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Thursday, February 9th, 2023

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New York Cuffs and Collars – November 1st, 2013

Second time around
(Onondaga County)

The first weekend in May, ECO Richard Head checked two men on the south shore of Oneida Lake. One of them was casting his line into the lake and the second man was standing there. There was a rod with a lure leaning against the table next to him. When the officer asked to see their licenses, the second man said he was not fishing and that he was “only 16,” anyway. The other man’s license was valid and the officer left. He drove down the road, and watched the pair with binoculars. Both men were casting repeatedly. Head went up to them and started over. The man received a ticket for fishing without a license and it was determined that the subject was 19 years old.

‘Turdle’ sale
(Cayuga County)

In early May, ECO Chris Nielsen received information from DEC dispatch that someone was attempting to sell a snapping turtle (spelled "turdle" in the ad), and asking for the “best offer.” The ECO contacted the seller and stated that he was interested in the turtle and asked how much the seller wanted for it. The seller responded with, "how much would you give me?" The ECO told him that he would need to take a look at it and then discuss a price. The seller said he was home and that Nielsen could stop by to look at it. The ECO responded to his residence, where the seller was waiting outside. When the officer arrived, the man became hostile and wanted to know what the ECO was doing there. After Nielsen told him that he had called him about the turtle, he was relieved, as he thought he was “in some kind of trouble.” The ECO informed him that he could be. The man had the turtle secured in a blue poly 55-gallon drum with some water in the bottom. He stated he had captured the turtle crossing the road that morning and then posted the ad on craigslist. The ECO advised him that there was a season on the turtles and that the season was currently not open, that he had no hunting license, taking by hand was not authorized, and he could not sell or offer the turtle for sale. The man was issued a written warning for unlawful taking/possession of wildlife and the craigslist ad was removed.

Self-inflicted wound
(Tioga County)

On May 7, ECO Stan Winnick received a call from the Tioga County sheriff’s office regarding a hunter who had received a self-inflicted gunshot wound while hunting bullfrogs. The next day, Winnick met with Tioga County sheriff’s investigators Molton and Alexander at the shooter’s residence in the town of Candor. The sheriff’s Investigators had already interviewed the subject and confiscated the handgun for evidence. The hunter had shot himself in the left hand with a Ruger .22 handgun while sitting on an ATV hunting bullfrogs out of season. Winnick re-interviewed the 82-year-old hunter, who was cooperative and admitted to being in violation. The hunter was later issued three tickets for his violations, including hunting frogs out of season, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and hunting without a license and was scheduled for appearance in the Candor Town Court.

Spring goose hunting violations
(Broome County)

On May 23, ECO Eric Templeton received a call from Broome County 911 regarding hunting violations that Deputy Kevin Smith had discovered after responding to an ongoing neighbor dispute in the town of Maine.  Templeton and Smith met and discussed the case, which involved one neighbor shooting at geese around a pond with a pistol, killing one and wounding another which had not been recovered. Smith turned the case over to Templeton, along with the Canada goose carcass as evidence, which the deputy stated the shooter initially denied shooting at and killing. Templeton later responded to the scene and re-interviewed the caller, the shooter, and the surrounding neighbors. The shooter admitted to killing one goose but stated he was not aware he had hit any additional geese. He said he had shot three to four times with his .22 pistol from the lawn near the pond in his front yard in the direction of the road to try to scare the geese away but never intended to kill any of them. The caller stated that this was not the first time the neighbor had shot at geese and said he would shoot at them with a .22 rifle from his porch in the direction of the road below and sometimes across the road around the ponds on another neighbor’s property. Charges against the shooter for hunting wildlife without a license, taking migratory game birds with a pistol, taking migratory game birds out of season, hunting geese without a federal migratory bird hunting stamp, and hunting migratory game birds without a harvest information program (HIP) confirmation number were pending in the Maine Town Court.

Walleye detail
(Onondaga and Cayuga counties)

Lt. David McShane and ECOs Rick Head, Paul Sherman, Chrisman Starczek, Scott Yacavone, Chris Nielsen, Scott Sincebaugh and Mark Colesante conducted a pre-walleye season angling detail focusing on the walleye and crappie spawning areas and tributaries in Onondaga and Cayuga counties. These areas included Oneida Lake and its tributaries, Chittenango Creek, the Oneida River, Owasco Lake and Cross Lake. The ECOs issued 54 tickets, including 39 for fishing without a license, five for taking walleye out of season, one ticket for fishing in closed waters, two for damaging state land at a fishing access site, one navigation law violation for depositing refuse into waters of the state, one for underage possession of alcohol at a DEC access site and one charge for open burning.

Wetlands enforcement
(Schoharie County)

On May 20, ECO Mike Terrell received a complaint that a subject had moved machinery into a protected wetland. Terrell responded immediately to the scene and met the complainant. Terrell photographed the violations being committed. The operator was advised he was working in a protected wetland and the subject was not sure if the property owner had an Article 24 permit for the regulated activity being conducted. On May 23, Terrell met Region 4 Wildlife Manager Jerry Fraine and Andy Marcuccio from environmental permits on site. No permit was on file for this activity. Due to the severity and magnitude of the violations committed, a Notice of Violation (NOV) was served. Biologists Nancy Heaslip and Paul Novak visited the site on June 5 to determine remedial action. While on site, Terrell and Jerry Fraine observed largemouth bass trying to return to their spawning beds, but unfortunately all of the beds were removed and destroyed by the excavator. Violations pending include conducting regulated activities in a protected wetland, filling of a wetland, draining/modifying the hydrology of a wetland, excavating/altering navigable waters, contravention of water quality standards, and disturbing largemouth bass while on their spawning beds.

Trapping enforcement
(Schoharie County)

On April 18, ECO Mike Terrell was contacted by wildlife technician Gary Golja who was at the Stamford office with a subject requesting to get an otter pelt sealed. Gary refused because the township indicated as the location where the otter was taken did not exist in New York. The subject stated he wasn’t sure where the otter was taken because his brother was the taker, and he was simply getting it sealed for him. Gary reported the suspicious activity to Terrell, who was at the Schenectady office. The subject left Stamford and traveled to the Schenectady office to attempt to get the otter sealed by Terrell. Terrell seized the pelt as evidence until the trapper could be interviewed. Five other furbearer cards for otter taken by the same trapper in the same area dating back to October 2012 were obtained. All were reported to have been taken in Oswego County. Terrell contacted a local Region 7 ECO and determined the otter was not taken in Oswego County. When the trapper was interviewed and confronted with the evidence, he admitted that they were, in fact, caught along the Schoharie Creek in an area closed to trapping otter. The trapper was charged with six counts of illegal taking of otter and illegal commercialization of wildlife. The trapper pleaded guilty to all counts and paid a $1,500 penalty in Fulton Town Court. Terrell and wildlife technician Golja worked closely to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion.

Illegal bear
(Delaware County)

On June 6, ECO George Wilber received a report that a man was bragging about shooting a bear on Memorial Day. Wilber investigated with the Roxbury Town Constable Steve Williamson, who explained how he responded to a report of a bear killed by a motor vehicle in that same area the following morning, adding that the highway department picked up and disposed the carcass. Both officers conducted neighborhood interviews before confronting the suspect with the allegations. The man gave a written confession that he shot a bear during a closed season.

Illegal bear
(Greene County)

On May 29, a Cairo man shot a 150-pound black bear in his backyard. Later that same night ECOs Mark Vencak and George Wilber were on scene to investigate the incident. The officers conducted interviews and pieced together the facts. The bear was moving through the property and not being aggressive or destructive. The evening ended with the suspect giving a written confession and being charged with the environmental conservation law misdemeanor of killing a bear during a closed season.

Deer jacked in June
(Otsego County)

On June 9, Otsego County 911 received a call from a complainant who resides on County Route 15 in New Lisbon. The complainant stated that he just heard two gunshots and observed someone walk into the woods with a flashlight. ECO Tim Card and Otsego County Deputy Sheriff Jim Mateunas responded to the complaint. The complainant advised the officers where he observed the incident occur and said that he definitely heard a shotgun discharge. An empty 12 gauge shell casing was located in the roadway, and off in the wooded area a blood trail with deer hair and drag marks leading back to the roadway was discovered. Enroute to the complaint on County Route 15, Card had observed a black pickup truck backed up to a barn door. Card interviewed the property owners while Mateunas checked the truck. Card was speaking with the subjects when Mateunas advised Card that there was blood on the tailgate of the vehicle and he heard noise come from inside of the barn. A man was located inside the barn butchering a doe deer, and another individual was located hiding in the hay loft. The subjects eventually admitted to shooting the deer at night from the vehicle. Both subjects were charged with three misdemeanors each. The subjects forfeited the shotgun and paid $4,250 total in fines and face having their hunting licenses revoked for up to five years.

ATV assistance
(Greene County)

On May 26, ECO Mike Arp and Lt. Kevin Beiter assisted the Greene County Sheriff’s Department with an ongoing ATV complaint in the town of Halcott. Local residents have been complaining to the sheriff’s department that ATVs have been riding on the roads and private property during the Memorial Day weekend. Arp, along with Deputy Schoenborn, logged approximately 50 miles on one of the division of law enforcement’s K-9 utility vehicles. Lt. Beiter patrolled in his unmarked vehicle. Eleven tickets were issued for various violations, including operating ATVs on the highway.

Firewood detail
(Rensselaer County)

On May 29, ECOs Fetterman and Cox, along with Washington County sheriffs, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets set up a checkpoint to inspect firewood haulers (leaving the quarantine area), trucks (for emission violations) and other vehicle and traffic violations. Ninety-one pieces of firewood were seized and tickets were issued for no self-issued permit, indicated source of firewood, and traveling from out of state into New York with firewood. Sheriffs wrote minor violations for uninspected motor vehicles.

Trailer park landfill
(Cayuga County)

On the evening of May 24, ECO Mark Colesante received a tip from a person who was recently evicted from a trailer park in the town of Genoa. The complainant stated that there was a large, deep hole completely filled with garbage just past the trailers, and it was about to be buried. That evening, Colesante responded to the trailer park on Route 34 in Genoa. The officer had responded to other complaints in the same park. He stopped at the office and spoke to the secretary, but the owner was out of town. Colesante then called the owner and made arrangements to meet him at the trailer park the following morning. Before hanging up he made sure to tell the owner not to cover anything up before the next morning.
On May 25 at 9 a.m., Colesante met the owner at the trailer park and together they walked out to the hole filled with garbage. Colesante recognized the hole because he had written a ticket for burning trash in the same hole a couple of years ago. This time the hole was completely filled with garbage. The dimensions of the hole were approximately 50 feet long, 15 feet wide and 4 feet deep. However, it looked like half of the hole was already covered with dirt. The owner admitted that the garbage was coming from his tenants and other locals dumping their trash. After explaining to him that it is his responsibility to keep people from dumping on his property, Colesante issued the park owner a ticket for unlawful disposal of solid waste. Cleanup of the site was scheduled and Colesante will be present when the excavation of trash begins, so he can determine how much solid waste was unlawfully disposed of in the hole. The ticket was handled in Genoa Town Court.

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