Michigan Cuffs & Collars – July 4th, 2014

DISTRICT 1

CO Ryan Aho was working a fish patrol in central Marquette County and observed two different groups of anglers fishing along the Dead River. Contact was made as one of the anglers was attempting to land a fish. The angler in question quickly handed the pole to another person and stated that she wasn’t actually fishing. CO Aho pointed out that he had been watching the group fish for a while and then proceeded to issue two anglers tickets for fishing without licenses.
CO Mark Leadman worked an ongoing complaint of trespassing at Sporley Lake near Gwinn. With low water levels, anglers were walking around the lake past the public access site and fishing from private property without permission. CO Leadman contacted one subject who was approximately 200 yards past the private land boundary. When asked for his fishing license, the angler produced a month-old three-day license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Leadman worked a joint patrol with park staff from Van Riper State Park. The patrol targeted violations of state land-use rules along the Lake Superior shoreline and surrounding areas. Violations encountered and enforced included alcohol and fire where prohibited, minors in possession of alcohol, contributing alcohol to a minor, unregistered occupants after hours, and vehicles driving around gates where prohibited.
CO Marvin Gerlach responded to a call about a reported livestock depredation incident in Menominee County. CO Gerlach recovered a calf that had been killed and determined the likely suspect was a coyote. The case has been turned over to DNR Wildlife Division staff.
CO Marvin Gerlach set up surveillance of a local marina in Menominee where several thousand trout purchased by a local sportfishing club had been planted just days before for a kids free fishing day. When CO Gerlach contacted a group of adults targeting these fish, one of the subjects tried to hide her fishing pole. Upon being asked for her fishing license, the subject stated she had one in her car. She then produced a Wisconsin fishing license but no Michigan license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Grant Emery received information that a group of anglers appeared to be keeping undersized walleyes on Lake Gogebic. The next day, CO Emery patrolled the lake and located the group as they finished fishing for the day. CO Emery contacted the anglers and discovered that the information he received was correct. The subjects were in possession of 30 undersized walleyes. The fish were seized, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter responded to the scene of an ORV accident near Iron River. An 8-year-old child was injured when the ORV on which the child was a passenger overturned and trapped the child underneath it. The investigation is ongoing.

DISTRICT 2

CO Kevin Postma responded to a fire that burned down three occupied trailer homes, a garage, and a car. It was determined that an outside burn was the cause of the fire. Fortunately, no lives were lost, but several pets were lost in the blaze. The fire is still under investigation, and charges are being sought.
CO Kevin Postma assisted several agencies with the search for a missing 82-year-old woman with dementia. After numerous hours of searching, the woman was found alive after spending almost 36 hours in the woods.
CO Jerrold Fitzgibbon, while working a boat patrol on Ogontz Bay, contacted anglers with an overlimit of smallmouth bass. The subjects complained that the CO wasn’t in the boat the local officer uses, nor did he launch from the usual place where the local officer launches. A ticket was issued for the overlimit.
CO Jerrold Fitzgibbon contacted two young anglers fishing from shore near the Nahma access site. They had a nice stringer of smallmouth bass of which they were very proud. When asked if they knew the size limit for bass, the kids knew it was 14 inches, and showed the CO how they measured them. Upon seeing that two of the fish were less than 13 inches long, they felt bad. Officer Fitzgibbon demonstrated how to properly measure a fish and explained the reasons we have size limits. The undersized fish were given to an elderly angler who was heading home, and the youths were encouraged to keep fishing.

DISTRICT 3

CO Jon Sklba and Sgt. Joe Molnar observed an ORV operator fishtail around a corner on a county road, and when the COs caught up to the rider, he was operating at a high rate of speed on the roadway. A ticket was issued for careless operation and a warning given for operating on the roadway.
CO Jon Sklba contacted two individuals fishing on Grand Lake. Neither had fishing licenses or personal flotation devices. The owner of the boat was ticketed for fishing without a license and for not providing life jackets.
CO Kelly Ross received a complaint from an owner of a privately owned captive cervid facility who stated that two dogs had been routinely running along the perimeter fence during the time period the does were having their fawns. CO Ross contacted the owners and issued a ticket for allowing the dogs to run at large.
CO Bill Webster received a complaint about unsupervised youths operating ORVs in a county gravel pit. CO Webster contacted the youths, who were operating in a closed area and with unregistered ORVs. The youths’ father was contacted and ticketed for the violations. The father had been ticketed earlier this spring for the same violations.
While on the Black River sturgeon patrol, CO Andrea Erratt responded to a complaint about two subjects fishing in a spawning closure area. CO Erratt located the men and found them fishing within 10 feet of the spawning closure sign that states, “Closed to Fishing.” Tickets were issued.
CO Steve Speigl discovered a litter pile in the parking lot of a boat launch on Lake Bellaire. A scan of the litter revealed boxes from a nearby business. CO Speigl was talking with the manager of the business when an employee heard the conversation and decided to clear the air and admitted to depositing the trash. A ticket was issued, and the litter site was cleaned up by the suspect.
CO Steve Speigl was checking walleye anglers in the middle of the night when one angler tried to pass off the previous year’s printed internet license as his current one. The angler attempted to make the license illegible, but a quick check with DNR dispatchers showed he had not updated his fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 4

Lt. David Shaw had just driven through a remote section of the Manistee National Forest when he exited the two-track onto a paved county road. Lt. Shaw observed a vehicle on the side of the road with the passenger door open. As he passed, he observed a female step out; she appeared to expect the patrol vehicle to stop. Lt. Shaw turned around and made contact at the vehicle and was informed that the female was mushroom hunting with a friend who had been missing for over an hour. The female subject had called Wexford Central Dispatch and thought the DNR patrol vehicle had been dispatched to her location. Lt. Shaw had just traveled through the two-mile section and remembered a rutted two-track that would possibly be in the line of travel of the missing mushroom hunter. Lt. Shaw contacted central dispatch and re-entered the section with the intention of searching the little-used trail. Approximately a mile and a half in, Lt. Shaw came upon the missing subject, who was traveling in the opposite direction of her vehicle. Lt. Shaw returned the very relieved and tired female to her concerned friend, who now has a story to tell to go along with their four mushrooms.
CO Steve Converse received a complaint about a subject taking an overlimit of steelhead. CO Converse was given a description of a subject who had caught his limit of fish and then left the lake for an hour before returning to fish again. CO Converse was able to locate the subject in question and observed him fishing for some time. During his observation, the subject caught a steelhead and proceeded to give that fish to anglers in another boat. CO Converse made contact with the subject and further investigated the complaint. CO Converse was able to locate the steelhead caught earlier and stored in the subject’s vehicle. A ticket was issued for the overlimit of trout, and the fish were seized.
CO Holly Pennoni completed her investigation into the unlawful tagging of deer from last hunting season. The investigation involved numerous individuals and resulted in the prosecutor issuing warrants on four subjects. The total charge count was 19, ranging from illegally taken deer, tagging violations, hunting without licenses, and other game-related offenses. Several of the subjects have numerous DNR prior arrests.

DISTRICT 5

CO Matt Liestenfeltz reported the closing of a deer case from this past November. On Nov. 14, the night before the deer opener, Officer Liestenfeltz contacted a subject operating his ORV and observed the tip of a black nylon holster showing just below his coat; he had a six-inch stainless .357 magnum revolver. The subject did not have a concealed pistol license and the handgun had never been registered. A felony warrant was obtained for CPL violations along with misdemeanor warrants for hunt deer with firearm during closed season and uncased loaded firearm on a motor vehicle. The case was settled in court  with the subject pleading to the two misdemeanor counts. The firearm was forfeited.
CO John Huspen assisted local deputies with the search for a subject who collapsed just after trout fishing the Au Sable River. CO Huspen was contacted by local dispatchers who did not know if the location given was in Crawford or Oscoda counties. The CO was able to use his local knowledge of the river to direct the deputies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the scene before he arrived to assist.
COs Steve Lockwood and Nick Atkin were on patrol when they contacted a group of anglers in two separate boats coming in from an afternoon of fishing. Contact was made at the dock near the cabin where they were staying. During the contact the COs found that the anglers had caught their limit of walleye during the morning fish and came back out and caught more walleye illegally during the afternoon fish. The anglers admitted to taking several overlimits during the week. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling a local lake COs Kyle Bader and Brian Olsen were flagged down by occupants in a boat and received information that an air boat was driving around the lake as well as a marsh area connected to the lake. While in the marsh the air boat had run over a loon nest as well as the unhatched egg. COs Bader and Olsen were able to confirm the information and located the nest and egg. A short time later they made contact with the air boat operator who admitted to operating over land where the nest was located. A warrant request is pending at the prosecutor’s office.

DISTRICT 6

While on patrol on Crystal Lake, CO Ken Lowell checked two anglers on a boat. One angler handed the CO a 2013 fishing license and stated that was the one he purchased for this year. The CO ran the angler through the license system and found the date that he purchased the license was in 2013. The angler was ticketed and made aware that a fishing license is good for the current fishing season and not a year from the date of purchase.
CO Jeremy Payne has been working Littlefield Lake in Isabella County. The CO attempted to put his patrol boat in the water and had a hard time due to all the illegal parking near the ramp, which caused congestion. This is a common occurrence during the summer months. Parking tickets were left on all the vehicles that were parked illegally.
CO Joel Lundberg located a vehicle on state land with water running out from inside the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver stated he had just pulled out of the creek up the road. CO Lundberg could see marijuana and open alcohol all over in the vehicle, and when the driver was asked about it, he became confrontational. The driver was lodged in the Midland County jail.
A subject who CO Quincy Gowenlock arrested last year for shooting two illegal deer just paid his fine and restitution. The defendant paid a $1,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution for the deer.
While checking the mouth of the Pinnebog River on the bass season opener, CO Bob Hobkirk ticketed one subject for taking a smallmouth bass that was under the legal size limit. Two other subjects were ticketed for littering when CO Hobkirk observed them leaving beer cans behind after a day of fishing.
While checking anglers in Wildfowl Bay, COs Bob Hobkirk and Scott Brown encountered a husband and wife trolling for walleyes. When asked how they were doing, the husband replied that they were doing well and that they had caught about 10 walleyes. Feeling that this warranted a closer look, the COs had the individuals stop trolling and come alongside their vessel. The couple was in possession of 13 walleyes. The male was ticketed for taking an overlimit of walleyes.

DISTRICT 7

CO Chris Simpson and Sgt. John Jurcich responded to a report of someone netting steelhead in a small stream off the White River in Muskegon County. They arrived within minutes but only found scales and blood that had recently been washed from a cleaning board at the suspect’s residence. When the COs returned that evening, they found the netter at home, and he quickly admitted to the violation. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Simpson encountered an individual fishing at the White River one evening who stopped fishing and walked away upon seeing CO Simpson. When contacted, the subject initially denied fishing, and then admitted he did not have a license and was a Wisconsin resident. CO Simpson recalled contacting the subject last year, also fishing without a license. During that encounter the man was given a verbal warning, but this time was ticketed for fishing without a license.
CO Chris Simpson investigated information turned over by local police about a deer shot behind a house in a residential area during a party. CO Simpson was able to locate the shooter, who admitted shooting the deer with a .30-06 rifle after being encouraged by approximately 20 guests. Several guests processed the deer, taking meat to several locations. A warrant is being sought for the violations.
CO Chris Holmes was in the Fort Custer Recreation Area when he was approached by a subject who stated there were two individuals in the area with shotguns. CO Holmes got a description of the vehicle and observed it pulling into the beach parking lot. CO Holmes contacted the two individuals, who were in possession of two cased shotguns. The individuals were 15 and 16 years old and had been hunting without adult supervision. Upon further investigation, CO Holmes found a freshly killed wood duck in a bag in the back of the truck. The minors also were in possession of alcohol and had been drinking beer while driving the truck. Both of the juveniles were turned over to family members and one of them will be facing charges of alcohol and game violations through the probate court.

DISTRICT 8

CO Todd Thorn attended an informal hearing in Eaton County in a case involving two men who had been caught operating ORVs on state land. Both were ordered to pay fines and costs, as well as reimbursement to the state for damages done to the state game area where they had been operating.
CO Brian Fish assisted local deputies with a complaint about asphalt sealer being dumped on the ground for disposal in Homer. The information was relayed to an investigator with the Department of Environmental Quality.
CO Rich Nickols was able to work a marine patrol and found two subjects fishing from a canoe. Neither had fishing licenses and there were no PFDs. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 9

Sgt. Arthur Green and CO Mike Drexler worked a marine patrol on the Detroit River. The COs contacted more than 30 boaters during the patrol and issued several verbal warnings for marine violations. One vessel contacted on a slow, no-wake violation was five PFDs short for the occupants on board. A ticket was issued for the safety violation.
CO Mike Drexler was checking shore anglers at the Belleville Dam when he contacted one angler who was having decent success with panfish. The angler also possessed an undersized largemouth bass. CO Drexler conducted a LEIN check on the subject, and learned the subject also was wanted on two outstanding warrants. A ticket was issued, and the subject was advised on his warrants.
CO Todd Szyska was requested by DNR LED dispatch to contact a sargeant and detective from the Centerline Police Department regarding assistance. Upon contact with the police agency, it was determined that a male subject had walked into a Meijer store and helped himself to the retail sales system. The suspect successfully printed off countless Hunt of a Lifetime purchases, a sturgeon tag and muskellunge tag, and multiple ORV licenses. The subject was apprehended and is being charged with retail fraud. CO Szyska was able to get in touch with DNR licensing and had all of his illegal purchases deleted from the system, which included the Hunt of a Lifetime purchases. CO Szyska is working with the detective to render any assistance that they may need.

BELLE ISLE

CO Brian Fish, while on Belle Isle, observed that a Boston Whaler boat docked at the Detroit Yacht Club was taking on water during a heavy rain storm. The Whaler was only inches from taking on so much water that it would slip beneath the surface of the Detroit River. CO Fish advised the front gate staffer, who called for help from the marina employees. A pump was placed in the Whaler, and it was safely drained.
While working on Belle Isle during the Detroit Grand Prix and on foot patrol of the perimeter fence of the race track, COs Todd Thorn, Carl VanderWall, Andrea Albert, and other COs smelled the odor of burning marijuana. They tracked down the odor to one of the tow trucks servicing race cars on the track. A baggie of marijuana and a joint were found in the tow truck, and the driver admitted smoking marijuana under a medical marijuana card. However, the medical marijuana card does not authorize him to use it in public. He was arrested, and race officials were notified.
While working the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle Park, COs Andrea Albert and Carl VanderWall contacted a bus load of attendees who had open intoxicants in violation of park rules. The same group had been warned by COs earlier in the day for the same violation. CO Albert ordered the subjects to dump out their beer and leave the island. While the bus was being loaded, one of the subjects, who was warned earlier for urinating in public, started yelling and punched the bus hard enough to dent the side. Sgt. Arthur Green and COs VanderWall and Albert, with the assistance of an MSP trooper, arrested the subject for drunk and disorderly. The subject resisted officers and was lodged at the Detroit Detention Center. A warrant request was submitted for resisting and obstructing officers during his arrest.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Quincy Gowenlock was approached by several workers who indicated that there was a boat adrift in the Detroit River. The subjects stated they did not see anyone in the boat. The CO responded to the Coast Guard station. The information was passed on and a Coast Guard vessel responded to the area and was able to locate the vessel. It was determined that it had broken away from its mooring line and no occupants were on board. The vessel was then towed to Milligan State Park.
CO Joshua Wright and intern Ethan Gainforth were on their way to Belle Isle at 5:30 a.m. when they were passed by a vehicle on the highway at a high rate of speed. Once they caught up to the vehicle, they were traveling around 100 mph in a 55-mph zone. The driver had a valid license but had two prior suspensions for traffic violations. Enforcement action was taken.

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