Ohio Cuffs and Collars – September 13th, 2013

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• State wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, was patrolling Deer Creek Wildlife Area early on a Sunday morning when he noticed a vehicle parked at an odd angle in one of the parking lots. As he approached the vehicle, he observed a man reclined in the driver’s seat, asleep. The officer also noticed a pipe and a plastic bag on the center console. It took officer Coffman five minutes of knocking and shouting to get the man’s attention. When the man finally woke up and rolled down his window an unmistakable odor poured out of the vehicle. Officer Coffman asked the man to please hand over his marijuana and pipe. The man did as he was asked and was issued a summons for possession of marijuana. He was fined $100 and court costs.
• State wildlife officer supervisor Mike Miller investigated a complaint that a Vermont deer hunter was hunting in Ohio with only one deer permit and killed two deer at the same time. After researching the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer database, the hunter’s name and contact information were sent to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department for assistance in the investigation. A game warden with Vermont Fish and Wildlife interviewed the man and obtained a written statement of the hunting incident. Officer Miller then questioned the man over the phone with assistance from Vermont. The man was charged in Mount Vernon Municipal Court with taking a deer without a valid deer permit, failing to immediately attach a temporary deer permit, and failing to electronically tag a deer by 11:30 p.m. on the date of harvest. The man paid court waivers in the amount of $265.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• State wildlife officer Brian Bury, assigned to Sandusky County, was contacted regarding a man snagging walleyes in the Sandusky River in Fremont. Officer Bury went to the location and found the suspect. Officer Bury watched him for a few minutes and saw him snag a walleye in the belly and place it on a stringer. The man then saw Officer Bury and began to leave the river quickly, without his fish or fishing pole. When asked for his fishing license, the suspect, whom officer Bury knew by name, presented a fishing license in the name of another man. The reason he was using someone else’s license was because he was currently under a fishing license revocation for the third time in his life. The man was cited for snagging walleyes, fishing under revocation, and using the license of another person. These were lifetime wildlife violation numbers 11, 12, and 13 for the suspect. The court case is pending.
• In January, state wildlife officer Matthew Leibengood, assigned to Seneca County, responded to numerous complaints of illegal hunting activity in Hancock County. At sunset, officer Leibengood noticed three Canada goose hunters did not begin gathering their decoys as most hunters would at the end of legal shooting time. Nine minutes after sunset the geese began flying and the hunters responded by calling and waving their goose flags. As geese approached their decoys, the hunters sat up in their blinds, and shot and killed one of them. As time progressed, more and more geese were flying around and killed by the three hunters. The last shots were fired 19 minutes after legal shooting time ended. Officer Leibengood contacted the hunters and counted their dead geese. He determined that the hunters killed one over the daily limit of Canada geese. The dead geese were seized as evidence since they were all taken illegally after hours. All three hunters were charged with taking Canada geese outside of the legal shooting time. One of the hunters was issued a second charge for taking over the daily limit of Canada geese. The defendants appeared in Findlay Municipal Court and pleaded not guilty. All three were eventually convicted of taking Canada geese outside the legal shooting time. As part of a plea agreement, the charge of taking more than the legal limit of Canada geese was dismissed. Two defendants were each ordered to pay restitution of $150 to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and $107 in court costs. The third defendant was ordered to pay $200 in restitution to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and $107 in court costs. The geese were forfeited to the state.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Summit County, received multiple complaints about individuals keeping crappies under the legal length of nine inches and taking more than the legal limit of 30 fish. Several days later, officer Brown received a call regarding two individuals with a five-gallon bucket almost filled to the top with what appeared to be undersized fish. He arrived at the location where the individuals were last seen, but the suspects had left. In hopes that the individuals continued fishing, officer Brown took a quick drive to the other side of the lake and spotted the suspects’ vehicle. A cursory look in the back window revealed a large plastic bag with numerous fish in it as well as a five-gallon bucket, as the caller described. Officer Brown walked into the woods, contacted the individuals, and asked about their fishing activity. The two suspects denied having any fish when asked and stated they had just started fishing. Of course, that was not the case and it was soon discovered that the two men had 114 fish in the vehicle. Of those 114 fish, only 11 were of legal size of nine inches. Officer Brown seized the fish and issued each man a summons for possession of crappies under the nine-inch limit and taking 27 fish over the legal bag limit. The men appeared in court, were convicted and ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $522.
• On a warm spring day, state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Wayne County, was patrolling the Portage Lakes in Summit County. Officer Warren monitored the public fishing access at the Wildlife District Three office and immediately observed two individuals passing a glass pipe in a manner consistent with the smoking of a controlled substance. Shortly thereafter, he contacted the two individuals and detected an odor of marijuana. Officer Warren spoke to both men separately and asked what substance was inside the pipe. The first individual claimed that it was tobacco. When Officer Warren asked the second man the same question he replied, “Well, it’s not tobacco.” Both individuals were cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and ordered to appear in Barberton Municipal Court.
• While patrolling Tappan Lake, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, watched three individuals enjoy the day with their favorite beverages. As each person finished the drink of their choice, they took turns tossing the glass bottles into the weeds along the shore. Officer Turner contacted the group and issued summonses to each individual for stream litter. The trio appeared in court, were convicted and ordered to pay fines totaling $450.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• State wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, responded to a trash dumping complaint in Scioto County. There was a large trash dump along the creek bank of the suspect’s residence that was still burning. Officer Abbott issued a summons to the defendant, who pleaded no contest and was issued a fine and court costs totaling $224, and also sentenced to 20 hours of community service.
• In mid-August, state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, was on patrol at Ross Lake Wildlife Area. He observed several anglers, and one of them was wading in the lake in a secluded area by himself. Officer Nelson observed him casting and reeling and then he moved out of sight. Officer Nelson drove to the other side of the lake to make contact with him, but only located the other anglers he saw. He did see a woman who was with the angler who disappeared. She was at their van, and the man was nowhere to be seen. Officer Nelson checked other anglers and returned to his truck. As he got to his truck, he saw the man get into the van and they began to leave the area. Officer Nelson stopped the vehicle for a license check. The man, whose jeans were dripping wet, denied fishing and stated that he was only trying to get a lure out of a tree for his daughter. Once Officer Nelson advised the man he had watched him for some time, the man then stated he was fishing and didn’t have a license because it expired a few weeks ago. The man was issued a summons for no fishing license and advised of when the licenses go on sale and expire. While issuing the man his ticket, officer Nelson observed a flavored cigar wrapper package on the floorboard. After the ticket was issued, officer Nelson advised the pair that they were free to leave, which they understood. He then asked if he could ask them some questions. Officer Nelson advised them he saw the flavored cigar wrapper on the floor and asked them if there was anything in the vehicle they shouldn’t have, such as illegal drugs. Officer Nelson asked for consent to search the car and they agreed to that. The man stated he had a marijuana pipe in his pocket, which he retrieved and gave to officer Nelson. There was nothing else located in the car after the search. The man was issued an additional summons for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• While working sportfishing enforcement on the Whitewater River in Hamilton County, officer Ryan Schock observed numerous people fishing. As he watched for apparent fishing violations, officer Schock recognized one individual on the river as being a man he had given a verbal warning for fishing without a license just a few weeks before. As officer Schock began to contact the people fishing and check their licenses, the individual that officer Schock had previously warned saw him and immediately threw his fishing rod into the river. The individual then started to walk back to his car. Officer Schock contacted the individual and asked to see his fishing license. The man stated that he was not fishing. Officer Schock escorted the man back to the location on the river bank where he had thrown his fishing rod in the river and informed him that he had observed the man engage in fishing for about 30 minutes. Officer Schock then recovered the fishing rod from the river and the suspect admitted he was fishing. The man was summoned to appear in Hamilton County Municipal Court for fishing without a license.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *