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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – August 29th, 2014


CO Mark Leadman and PCO Josiah Killingbeck contacted a group of adults accompanied by minors who were in possession of drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance at a popular public access site. Enforcement action was taken, including taking one of the adults into custody on a warrant.
CO Dennis Gast checked a group of anglers fishing a secluded lake in a small boat. Multiple violations were encountered, including possession of undersized bass, fishing without a license, and operating an unregistered watercraft. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dennis Gast encountered a group of nonresident anglers with expired daily licenses who were in possession of fish. CO Gast determined that the large northern pike that was flopping around in the bottom of the boat was caught after their licenses had expired. CO Gast issued a warning for fishing without a license and addressed the expired boat registration and lack of personal flotation devices for the boat’s occupants.
CO Brian Bacon and Sgt. Marc Pomroy responded to a call about a family needing assistance on an ORV trail in Dickinson County. One of their ORVs had broken down and the other became stuck in a mud hole on the trail. The COs responded and located both ORVs. The stuck ORV was freed, and both ORVs along with the family members were helped back to their vehicle.
CO Marvin Gerlach and PCO Brett DeLonge conducted a patrol to monitor crop damage hunters. During the patrol, the COs observed a vehicle with a window rolled down, stopped in the roadway. Upon contact with the subject, the COs observed an uncased rifle on the passenger seat with ejected rounds on the floor. The subject admitted to hunting for deer and was on his way to another field on a local farm. The subject was ticketed for having an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Brian Bacon investigated a complaint about a sturgeon being taken during the closed season on the Menominee River in Dickinson County. CO Bacon developed a suspect who was interviewed and denied catching a sturgeon. Multiple witnesses were located and interviewed, with evidence obtained that a sturgeon was harvested by the suspect. Warrants are being sought through the Dickinson County prosecutor’s office.


CO John Wenzel assisted Emergency Medical Services personnel with a subject who was on a logging job and had a tree fall on him. The subject suffered a broken leg and shoulder. Due to the location in the woods, the ambulance was not able to make it back to the victim. CO Wenzel transported the EMS crew to the victim and then transported the victim to the waiting ambulance.
CO Michael Evink and an officer with the U.S. Forest Service were working an injured-deer complaint when they were called to assist in looking for a suspect of a domestic violence incident. The two officers joined the search along with several other law enforcement agencies. Information was received as to the direction of the suspect’s travel, and the officers used their knowledge of the local ORV trail system to locate the suspect, victim, and their child along a section of railroad tracks in Manistique. CO Evink took the suspect into custody and turned him over to local law enforcement officers.
PCO Bobby Watson and CO Mike Hammill received a complaint about a stranded motorist in the middle of the woods. With GPS coordinates taken, the COs were able to find the passenger car stuck deep in the forest. Assistance was rendered, and the driver continued on his way.
CO Mike Hammill caught up with an individual he had been looking for since the snowmobiling season. The complaint was the individual would get intoxicated then drive his snowmobile at a high rate of speed through a neighboring town. CO Hammill was in the area checking anglers and observed the individual drive by on an ORV. No ORV sticker was visible, so the ORV was stopped. Upon further investigation, the operator had no driver’s license and no ORV sticker. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Eric Bottorff followed up on illegal blinds left on state forest land (actually, camper trailers converted into deer blinds) where the owner was a tribal member. A tribal conservation officer was contacted, and the case was referred to him. The subject will be cited into tribal court.
CO Andrea Albert observed five vehicles parked at the Torch Lake boating access site in no parking areas, not allowing boaters to turn around in the access site area. None of the vehicles had purchased the access site parking permit, and all were parked illegally. While CO Albert was issuing tickets for the violations, several boaters thanked the CO, as they were frustrated with the cars blocking their access to the ramp area.
While working marine patrol on Torch Lake, CO Andrea Albert observed a personal watercraft (PWC) being operated at a greater than slow, no-wake speed near a swim raft. Concerned that the operator was under the influence of alcohol, CO Albert conducted sobriety tests. The operator was just under the legal limit to drive a boat.
CO Andrea Albert assisted the drug team with a marijuana-detection flight, locating many medical marijuana grow operations. One had a gross overlimit of plants, which were seized. The others were warned for improper containment issues.


CO Steve Converse observed a single angler trolling on Lake Michigan with six lines set. When contacted, the subject blamed his wife, as she was sick and not able to come with him. A ticket was written for the extra lines.
CO Steve Converse observed a boat coming off the backwaters of Tippy Dam. When the boat got to the launch, the subjects in the boat started tossing empty beer cans into the water and woods surrounding the access site. CO Converse contacted the subjects and inspected their boat. He located a small amount of marijuana. The CO also determined that one of the subjects was a minor and had been consuming alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Converse worked late-night fishing activity on Manistee Lake. At approximately 1  a.m., he observed two anglers using in-line treble hooks. Contact was made, and tickets were issued for fishing with illegal gear.
COs Brian Brosky and Kyle Publiski were on patrol on Lake Michigan just off Ludington during a period with heavy fog covering the lake. With the use of radar, the COs used the cover of the fog to slide in undetected to several salmon-fishing vessels. Several tickets were issued in just a few hours for fishing with too many lines, due to the cover of fog concealing the approach of the patrol vessel.
COs Kyle Publiski and Troy VanGelderen responded to a complaint about a subject in possession of a lake sturgeon in Manistee County. Upon arriving at the suspect’s residence, the officers observed a subject on a front porch covering something up. Contact was made, and it was discovered that the subject had possession of the sturgeon on his front porch and had covered it up so the officers would not see it. During an interview, the suspect first advised that he had found the fish dead in a local river, but changed his story, claiming that he tried to release the fish after catching it, but it had died. The subject admitted that he planned to dry the fish out to display it, and also claimed that he was an avid angler. The officers determined that this avid angler did not possess a valid fishing license. The subject was ticketed for illegal possession of the sturgeon.
CO Brian Lebel was able to finally close out an ongoing dumping complaint he had been investigating for some time. CO Lebel had been monitoring a site where several truckloads of trash and burn barrel remains had been dumped on a local university property for the past few years. Recently, CO Lebel noted that two chair seats had been dumped at the site. A few days after noticing the seats, CO Lebel was driving by a residence when he observed four chairs for sale at a yard sale. The seats on the chairs looked similar to those seats at the dump site. After a lengthy follow-up investigation, CO Lebel contacted the homeowner regarding the fact that the seats from the chairs matched exactly the ones in his possession. The homeowner soon confessed to the dumping. The subject is now working on cleaning up the area, and charges are being sought for the illegal disposal of solid waste.
CO Mike Wells and PCO Josiah Killingbeck were assisting local law enforcement in an annual HEMP flight to locate illegal marijuana grows and to check medical marijuana grow operations in Newaygo County. While at a medical marijuana grow located by helicopter air support, the officers discovered that the grow owner was in possession of four Blanding turtles and one eastern box turtle. During an interview, the owner advised that he had picked the turtles up from his property during the past few months for his children to play with. The subject advised that he was not aware that these particular turtle species were protected. Enforcement action was taken regarding the possession of a protected species, and the turtles were seized and released a short distance away.


COs John Huspen, Mike Hearn, and Kyle Bader were teamed up to work the Bud Bash event when they received a complaint about two individuals who were engaged in highly explicit sexual activities in the middle of a navigation channel. The COs responded to the scene, and both subjects were arrested and turned over to authorities on shore.
Sgt. Jon Wood was glassing the waters of Houghton Lake from the west shore access site when he observed the operator of a vessel running continuous circles around two other vessels, one of which was being towed by the other. The circles were causing large wakes for the other vessels. As Sgt. Wood continued to watch, he saw the operator of the same vessel purposely run through a flock of rafting ducks on the water. The ducks were forced to take to the air to keep from being hit. Sgt. Wood was able to contact COs John Huspen, Mike Hearn, and Kyle Bader, who were quick to respond from a different part of the lake. The COs were able to locate the suspect and take enforcement action.
CO Nick Atkin was on patrol on Lake Huron when he contacted three anglers. During the check, he found the anglers in possession of eight walleyes over the limit. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brian Olsen and Nick Atkin, along with a local deputy, worked a complaint on the Rifle River that involved drunken canoers continually trespassing on the complainant’s property. During the patrol, multiple subjects were apprehended for trespassing, and enforcement action was taken.
COs Phil Hudson and Steve Lockwood were patrolling Houghton Lake. While checking boaters for fishing success, they checked a boat with three anglers on board. The anglers stated the fishing was slow but that they had caught some bluegills. A check of the livewell revealed three undersized walleyes. Tickets were issued.
CO Jon Warner was called to assist in searching for a group of overdue canoers. CO Warner launched his patrol boat on Loud Pond, and after checking the area he located the overdue canoers. CO Warner loaded everyone, including an 11-month-old infant, onto his patrol boat and returned them to shore.


CO Dan Lee and PCO Jeremy Beavers were patrolling a busy Sanford Lake when they observed a subject fishing from a boat. As the COs approached, they saw the man place his pole down. When contacted, the man could not produce a valid fishing license. He also had warrants out of Ionia County. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Andy Bauer responded to a RAP complaint about a raccoon being kept in captivity. CO Bauer contacted the subject and discovered a raccoon being kept in a cage without food or water available. The subject was ticketed for possession of the raccoon, and the animal was released to the wild.
CO Brad Brewer and Sgt. Zachary Doss responded to a RAP complaint about a subject shooting several geese. Upon investigation, a confession was obtained from a homeowner who had shot eight geese in his yard and thrown them into a weedy section of the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Steve Mooney and Andy Bauer conducted a patrol on Lake Michigan and checked a boat with three anglers who were fishing with 14 lines, instead of the legal nine lines. The subjects admitted to knowing the number of allowed lines and were ticketed for fishing with too many lines.
CO Andy Bauer responded to a RAP complaint about a subject using a cast net at the Berrien Springs dam. CO Bauer responded and was able to locate the suspect, who admitted to using the cast net and to fishing without a license. The subject was in possession of several freshwater drum. The subject was informed that it is illegal to use a cast net on inland waters in Michigan and was ticketed for fishing without a license.
CO Brad Brewer followed up on a complaint of illegal ORV operation in the Three Rivers SGA and the discovery of a package with an address that appeared to have fallen out of a vehicle that had destroyed several berms. CO Brewer investigated and obtained a confession from the package owner regarding illegal operation of a truck in the game area. Enforcement action is being taken.
CO Dave Rodgers was conducting surveillance at Grand Haven State Park when he observed a PWCer enter and operate within the buoyed swim area. CO Cary Foster positioned himself to stop the vessel when it entered the area again, and he made contact with the operator. After conducting field sobriety testing, CO Foster determined the operator was possibly under the influence. The PWC operator refused a preliminary breath test and further testing. The subject was taken into custody, a search warrant was obtained to complete blood tests, and the subject was lodged at the Ottawa County jail for operating while impaired, reckless operation, and refusal of a preliminary breath test. CO Rodgers ticketed the owner of the PWC for minor in possession of alcohol.
CO Steve Mooney contacted two subjects fishing on a Van Buren County inland lake. During the contact, CO Mooney discovered three undersized largemouth bass. The subject who caught the fish was ticketed.
COs Andy Bauer and Steve Mooney patrolled Lake Michigan from St. Joseph to the Indiana state line and ticketed two subjects from Indiana who were approximately 6 miles into Michigan waters and did not have Michigan fishing licenses.


CO Jeff Goss and PCO Matt Page worked a trespassing complaint in Branch County. An elderly female was advised of treestands being placed on her property. Upon further investigation, three treestands and two salt blocks were located on the property. The COs developed a few good leads, and the investigation is ongoing.
CO Shane Webster stopped and checked a couple fishing on the Grand River. The female handed CO Webster her fishing license, but the male stated that he had not purchased one. The subject explained that they had bought his girlfriend’s fishing license earlier that day but he did not purchase one because he did not want to pay the nonresident license fee. He still held a Florida driver’s license and had not changed his residency to Michigan despite having lived here for over a year. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Shane Webster worked the annual Raft-O-Rama marine event on a local Jackson County lake. During the patrol, a vessel pulled alongside CO Webster and advised him of an overloaded vessel operating on the water. CO Webster made contact with the subjects on the vessel and identified 26 individuals on board a pontoon boat, despite only 16 life jackets being available, and being significantly over the vessel’s capacity rating. Individuals were escorted to shore and unloaded in order to make the operation safe, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Rich Nickols worked a patrol with PCO Richard Cardenas in Oakland County. During a marine patrol on White Lake, they approached a boat just in time to see a subject throw a handful of fishing line over the side. Contact was made with the two subjects in the boat, one of whom did not have a fishing license. The fishing line was retrieved from the lake, and a ticket was issued for fishing without a license.
During a marine patrol on Pontiac Lake, CO Rich Nickols and PCO Richard Cardenas located a pontoon boat that appeared to be in distress. A female subject had taken two of her grandchildren out on the lake but was unable to pull up the anchor to leave and return to shore. PCO Cardenas hopped aboard the vessel and was able to pull up the anchor. The subjects were grateful, but during the contact it was learned the boat’s registration was expired and the owner never transferred ownership of the vessel. Follow-up will be conducted with the vessel’s owner.
CO Todd Thorn was patrolling along the Grand River in Lansing for fish and game and marine activity and located two individuals fishing under a bridge. One of the individuals did not have a fishing license, and the other had a warrant for aggravated assault. Enforcement action was taken, including the man with the warrant being lodged in the county jail.
CO Todd Thorn was working a marine patrol by checking small lakes and bridges in areas not often frequented by boaters. Three individuals were found fishing without licenses, and one boat was found with three occupants fishing in the middle of a lake without any PFDs onboard. Enforcement action was taken, and verbal warnings were issued.
On another fishing check during the same patrol, CO Todd Thorn saw a young girl sitting alone in the back of a car and checked to make sure she was OK. CO Thorn saw that there was a 5-gallon bucket in the seat beside her and that it was full of panfish. CO Thorn then asked her who caught the fish,  and she pointed about 100 yards away to family members who were still fishing. Those individuals were checked and found to have more fish with them. In all, there were a total of three people fishing and they had 117 panfish, a short bass, and some perch. The individuals stated that they were not aware that there were laws regarding the taking of fish. Those same individuals were educated on the laws, given a fishing guide, and enforcement action was taken.


CO Ken Kovach and PCO Jason Becker assisted local narcotics teams on “Operation Hemp.” The mission was successful, and netted over 200 illegal plants.


While working Belle Isle, Sgt. Ron Kimmerly made contact with an angler who was fishing in one of the ponds on the island. When the officer looked in his bucket, it was obvious that he was in possession of too many panfish. The officer counted 46 bluegills and four short bass. The angler stated that he did not know what the limit was or that bass had to be a certain length. The angler then said he would bring his fishing license to the officer the next day. The officer advised that was not a good plan and he would check to see if he’d purchased one. The angler had not purchased a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Goss and PCO Matt Page made 28 fishing contacts while on the island. During these contacts, only two subjects were fishing without a license. The two subjects fishing without a license were separate, and both were fishing with their husbands. It was apparent that the women did not have a lot of experience fishing and that they were merely accompanying their husbands. On both occasions, the COs advised the women that if they were to go fishing, they needed a license. The COs advised both parties to get a license by the end of the day or they would be ticketed in the mail. Both parties agreed that they would get a license.
CO Damon Owens and PCO Chris Reynolds, while on patrol on Belle Isle, were called upon to assist MSP with a two-vehicle traffic stop. During the stop it was found that one of the passengers had a warrant for felonious assault with a dangerous weapon; the subject was taken into custody. In the other vehicle a large amount of money was found, along with some drugs.
CO Todd Thorn worked a busy Belle Isle shift where he mainly checked anglers. One angler was fishing without a license, had an undersized flathead catfish, and six warrants for his arrest. The man was lodged on his warrants, and enforcement action was taken for the fishing violations.

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