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Michigan Cuffs & Collars – March 13th, 2015


COs Matthew Eberly, Doug Hermanson, David Miller, Brian Lasanen, Brett Delonge, Elton Luce, Mark Leadman, and Sgt. Ryan Aho conducted a group snowmobile patrol in Houghton County. Many snowmobilers were contacted, and a wide range of violations were encountered. Sound emissions enforcement was conducted in a complaint area, and seven snowmobiles that were tested were found to be over 88 decibels. All of the snowmobile operators that were issued sound emissions tickets had snowmobiles that tested in a decibel range that is proved to cause permanent hearing damage. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Elton Luce, Mark Leadman, and Dave Miller participated in a search-and-rescue readiness exercise that simulated a plane crash in a remote area of Marquette County. The exercise was a joint effort with the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, Marquette County Search and Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard, and DNR Forest Resources Management. GPS coordinates were given to the group, and an outstanding response time was achieved by the responding agencies.
CO Brian Bacon was patrolling a section of state land when he came across a freshly discarded bag and litter from a fast-food restaurant. With a fresh snowfall that morning and only one set of vehicle tracks in the area, the suspect vehicle was located a short time later. Contact with the driver resulted in a confession for throwing the litter out the window of his truck. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon responded to the scene of a serious snowmobile accident in Iron County. The operator lost control of his snowmobile on a corner and crashed into a tree. The accident scene was five miles from the nearest road access, and CO Bacon assisted with getting Emergency Medical Services personnel to the scene.


CO Michael Evink and acting Sgt. Jerrold Fitzgibbon conducted a patrol on Little Bay de Noc waters on a busy Saturday. They contacted more than 250 anglers and encountered violations that included possession of marijuana, unattended lines, fishing with too many lines, fishing without licenses, no name on ice shacks, and unregistered snowmobiles. Seven tickets were written, and numerous warnings were given out.
CO Robert Crisp was the first to respond to a complaint about a woman having a seizure in her car at the Subway restaurant in Munising. CO Crisp provided first aid to the woman and some comfort to the young child that was with her until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.
CO Jon Busken was patrolling the Newberry area when central dispatch requested an additional unit to back up a Mackinac County Sheriff’s deputy in securing a residence for a search warrant. The deputy had been assisting a social worker on a child welfare visit when he noted a large quantity of narcotics on the kitchen table. The resident was lodged in the Mackinac County jail on unrelated charges and had indicated that she would have someone return to her residence to destroy the evidence. CO Busken assisted in securing the scene until the Tri- County Drug Enforcement Taskforce could execute the warrant. Narcotics, cash, and electronics were seized. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Jon Busken was on patrol in Mackinac County when a 911 call came into central dispatch in regard to a snowmobile personal-injury accident. CO Busken responded and located the snowmobile crash scene. Two sleds were involved, leaving one subject with severe injuries and broken legs. After the investigation, it was determined that the accident was caused by careless snowmobile operation. Enforcement action was taken.
After receiving a tip, CO Mike Hammill was able to follow up on a complaint about a black bear that had been harvested during the 2014 bear season but had not been registered. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Panich was on fish patrol when he came upon a subject fishing in a shanty with no name and address permanently attached. Upon making contact with the subject, an odor of marijuana was detected by the CO. The subject denied having any drugs. Further investigation revealed marijuana cigarettes and roaches. Enforcement action was taken.


The 2015 sturgeon-fishing season on Black Lake occurred without incident this year. Officers patrolled the lake before, during, and after the season. Very few violations were encountered, and COs and fisheries personnel were able to shut down the season without any additional sturgeon being taken after the quota was reached.
COs Mike Feagan and Carl VanderWall patrolled Burt and Mullett lakes and came upon several unattended fishing lines and a number of snowmobile violations. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Andrea Erratt and Andrea Albert worked a local fishing tournament and checked many ice anglers as well as a number of some nice walleyes and pike that had been caught. A few anglers apparently tried to increase their odds by placing too many lines out. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carl VanderWall followed up on a referral from tribal COs on unattended fishing lines, issuing a ticket to the lakefront homeowner who wasn’t even home at the time.
CO Andrea Erratt made several unsuccessful attempts last winter to contact an ice angler whose shanty had no name/address on it, and was left out well after the March 15 deadline. Each year, this body of water has several ice shanties go through the deteriorating ice and become hazards to boating operation in the spring, with floating and partially submerged wood remains. CO Erratt finally was able to make contact with the angler, who still hadn’t gotten around to putting his name and address on the shanty. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Speigl reports the subject who intentionally killed wild turkeys with his truck was sentenced recently, paying $1,600 in fines, costs, and restitution.
CO Nick Torsky contacted a woman who had lost her dog near Otsego Lake State Park. CO Torsky used his snowmobile and was able to locate the dog and reunite it with the owner.


CO Steve Converse was checking a local lake in Manistee County where he has had ongoing fishing violations in the past. CO Converse arrived and located four unattended tip-ups, all with their flags up. CO Converse waited approximately 45 minutes before a subject arrived in a truck and walked out to check the tip-ups. CO Converse approached the subject, who immediately stated that he wasn’t responsible for all the tip-ups. When questioned further, the subject advised that his “friend” was with him earlier but had to leave. CO Converse obtained the name of the “friend” and ran a license check that revealed that the supposed missing angler had not purchased a current fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
While on routine patrol, CO Josiah Killingbeck observed a subject cutting firewood on state land. Upon noticing that the CO had observed him, the subject threw his saw into a trailer and attempted to drive away. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle, and during his investigation discovered that the subject did not have a fuelwood permit. Further investigation revealed that the subject also was illegally selling the wood taken from state land. The subject had no insurance on the vehicle he was driving and had failed to renew the vehicle registration. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brian Lebel and Angela Greenway, along with Sgt. Mike Bomay, participated in a kids fishing derby at Canadian Lakes. Hundreds of children and adults braved the extremely cold weather to take part in the 11th annual event. Officers assisted the children in catching bluegills and northern pike while providing literature from the DNR on different techniques to catch fish.
CO Troy Mueller was checking two anglers on a local lake and observed both subjects in possession of undersized northern pike. One of the subjects had two outstanding warrants for failure to appear on undersized bass tickets issued in the past. Tickets were issued for the current violations, and the subject with the warrants was lodged in the Osceola County jail.


CO Mike Hearn made contact with a group of anglers fishing on a designated trout lake. Upon checking the shanty, two rainbow trout were located near one of the anglers. The fish were measured and determined to be undersized. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Hearn made contact with a suspect illegally cutting wood on state land. This was not the first time the suspect had been caught for this violation. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chuck McPherson contacted an angler using six tip-ups. The subject advised CO McPherson that his father had gone to shore to get a face mask and would be back shortly. CO McPherson waited, and the father returned approximately 10 minutes later. When CO McPherson asked the father for his fishing license, the man indicated that he did not have a license and was not fishing. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kyle Bader stopped to assist a motorist who ended up in the ditch. While checking the vehicle for damage, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the back of the truck. There were two 55-gallon drum liners along with enough plant material to fill a third in the back. It was all stalks and stems of marijuana plants. The driver claimed not to know what it was. His story of why he was driving around in a snowstorm in the middle of the night didn’t add up either. He was headed to dump the stems on state land. The Michigan State Police (MSP) assisted at the scene. Charges are pending through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office for the possession of marijuana, as well as a firearm possession violation.
CO Nick Atkin received a call from an off-duty officer about a group of anglers who appeared to be keeping too many walleye while fishing on Saginaw Bay. CO Atkin was able to run his snowmobile out to the area and make contact with the group in question. In addition to the overlimit of walleyes that was found, CO Atkin also addressed a snowmobile registration violation within the same group.
COs Steve Lockwood and Nick Atkin were patrolling Saginaw Bay on snowmobiles when CO Lockwood contacted a small group of anglers. One angler possessed an undersized walleye, was fishing with too many lines, and had driven an unregistered snowmobile out on the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin was checking anglers on a local Arenac County lake when he encountered a large group of anglers participating in a local fishing derby. One of the anglers the officer checked was in possession of 40 panfish. The anglers quickly informed the CO that he had help catching all the fish and that they did not all belong to him. The only problem was his companions did not back up his story and were not going to go along with the ruse. Realizing his friends were not coming to his aid, the angler confessed to catching and keeping the overlimit all by himself. CO Atkin issued a ticket for an overlimit of panfish.
COs Phil Hudson, Nick Atkin, Steve Lockwood, and Kyle Bader participated in a group patrol focusing on walleye- and perch-fishing enforcement on Saginaw Bay. Numerous groups of anglers were checked throughout the course of the patrol. In one instance, the officers attempted to check a shanty that was positioned a long distance from the rest of the fishing groups. The COs found that the shanty was not occupied. However, all the equipment, including one snowmobile, was still at the shanty. The officers decided to keep an eye on the shanty while checking other anglers in the area. Eventually, two subjects returned to the shanty. COs Lockwood and Hudson waited until dark and followed the two anglers back to shore and checked them at their vehicle. A very short interview found that both anglers, a husband and wife, were fishing without licenses. In addition, officers located nine walleyes, all of which were caught by the husband. It seems that when the COs first located the shanty without occupants, the two anglers were busy running their first batch of walleyes up to their vehicle in preparation for going back and getting their next batch. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Seth Rhodea and Joshua Wright conducted a snowmobile patrol on the trails in Sanilac County. Activity was high on the trails, and most people were in compliance with registration and trail permit laws. Six tickets were issued for no trail permits and unregistered snowmobiles, and numerous warnings also were issued.
CO Jason A. Smith received a complaint about fox hunters shooting at dogs, transporting uncased/loaded firearms, and threatening other hunters. Complainants and suspects were interviewed, and information is being submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
CO Chad Foerster was ice fishing on his day off on Saginaw Bay when he received a call from a bordering officer, CO Nick Atkin, wondering how much ice-fishing activity he had near him. CO Foerster had friends who had all caught limits of walleyes near him and had already left, except for one lone ice shanty that had been there all day. CO Atkin was advised of the lone shanty still out and headed in that direction on his snowmobile. Upon checking the anglers, he discovered they were over their legal limit of walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Bob Hobkirk issued a ticket to an angler for failing to transfer ownership of his snowmobile. CO Hobkirk contacted the owner of the snowmobile, who stated that he had just purchased the snowmobile and had not had time to register the machine. Upon inspection of the individual’s paperwork, it was determined that the snowmobile had been purchased more than a month earlier.
While patrolling the Verona State Game Area, CO Bob Hobkirk observed a snowmobile with no registration stickers. When the CO attempted to catch up with the snowmobile, the operator turned into a field. Approximately an hour later, CO Hobkirk observed the same snowmobile at a gas station; the operator was ticketed for operating against the flow of traffic. A warning was issued for failing to display his decals.
COs Joel Lundberg and Dan Lee were checking ice anglers when a snowmobiler passed within 50 feet of a shanty at a high rate of speed. It took the COs all of three miles just to catch up to the snowmobile. The man said he didn’t think he was going that fast. Tickets were issued.
CO Joel Lundberg worked the Saginaw Bay and Saginaw River. The CO worked ongoing complaints about snowmobilers traveling at high rates of speed within the safety zone of ice anglers. The CO issued 22 tickets for various snowmobile, ORV, and fishing violations.
COs Joel Lundberg, Dan Lee, and Quincy Gowenlock conducted a late-night snowmobile patrol in Bay County. The COs worked the area of the Saginaw and Kawkawlin rivers and out into the Saginaw Bay. Numerous snowmobilers were stopped throughout the patrol for violations of the 100-foot rule, registration violations, and trail permits violations. In total, 33 tickets were issued, and numerous verbal warnings were given.


CO Mike Mshar traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to attend the annual National Wild Turkey Federation convention where he received recognition as the NWTF Michigan Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
CO Jeff Robinette assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Department with road closures due to the high winds and snow.


CO Chris Reynolds checked various small groups of snowmobilers. The riders had everything in order except one of the riders had most of his registration torn off his machine. A verbal warning was given to the rider, and he was advised to get a replacement.
While checking anglers on a local lake, CO Matt Page came upon one subject who was fishing with a child-sized Little Mermaid pole. The subject stated that he did not have a fishing license because he had been out of state and didn’t think he would be able to go fishing this year. A further check showed that the subject had a valid warrant for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken.


While on patrol at the Tipsico Lake access site, CO Jason Becker encountered two subjects in a vehicle about to go fishing. When asked if they had fishing licenses, both stated they did, but not with them. A check of the license system and LEIN check revealed one subject had a fishing license, neither of them had a valid driver’s license, and one had multiple warrants. That subject was lodged in the Livingston County jail, and a licensed driver came to remove the vehicle from the access site.
CO Richard Cardenas received a complaint showing that a subject potentially shot a doe during the 2014 bow season before purchasing a deer license for the season. CO Cardenas arrived at the residence and found that the subject had shot one doe during the 2014 archery deer season. CO Cardenas obtained a written confession from the subject admitting he had shot the doe with his crossbow before he had purchased any deer licenses for the 2014 deer season. A report will be prepared and submitted to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges.
COs Derek Miller and Shane Webster stopped a pair of snowmobile operators in Lenawee County for what appeared to be expired registrations. Investigation revealed the subject had never registered his snowmobile nor had he transferred ownership and did not have trail stickers for either snowmobile. The subject also was transporting an open bottle of liquor. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Drexler and Justin Ulberg followed up with the owners of fishing tip-ups that had been left unattended on Whitmore Lake in Washtenaw County for over a week. Both subjects admitted to leaving the tip-ups in place after participating in a fishing tournament. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Kevin Hackworth, COs Derek Miller, Chris Knights, Shane Webster, and Justin Ulberg worked during the annual Tip Up Festival on Devils Lake in Lenawee County. The COs made numerous contacts. Multiple warnings and tickets were issued for equipment and registration violations on ORVs and snowmobiles.
CO Justin Ulberg responded to a complaint about snowmobilers trespassing across a farmer’s winter wheat field. The farmer was concerned that the large amount of snowmobiling activity would damage his crop. CO Ulberg and Sgt. Kevin Hackworth patrolled the area and contacted riders and issued tickets.
CO Justin Ulberg was called out by Lenawee Central Dispatch to a fatal snowmobile accident on Devil’s Lake. CO Ulberg assisted the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department with the investigation. CO Ulberg was able to utilize the DNR’s newly acquired Polaris Ranger to transport emergency personnel and equipment out on the ice.


While on patrol on Belle Isle, COs Jason Becker and Josiah Killingbeck observed two snowmobilers operating without trail permits. The COs contacted the operators and addressed registration and trail permit violations. Two people in the group were attempting to ride as passengers without helmets. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Rich Nickols and Richard Cardenas were working on Belle Isle when they observed a vehicle come on the island around 6 a.m. The driver was driving erratically and then stopped to ask for directions. CO Nickols gave directions and watched as the driver continued to drive in circles. CO Nickols re-contacted the driver and detected the odor of intoxicants. A file check showed the driver had four warrants and was suspended. CO Nickols conducted sobriety evaluations and arrested the subject for OWI and lodged the subject at the DDC. The subject took a breath test and had a .18 BAC. It later was found that the subject had been arrested just two days earlier in Kentucky for the same offenses.

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