizen complaint in the environmental justice area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The complainant alleged that trucks in area were transporting uncovered loads of solid waste and several trucks had been observed idling in excess of the legal limit. Familiar with the area, Stevens focused his patrol in the highly travelled truck routes. It is common practice for some operators to transport loads of solid waste without covering their trucks with tarps. This practice is both illegal and unsafe, as debris may be blown from the trucks during transit. During the focused patrol in the area, several summonses where issued for violations of the Environmental Conservation Law. Summonses included transporting an uncovered load of solid waste, allowing a heavy duty diesel vehicle (HDDV) to idle in excess of five minutes, operation of an HDDV with a leaking exhaust, operation of an HDDV while emitting blue smoke in excess of three seconds.
On Feb. 27, ECOs Gregory Maneeley and Jennifer Okonuk responded to a Kings County business regarding the company allowing livery transport vehicles to operate without proper emission inspections. As the ECOs entered the facility and met with company representatives, it became apparent that it was going to be a long day, as numerous violations were observed. As the day progressed, the ECOs were taken to another company facility where again additional violations were discovered. After concluding their inspection of both facilities, the ECOs issued summonses for HDDV inspection violations, unregistered PBS tank, and illegal disposal of waste oil.
Discharging without a permit
In February, ECO Alan Brassard received a complaint from the New York City Metro Transit Authority (MTA). The complaint was regarding a local cement mixing plant on Staten Island discharging dirty water onto MTA property, adjacent to a set of railroad tracks. Brassard responded with an MTA track employee to the location of the discharge. At the time of the inspection, Brassard observed a hose propped over a fence with grayish water coming out of it onto MTA property. Brassard then went to the cement plant and spoke with the manager. Brassard found that one of the dry wells located at the plant was full of a water cement slurry mix which had a pump in it that was pumping the mix onto MTA property. Brassard spoke with the manager, who stated he was responsible for the activity. The pumping was stopped and Brassard issued the manager a summons for discharging from a point source without a permit.
Deer poachers plead guilty
On March 14, the final suspect in the town of Ava deer jacking case pleaded guilty to killing a deer with the use of a spotlight at night. The shooter, of Forestport, N.Y., was sentenced to three years probation plus a mandatory surcharge for the misdemeanor offense. Her accomplices, one a Lee Center resident and the other from Ava, previously pleaded guilty and paid a $500 fine each for using a spotlight on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle. Back on the night of October 23, 2012, ECO Russell Ritzel was on patrol in the town of Boonville and received a call from State Trooper Hale pertaining to a deer jacking in progress complaint, with shots fired, in the town of Ava on Webster Hill Road. The suspect vehicle was identified, with the plate number, by the complainant. The vehicle had fled the area and a multi-agency search for the vehicle was initiated. Also assisting was State Trooper Iacovissi and Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy Haynes. With the joint efforts of all three agencies, the suspects were located hiding in a residence on East Ava Road in the town of Ava
On March 5, ECO Michael Bello responded to a complaint/request for EnCon assistance from the Fallsburg Fire Chief. Together they responded to an open burn of a large pile of construction and demolition waste at a religious camp in South Fallsburg. Ablaze was a 15-foot diameter pile of shingles, dry wall, mattresses, furniture, PVC piping and other C&D materials. During the interview, the caretaker explained that the carting company had removed the dumpster due to lack of payments. This led the Town of Fallsburg to serve the camp with a violation notice for storage of C&D waste. The caretaker, who recently moved to Fallsburg from Brooklyn, decided to resolve the C&D storage issue by burning it. He was issued summonses for restricted burning and unlawful disposal of solid waste and advised to bring the property owner to his arraignment.