Michigan Cuffs & Collars – June 6th, 2014

DISTRICT 1

COs Dave Miller and Trey Luce worked a patrol together in Baraga County. The COs discovered several tracks in the snow on Herman-Nestoria Road. Upon investigating the activity, a Jeep was located a short time later broken down on the trail. The operator of the Jeep had been hill-climbing on the steep sides of the road when his transfer case broke, leaving a trail of fluid behind. The Jeep operator did extensive damage to the sides of the hill, which were privately owned. Likewise, several beer cans were found littered around the Jeep. The owner was tracked down, and a ticket was issued to the driver, whose license is suspended, for the litter. Charges are pending for the damage done to the private land.
CO Matt Eberly reported increased activity during the trout season opener in Keweenaw County. CO Eberly checked many anglers on designated trout lakes, streams, and at river mouths. Several violations were encountered, including no fish license in possession and unregistered ORVs. Enforcement action was taken for all observed violations.
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy worked walleye-spawning activity on the Menominee River. The COs addressed violations for overlimits of fish and retaining foul-hooked fish.
CO Brian Bacon investigated a complaint about a suspect chasing a deer into a fence with his ORV. Contact was made with the subject, and it was found that the subject was operating on a trail when a group of deer scattered, with one deer running into the fence on its own.

DISTRICT 2

CO Jared Ferguson was checking ice shacks left at local boat launch site and left on the ice. Officer Ferguson located several without names and several with names on them. Follow-up is being done to locate the owners of the shacks.
CO Michael Evink responded to a situation in which an individual made comments to dispatchers that he was afraid he was going to hurt himself or his elderly father. Once on the scene, CO Evink made contact with the individual, and when a local deputy arrived, the individual was secured in the patrol car. The two officers then made contact with the father, who was unhurt. The first individual was willing to check himself into a hospital for evaluation.
CO Jeff Panich observed two ice shanties on Caribou Lake, and upon walking out to the shanties, the CO discovered that the names on both shanties had been removed and they were in danger of being engulfed in the ice. The CO observed that one shanty had a name permanently written on it, and then black paint was painted over the name to hide ownership. Fortunately for the CO, the old wooden shanty allowed for the name to be read and photographed clearly. CO Panich then made contact with the person whose name was on the shanty, and the suspect was amazed that the CO had located him. The suspect questioned the CO numerous times as to how he was able to identify the shanty as his, and figured a homeowner had observed him and gave the CO his name. The CO further discovered the other shanty also was owned by the suspect. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Hammill made contact with a group of anglers on a local bluegill lake. While he spoke with the anglers, one individual started walking away toward a vehicle. When CO Hammill asked to check the angler’s fishing license, the subject provided a 2010 license. A quick check of the computer license system revealed nothing had been purchased for several years. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Postma received information about a subject who took too many bobcats. The CO was able to locate and interview the suspect, and receive a full confession that an extra bobcat was indeed harvested. Warrants are being sought in the case.

DISTRICT 3

Prior to the walleye/trout/pike opener, CO Duane Budreau and Sgt. Greg Drogowski apprehended three individuals on a designated trout stream with a spear. The stream was full of spawning walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
On the evening before the walleye opener, CO Duane Budreau and Sgt. Greg Drogowski found two subjects fishing before midnight, while other nearby anglers were waiting. The two were ticketed for fishing on a closed stream.
CO Eric Bottorff received a recreational trespass complaint involving trout anglers who, according to the complainant, had been warned not to use his property. CO Bottorff located footprints that went directly past “no trespassing” signs and under a cable. When contacted, the angler stated he didn’t see any “no trespassing” signs. He admitted walking underneath the cable, but maintained he did not see any signs. CO Bottorff went back and photographed 14 “no trespassing” signs that were visible where the subject entered the private land.
COs Andrea Erratt and Mike Feagan followed footprints onto private land that went directly past “no trespassing” signs. When they contacted the trespasser on the stream flowing through the property, he stated he thought he might be seeing the COs, because he didn’t think he was supposed to be there. A ticket was issued.
CO Carl VanderWall investigated a deer carcass-dumping complaint at the end of a dead-end road. Along with the deer carcass was a bag of trash, in which CO VanderWall found one piece of evidence that led to several interviews and finally to a suspect, who denied dumping the carcass. The subject told the CO that the deer carcass must have accidently fallen out of his truck while he was doing donuts at the road ending. When advised a warrant for reckless driving could be pursued, the subject admitted to dumping off the carcass and trash. A ticket for littering was issued.
Sgt. Joe Molnar received a complaint about a hunter shooting across a road onto a neighbor’s property to shoot a turkey. Contact was made with the suspect, who claimed to have shot it on his property and said it flopped across the road. When Sgt. Molnar presented the witness information to the hunter, he admitted to shooting the turkey across the road. Charges are being sought with the prosecutor’s office for recreational trespass.
CO Steve Speigl responded to a complaint about suspicious deer carcasses near Central Lake in Antrim County. Three deer, fully intact, had been discarded roadside in one big heap. CO Speigl interviewed the property owner and people from neighboring properties. Any information about this incident can be called into the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline at 1-800-280-9088.

DISTRICT 4

CO Angela Greenway received a complaint about a sow bear with three cubs up a tree just off the shoulder of U.S.-10. The mother bear created a large traffic jam on both sides of the roadway. CO Greenway responded to the scene, activated her emergency lights, and kept traffic flowing. The DNR Wildlife Division was contacted, and employees responded to monitor the bear’s activities until nightfall. The sow bear began her descent down the tree with the cubs following. Wildlife Division employees then vacated the area, allowing the bear to leave. The next morning, CO Greenway received a call that a sow bear had been struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S.-10. CO Greenway responded and found the sow bear dead and the three cubs back up the tree. CO Greenway again contacted the Wildlife Division, and with the assistance of two local tree trimmers, CO Brian Brosky, and Sgt. Michael Bomay, the three cubs were removed from the tree . Wildlife employees will attempt to place the cubs with surrogate sow bears.
CO Mike Wells was on foot patrol along Brooks Creek in the city of Newaygo when he observed three subjects walking the banks of the waterway, one of whom was in possession of a spear. A short time later, one of the subjects entered the stream and speared a steelhead. The subject removed the trout from the spear and handed it to a second subject. CO Wells observed the second subject enter the water and attempt to spear another steelhead. Contact was made, and tickets were issued for taking fish with an illegal device and for attempting to spear fish. The fish and spear were seized for evidence and restitution.

DISTRICT 5

CO Jason McCullough and Sgt. Jon Wood recently worked a late-night fish-protection patrol on the Cut River in Roscommon County. The COs located several subjects who had been using small tin boats to float the river. The subjects appeared quite surprised to be checked in the wee hours of the morning and even more surprised when the COs found a speared walleye hidden in the bottom of their pile of suckers. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Matt Liestenfeltz followed up on an investigation that led him to an individual who purchased his furbearer license after the date he claimed to have killed an otter. During the investigation, it was learned that the otter was not taken in Missaukee County as had been reported, but had been taken in southern Michigan near the subject’s home. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Jon Warner was checking a closed section of the Au Gres River when he observed a subject at a cabin who appeared to be filleting a fish. CO Warner also observed a fishing pole down by the river. A short time later, the subject returned to the river and continued fishing. Several fish were hooked, but he did not land any of the fish. When the subject quit fishing, CO Warner returned to his patrol truck and made contact with the subject at his cabin. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jon Warner responded to a RAP complaint about a subject fishing with too many lines. CO Warner located the suspect and began to watch him from a distance, and observed the individual fishing with eight lines. CO Warner contacted the subject at the launch and issued a ticket for the violation. A check of DNR priors revealed that the subject had six prior violations, including several tickets for fishing with too many lines.

DISTRICT 6

CO Ken Lowell received a complaint about a man on a closed trout stream with a spear. The CO worked down to the stream and located the suspect on the trout stream with the spear. The angler admitted to knowing that it was a trout stream and also admitted to being at other parts of the stream with a spear. Enforcement action was taken.
While working the opening day of pike and walleye season on the Saginaw River, COs Dan Lee and Ken Lowell made multiple stops for registration violations. The stops resulted in five tickets for failing to register watercraft and failing to provide life jackets.
Friday night before the walleye opener, COs Jeremy Payne and Joel Lundberg were checking the area of Baily Bridge along the Tittabawassee River for any walleye anglers starting early. The COs found a group of anglers casting for walleyes at 10 p.m., two hours before the season opened. When the COs made contact, the anglers had their poles put away and denied fishing. One of the anglers asked one of the COs what he had on his head. The CO stated that it was night-vision equipment. The anglers then hung their heads and no longer denied what the COs saw. Tickets were issued.
Sgt. Ron Kimmerly took a drive through Imerman Park along the Tittabawassee River and observed a single angler packing up his boat. The officer made contact and asked about his fishing success. The angler said he’d done well. Kimmerly then started toward the boat, and when he did, the angler advised that there were 10 walleyes in the cooler and his friend and just left about 30 minutes ago. The officer explained the law and then started counting the fish. The angler advised that he counted the walleyes twice and there were 10 fish, five he caught and five that his buddy caught. The officer pulled the string of 10 walleyes from the cooler. Under the ice there were additional walleyes. The angler said he was sorry and must have miscounted. A ticket for the overlimit was issued.
CO Chad Foerster received a RAP complaint about two anglers fishing and keeping walleyes in a closed portion of the Kawkawlin River. The CO was able to contact them and found each of them in possession of one illegal walleye. CO Foerster reiterated the river mouth boundary line to them, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin followed up on a complaint where a subject had taken a fox during the closed season. During the interview, the suspect advised that he did take the fox during the closed season and was trapping out of season. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 7

CO Gary Raak located a vehicle with blankets covering the windows on the cap of the truck parked in the Barry SGA at a secluded access site. A records check indicated the registered owner had an outstanding child support warrant. Backup arrived from the Barry County Sherriff’s Department, and the subject was taken into custody.
CO Dave Rodgers reported a lot of spring steelhead fishing activity was occurring at the Sixth Street Dam along the Grand River in Kent County with numerous complaints about illegal fishing activity. CO Rodgers conducted surveillance and was able to apprehend a group of subjects who had taken an overlimit. An arrest also was made for snagging activity.
CO Brad Brewer and Sgt. Zachary Doss were called to assist an MSP trooper who had been called to an incident in which three subjects in kayaks had entered the complainant’s property and had destroyed a nest full of Canada goose eggs. CO Brewer and Sgt. Doss interviewed the suspects and obtained confessions regarding the destruction of the eggs. Enforcement action was taken for destroying the Canada goose eggs, along with marine violations for failing to have life preservers while kayaking.
CO Steve Mooney and Sgt. Zachary Doss located a vehicle parked near a tributary that held a large number of steelhead. A woman was inside the vehicle. She stated that her boyfriend was fishing on the stream. The boyfriend appeared shortly, and walked through a yard along the stream posted “no trespassing.” He also was using a treble hook on the stream, which is restricted to single hooks only due to extensive snagging problems. The subject was ticketed for the fishing violation and warned for the trespass issues.
CO Brad Brewer was patrolling the St. Joseph River system and located a man, his girlfriend, and mother all fishing without licenses. The male subject also had a warrant for his arrest. The elderly mother and girlfriend were advised to purchase licenses, while the male was ticketed for fishing without a license and taken into custody on the warrant.

DISTRICT 8

CO Rich Nickols responded to a RAP complaint about a subject who shot a goose. CO Nickols retrieved a freshly killed goose from a pond and conducted an interview with a suspect. The individual quickly confessed to shooting the goose, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn was working a patrol along Sycamore Creek in Lansing and watched a man fishing in a location where he’d recently received a complaint about snagging. The man was observed for about 10 minutes before he was contacted. Upon contact, the angler stated that he was not fishing, and when asked for his fishing license, stated it was in his car. The subject’s identity was obtained, and a check of the computer license system revealed that the subject had not purchased a fishing license in two years. CO Thorn then told the man to pack up his fishing equipment and meet him on the path approximately 100 yards away. The angler took his time gathering up his equipment, and when he finally arrived at the CO’s location he produced a smartphone and stated that he had proof that he had a fishing license. The man showed CO Thorn the phone, which showed that he had purchased two 24-hour fishing licenses, a 72-hour fishing license, and a regular fishing license at 11:27 a.m. (the current time was 11:29 a.m.). The man had spent nearly $150 on licenses after his initial contact with the CO, not realizing that the time of purchase appeared on his license. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking multiple fishing spots on the Battle Creek River, CO Jeff Goss located a subject fishing without a license. Upon running the subject through LEIN, it was discovered that he had three outstanding warrants totaling $3,500 in bond. The subject was lodged in the Calhoun County Justice Center.
CO Jeff Goss checked several fishing spots along Battle Creek and the Kalamazoo River. CO Goss observed a man fishing and then overheard him telling his buddy how stupid he was for paying $26 for a fishing license. When CO Goss stepped out of the brush, the guy’s buddy didn’t feel so stupid anymore. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 9

CO Kris Kiel contacted two nonresidents who were trespassing while fishing on federal government property near Selfridge Air Force Base. Enforcement action was taken and bond was posted.
CO Todd Szyska received a RAP complaint that a subject had been shooting robins in the Emmett area. CO Szyska met with the complainant and retrieved 10 deceased robins and walked a drainage creek where he found four carcasses that were floating. The CO then made contact with the suspect, who admitted to shooting at “black-type birds” that were defecating on his car. CO Szyska explained to the subject that shooting and killing nongame birds was against the law. He further explained that robins were songbirds and that they did not cause much harm, if any. The robins were shot with a high-powered pellet gun. A warrant is being sought on the matter.
COs Kris Kiel and Ben Lasher, along with Sgt. Tom Wanless, conducted patrols in Macomb County. More than 100 contacts were made and a total of seven tickets were written for using artificial lures where prohibited at the Clinton River Spillway dam and for fishing without a license. Twenty-one verbal warnings were given, mostly for attempting to take bass/walleye/pike during the closed season. One subject posted $215 bond on a warrant for failing to appear on a no fishing license ticket that was issued by CO Kiel in 2010.
CO Jason J. Smith was patrolling the Huron River when he observed two anglers fishing from the bank. CO Smith checked one of the anglers at their vehicle and observed a large bucket full of fish. CO Smith questioned the angler about the bucket and discovered that the angler was in possession of 60 white bass over the daily limit. CO Smith also learned that the angler had three warrants for his arrest. One of the warrants was for possession of walleyes out of season. CO Smith also recognized the angler’s friend as someone he had checked before. CO Smith asked for the second angler’s ID and then recalled that the subject also had an outstanding warrant from an unpaid fine resulting from a ticket that CO Smith had issued a couple of years earlier for possession of a walleye during the closed season. Both anglers posted bond for their outstanding warrants, and one ticket was issued for exceeding the possession limit of white bass.
CO Brandon Kieft was checking anglers along Paint Creek during the opening day of trout season when he observed a vehicle parked in front of a “no trespassing” sign. The adjacent landowners confirmed that trespass has been an ongoing issue for a number of years. When the angler finally came out of the creek and returned to his vehicle, CO Kieft made contact with him. He did not have a current fishing license and admitted to trespassing. Enforcement action was taken.

BELLE ISLE

Sgt. Kevin Hackworth and CO Seth Rhodea contacted the occupants of a vehicle who were attempting to enter Belle Isle Park after hours. The operator’s driver’s license was suspended, there was open alcohol in the vehicle, they were in violation of park hours, and were driving with an expired vehicle registration. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Seth Rhodea and Mark Ennett made a traffic stop of a vehicle travelling the wrong way on a one-way street and attempting to enter Belle Isle Park after hours. Multiple motor vehicle violations were addressed, as well as the subject being taken into custody for an outstanding warrant.
CO Rich Nickols, while patrolling Belle Isle, stopped a vehicle for speeding. The driver had no operator’s license, no paperwork for the vehicle such as registration or proof of insurance, and had eight misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. The driver was suspended multiple times. Two adult passengers in the vehicle also were suspended. A valid driver was called to pick up the vehicle, and tickets were issued for the traffic offenses. The driver was advised and released on the warrants.

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