Michigan Cuffs & Collars – September 13th, 2013


CO Dennis Gast observed a boat on a small inland lake with two subjects fishing. Upon contact, CO Gast found that the boat was unregistered and there were no personal flotation devices on board. Both subjects were fishing without licenses, and both were suspended and had warrants out for their arrest. Enforcement action was taken for the fishing violations, and the subjects had to post bond to prevent a trip to the county jail.
CO Dave Miller reports there was an ORV fatality in Baraga County. The operator was not wearing a helmet and crashed his ORV. The crash was possibly the result of the operator having a heart attack.
COs Dave Miller and Mark Leadman worked several complaints regarding early bear baits and trespassing in Ontonagon County. Several illegal ORV trails and illegal blinds were located on private property, and one illegal bear bait was located.
CO Dave Painter served a trespass warrant on a very irate subject. The charges stem from an ORV incident in which the subject pursued juveniles who were operating ORVs on the county road.
CO Dave Painter had a busy week on local lakes in Iron County. Two subjects were ticketed for fishing without a license. One subject was the third-generation family member to be arrested by CO Painter for game and fish violations.


COs Robert Crisp, Jerry Fitzgibbon, and Mike Hammill assisted in the investigation of a suspicious situation. Clothing and other items were found on a beach near Grand Marais. The items belonged to a person from Illinois who had been reported missing. Both land and water searches were conducted, with negative results.
CO Robert Crisp assisted local deputies with an ORV accident. Two youths in a side-by-side ORV had struck a tree head-on. They were taken to the Munising hospital with minor injuries. The ORV was a complete loss.
CO Mike Hammill was on routine marine patrol on a local inland lake when he encountered a pair of anglers, one of whom didn’t have a fishing license and claimed that he wasn’t fishing. Because the CO didn’t actually see him fishing, Hammill then proceeded to the boat launch, loaded his boat, and left. He returned moments later and observed the angler from a concealed location. Sure enough, the subject was actively catching fish. The CO launched his boat once again and issued a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Jeff Panich stopped two subjects on Drummond Island on top of Marble Head for operating an ORV in a closed area. The illegal operation took them within inches of going off a cliff. This safety concern was mentioned by the CO, and one of the subjects complained, “We’re all adults here,” and that “nobody would ever drive off a cliff.” As the CO explained how accidents can happen, another ORV approached and the driver accidently hit the gas instead of the brake, causing her to crash into a tree. The subject was OK other than a few bumps and bruises. The incident proved the point the CO was making, and was well taken by the complaining subject. Tickets were issued for operating in a closed area.
CO Kyle Publiski is investigating a subject from Drummond Island who cut 15 large maple trees from state land. Though all were good saw logs for lumber, the subject cut them all into firewood, and has been selling it locally.
CO Kyle Publiski contacted a boater with 2007 registration. When questioned, the boat operator stated he had borrowed the boat from a friend. Once CO Publiski ran the registration and found the boat to be registered to the operator, he questioned him about not telling the truth. The operator said he thought it would get him out of a ticket if he said he borrowed the boat.


CO Bill Webster was patrolling with the U S Coast Guard on Lake Huron, checking diving vessels, when they contacted a diver who was having a decompression-related emergency. CO Webster, realizing the severity of the situation, arranged to have him loaded on the Coast Guard boat and taken to a landing site, where he was transported to a decompression chamber.
CO Kelly Ross contacted a boater who had expired registration and did not have any PFDs. While talking with the operator, Ross learned that he had rented the boat from an individual. CO Ross then contacted the owner of the boat and issued him a ticket for operating an illegal boat livery.
CO Carl VanderWall had just begun a patrol for early bear baits when he found a vehicle parked at a location he knew of for an early bait. CO VanderWall walked in and stood behind the bear baiter while he placed items for bait. When the CO announced his presence, the subject was surprised. A ticket was issued.
CO Duane Budreau served an arrest warrant for the illegal killing of a deer, which resulted from an investigation in which the suspect is believed to have shot a large trophy buck at night, with a centerfire rifle, and over an illegal bait pile during last year’s muzzleloader season.
CO Carl VanderWall reports a defendant was found guilty for the illegal killing of two goslings with a paintball gun, and ordered to pay $1,285 in fines, costs, and reimbursement. The subject killed the geese because they were defecating on his lawn.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski recovered a stolen shotgun from a subject in a case in which a different individual was suspected of stealing the firearm. The investigation involved several people and resulted in confessions obtained from witnesses and the suspect. Multiple felony charges are pending. The suspect was only recently released from prison and is still on parole/probation.


CO Sam Koscinski was off duty at his residence when he received a call about a bear attack on a 12-year-old girl who lives in his neighborhood. The 12-year-old was out running on a trail through her grandfather’s property when she was taken down twice, causing multiple lacerations. CO Koscinski responded immediately and administered first aid, along with an off-duty Michigan State Police trooper, until the girl was transported and airlifted to a hospital. CO Holly Pennoni responded to the scene, and the two COs secured and investigated the attack scene and collected evidence late into the night. The following day, Sgt. Bob Torres secured the victim’s clothing from the hospital. Evidence from the clothing was obtained, allowing for future identification of the responsible black bear through DNA testing. Wildlife Division set several live traps in the area with the intention of capturing the responsible bear.
Two nights after the bear attack in Wexford County, COs Sam Koscinski and Holly Pennoni responded to a complaint about a homeowner two miles from the attack site shooting and wounding a bear next to a dumpster in his driveway. The subject claimed he feared for his life after he investigated a noise he heard outside his residence. The COs were able to track down the wounded bear in the dark and safely dispatch the large male bear. The following day, Wildlife Division was able to transport the bear to the lab in Lansing where a necropsy was performed and samples were obtained for DNA testing to determine if there was a match with the samples from the attack bear. An investigative report of the incident will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review.
CO Justin Vanderlinde responded to a complaint in Manistee County about a deer being shot illegally. CO Vanderlinde obtained a photo and name of a potential suspect. After several interviews with multiple subjects, CO Vanderlinde was able to determine who illegally shot the deer and removed the backstraps. Evidence was secured, and an investigative report was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for the issuance of arrest warrants.
CO Brian Brosky was conducting surveillance in a high complaint area on the Little Manistee River when he observed a subject attempting to snag salmon. After landing and retaining a foul-hooked salmon, the subject was contacted and ticketed for the violation.
CO Mike Wells was working a complaint on the Muskegon River of subjects taking overlimits of trout. CO Wells located two subjects matching the suspect description and watched them for approximately four hours. The trout were not biting well, and the subjects caught few fish. When contacted, one of the subjects possessed three undersized trout, and the other possessed two undersized trout. When asked if they measured the fish, the subjects answered that they didn’t have to because the trout were dead due to swallowing the hook and they didn’t want to waste them. During CO Wells’ observations, the subjects made no attempt to measure the fish and just threw them into their bag after unhooking the trout. The fish were seized as evidence, and tickets were issued for the possession of undersized fish.


CO Mark Papineau contacted two anglers fishing from shore on the Tittabawassee River. Upon contact, the CO observed several undersized bass and walleyes floating belly-up on the water in front of the anglers. The anglers advised CO Papineau that the fish had swallowed the hook and died. As CO Papineau counted the fish in their bucket, he discovered several additional undersized bass and walleyes in addition to an overlimit of panfish. At that point, both subjects admitted to dumping the undersized fish in the river upon seeing the CO. However, they did not get them all out of their bucket. If all that was not bad enough, one of the anglers had failed to purchase a fishing license. CO Papineau seized the fish and issued several tickets.
CO Brian Olsen was on marine patrol when he observed an unregistered personal watercraft. Upon contact, it was learned the operator was a juvenile without the proper safety certificate. CO Olsen gave a verbal warning for the violations to the juvenile and his father. Two days later, CO Olsen located the same unregistered PWC being operated on the same lake with the same father who had been warned earlier. A different approach was taken this time, with a ticket issued for the violation.
CO Brian Olsen checked anglers on a lake in Roscommon County. As he approached, the CO asked how the fishing was. The anglers responded that they had caught a few panfish. After checking their licenses, CO Olsen asked to look at the fish. It was then that the anglers began acting nervous and stated they also had a couple 12-inch walleyes in their bucket. Enforcement action was taken for possession of undersized walleyes.
CO Murray Cherry was on a lengthy foot patrol in Deadstream Swamp when he located two individuals operating a golf cart and tending an early bait. The subjects claimed it was a deer bait, not a bear bait. The subjects were ticketed for baiting for deer prior to Oct. 1.
CO Chris Bowen was on patrol and made contact with wood cutters. He witnessed the subjects cutting a standing live oak tree. During the interview, the subjects told CO Bowen they cut the live oak tree because there was a dead limb at the top of it that they couldn’t get to. The subjects were ticketed.


CO Chad Foerster was working the local access sites on the Saginaw River when he observed a boat coming toward the launch. The boat got within 100 yards and was turned around. The CO yelled for the operator to turn back around and come to the launch, and the operator complied. The subject had two undersized walleyes on board. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joshua Wright received a complaint that a person who was metal detecting on state land found an unusual object that was buried. CO Wright went to the complainant’s house and quickly identified the objects as pipe bombs and a shrapnel bomb. The residences around the complainant’s house were quickly evacuated, and the MSP bomb squad was called to the scene. The bomb squad determined that all the components were there for seven pipe bombs and one shrapnel bomb, but none of them were completely put together. Further investigation is being conducted by the CO and the MSP.
While conducting a marine patrol out of Port Austin, Sgt. Tony Soave and CO Bob Hobkirk checked a fishing vessel with two occupants on board. When the subjects were asked for licenses, one subject stated that he was a nonresident and did not have a license. At that time, the other subject stated that he was fishing with too many lines. A ticket was issued for fishing with greater than three lines, and a warning was given to the nonresident.
COs Seth Rhodea and Josh Wright were patrolling in the Rush Lake State Game Area when they were contacted by the owner of a Jeep. After a short conversation, the COs left to work an area of illegal ORV operation and motor vehicle hill climbing. After waiting for only a few minutes, the owner of the Jeep that the COs had just talked with attempted to climb the hill and was promptly contacted and issued a ticket.
CO Nick Atkin was checking anglers on Saginaw Bay when he came upon a single angler actively fishing with four lines. As soon as the angler could make out the approaching CO’s vessel, he started to quickly reel in the fourth line. During the investigation, the CO found the angler had a prior arrest for fishing with too many lines. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dan Lee watched a couple of anglers for a while on a local river. When he contacted the pair, one of the men stated that he was not fishing. The CO asked the angler to come with him to his patrol truck and bring the pole he had been using to fish. The man picked up a pole and followed the CO to his truck before realizing he had just admitted to fishing, and lying about it.
CO Joel Lundberg was watching two anglers with binoculars. The CO recognized one of the anglers as an individual he had ticketed for keeping bass during the closed season during a prior year. The CO continued to watch, and then observed the one he recognized keep what appeared to be a short bass. The angler then put it in a bucket and hid it in the woods. The CO contacted the anglers and asked if they had caught any fish. Both said no. The CO then went into the woods and brought the bucket out and showed them the short bass. The CO also found a stringer in the water with several short walleyes. The anglers did not have much to say, and each was issued a ticket.


CO Michael Mshar located treestands set out too early in the Fennville Farm Unit in Allegan County. Contact was made with the hunters, and enforcement action was taken. Hunters are reminded that treestands and portable ground blinds may not be set out on state-owned lands until Sept. 1.
COs Andy Bauer and Steve Mooney patrolled Lake Michigan for marine and fishing activity and observed two separate boaters fishing with too many lines, in addition to locating five subjects on the piers fishing without licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer worked the St. Joseph River system for illegal fishing activity related to summer-run steelhead. CO Bauer observed a man and his 16-year-old son fishing near a dam. CO Bauer watched the father offer his son a drink from a plastic water bottle, and when he turned it down, the father drank the water and threw the bottle into the river. CO Bauer made contact and issued the subject a ticket for littering.
CO Andy Bauer and Sgt. Zach Doss patrolled Lake Michigan and observed a 39-foot boat from Illinois being operated without registration and with a 5-year-old boy on board who was not wearing a PFD. When the officers stopped the vessel, the owner stated that the boat was documented and therefore did not need to be registered. After an explanation of the law, enforcement action was taken.


CO Todd Thorn swore to two separate warrants involving illegal deer-hunting activity that occurred during last year’s firearms deer season. The arrests resulted from a complaint received in July about a deer that was shot by one neighbor and tagged and taken by another neighbor after the deer ran onto his property. An investigation revealed the man who shot the deer did not have a kill tag for it. Three warrant charges were sworn to by the CO.
While patrolling a stretch of the Grand River with a ride-along, CO Todd Thorn came upon a man fishing from the bank. The man had no ID or fishing license. After some discussion, the man was identified and found to be a sex offender out of compliance. The MSP was contacted and made aware of the situation, and enforcement action was taken.
While on marine patrol, CO Rich Nickols observed three subjects who were shore fishing and getting ready to leave. CO Nickols watched a subject pull a stringer out of the water and put it in a cooler. It appeared that there were a couple questionable-sized bass on the stringer. CO Nickols beached his patrol boat and contacted the subjects at their vehicle. One bass was 13 inches and the other was 14 inches. The subject who caught the bass also had a warrant for his arrest. A ticket was issued, and the subject was turned over to the MSP for the warrant.


COs Kris Kiel, Mike Drexler, and Todd Szyska contacted several anglers on a yacht, fishing on Lake St. Clair. Two subjects were standing on the back of the water deck transom of the vessel with fishing poles in hand. When asked for their fishing licenses, the third member of the vessel did all the talking. The speaker was the father and was trying to talk on behalf of his son and his nephew. However, the male subjects were 18 and 17, and neither of them had a fishing license. Further, the nephew stated he did not have his license on him, and then it materialized out of his pocket after more questioning. The nephew was an Alaska resident here on vacation. The spokesperson stated he had taken the boys to the local fishing store to buy the licenses, but his son did not have his driver’s license with him, and nothing was really said about the Alaska nephew. However, the spokesperson was clear to state that he did purchase his fishing license that day and bought the nightcrawlers. Enforcement action was taken, as well as $100 bond for the out-of-state Alaska resident.
COs Kris Kiel, Mike Drexler, and Todd Szyska contacted two subjects in a small, inflatable rowboat one mile off shore from Metro Beach. The small inflatable was being tossed around violently by large-vessel wake. The vessel was occupied by a 24-year-old subject and his 9-year-old nephew. No PFDs were on board the vessel. When the adult was asked why they did not have any life jackets, his response was that his nephew was “a real good swimmer.” It was decided immediately to place the 9-year-old, the adult, and the rowboat on board the patrol boat. The adult, child, and rowboat were taken back to a residence several canals off of the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking vessels near the dumping grounds of southern Lake St. Clair, COs Kris Kiel, Mike Drexler, and Todd Szyska checked a duo fishing for smallmouth bass. When asked how the fishing was, the owner/operator stated it was OK and that they had caught a couple of bass. When an officer looked in the cooler, a 13-inch largemouth bass was discovered. The owner/operator of the vessel made a comment that he knew better. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach worked an early baiting complaint in Genesee County taken from Facebook. CO Ken Kovach met with the subject and found that the suspect was baiting for deer too early. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Lasher had a warrant signed regarding a deer that was taken at night with a bow. The case hinged upon evidence that was seized from search warrants obtained by CO Lasher. The evidence included incriminating digital images of the deer taken from trail camera images that were on the subject’s home computer.

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