Region I – Captain Laura Petreikis
CPO Frichtl conducted an investigation into the illegal possession of an American alligator by a citizen living in Freeport. A search warrant for the residence was obtained and CPOs Teas, Schoonhoven, Beltran and Fraser assisted CPO Frichtl during the serving of the search warrant. A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of one American alligator and several items of suspected drug paraphernalia. Upon consultation with the Stephenson County State’s Attorney’s Office, charges were filed against the defendant for unlawful possession of an American alligator and possession of drug paraphernalia, along with a warrant for his arrest.
CPO Thompson responded to a complaint of fishing without permission. A landowner reported a male subject seen on his property ice fishing without permission. Equipped with photo evidence, CPO Thompson and CPO Wheatley met with the suspect at his residence. When the suspect was asked about his activities on the property in question he stated he was on the property but was not fishing. After being confronted with the evidence in the photographs, the suspect admitted he did, in fact, fish for a while but demanded he had permission. The landowner provided information contrary to the suspect’s statement. A citation and a few warnings were issued as a result.
CPO Thompson responded to a complaint of a male subject unlawfully hunting rabbits from an ATV and shooting over the road. Thompson spoke with the suspect, and after a short interview the suspect admitted to unlawful transportation of an uncased firearm (.20 gauge shotgun). The suspect admitted a wounded rabbit did cross the roadway and died in the opposite ditch. However, the suspect denied ever firing from or across the roadway and offered to take CPO Thompson to the area he took the rabbits. Upon arriving at the location, CPO Thompson recognized two .20 gauge shotgun shell wads, blood, and rabbit fur on the leaves nearby. After further questioning, the suspect revealed he had, in fact, shot across the roadway at one rabbit. Two citations were issued.
CPO Thompson responded to a complaint of trapping without permission on a property in rural McDonough County. After a short conversation with the landowner and seizing the traps, the suspect was identified by the tags attached to the traps. Thompson contacted the suspect and he stated he thought he had permission through the tenant farmer. Thompson explained the law relating to hunting and/or trapping without permission and the suspect stated he understood. A citation was issued for trapping without permission.
CPO Van Zant was checking fisherman at Powerton Lake. As two fishermen came out, he asked them how they did. They replied “great, we both have limits.” After counting the fish in their buckets, the CPO observed one subject had a very heavy looking back pack. The CPO asked if they had any more fish and they said “no.” One subject was ultimately found to have hidden five extra white bass in his back pack. He was issued two citations for illegal take of over the limit of white bass.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO Vaughan and CPO Elliott completed an ongoing permit violation investigation which occurred during the 2014 archery deer season. During the investigation, one 13-point antlered deer and one 9-point antlered deer were seized. Additionally, the following violations were addressed: Subject 1 was cited for using tags of another, falsification of records, unlawful hunting without valid deer permit, and unlawful hunting without valid hunting license. Subject 1 received written warnings for unlawful hunting without habitat stamp, unlawful possession of illegally taken game, and feeding wildlife. Subject 2 was cited for loan/transfer tags to another and falsification of records. Subject 2 also received written warnings for unlawful hunting without hunting license, unlawful hunting without habitat stamp, unlawful possession of illegally taken game, and feeding wildlife.
CPO Gilmer was conducting sport fishing enforcement through the ice at North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor. As he approached an ice shanty, he saw one male subject smoking marijuana through the window. CPO Gilmer opened the door to the shanty and heard water splashing. There were three subjects and none would admit to owning a drug pipe. CPO Gilmer looked through the tackle boxes for hidden fish and found marijuana. Once the marijuana was found, the subject he saw with the drug pipe stated he threw it into Lake Michigan through the ice fishing hole and said the only reason he was hiding it was because he didn’t want the marijuana to be found. One subject was cited for marijuana and pollution of waterways for the drug pipe being thrown into Lake Michigan. One subject was cited for illegally drinking alcohol in the harbor and the other received written warnings for fishing in a location not allowed and not affixing name and address to his ice fishing shanty.
CPO Reid completed a hunting investigation where a subject was using his vehicle to get close to flocks of geese on property he did not have permission to hunt on and to shoot at the geese. The subject was cited for unlawfully hunting without permission, unlawfully hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and for unlawful take of Canada geese.
CPOT Semenik and CPO Winters followed up on a trapping complaint in Lake County. The subject was issued one citation for unlawfully trapping out of season and four written warnings for various trapping violations.
CPO Siedsma investigated a trapping complaint alleging the trapper would leave trapped animals in body traps for several days. The trapper was interviewed and a citation was issued for failure to check traps daily.
CPOs Bergland and Wollgast handled a personal injury snowmobile accident in rural Grundy County. A snowmobile operator drove his sled at a high rate of speed on property he owned and forgot about a large ditch on the property. He jumped the ditch crashing into the other side. He was taken to the hospital and was fortunate to only sustain fractured vertebrae and is expected to fully recover. The operator was issued a citation for operating a snowmobile too fast for conditions and a person operating a different sled with the victim was issued a citation for no registration.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Wright received a tip regarding shots fired near a house in Decatur along a creek. While investigating the complaint, two raccoons were found shot near a tree and a trap that was out of the water. The trap was untagged, but due to a description of the suspect, CPO Wright was able to determine who placed the trap. After a short interview a Decatur man (who had been arrested by CPO Wright last year for similar violations) admitted to setting the traps and killing the raccoons. The man was issued five citations for unlawful placement of traps out of water, unlawful take of a raccoon out of trapping season, untagged traps, exposed bait and firing a rifle within 300 yards of a dwelling.
CPO Barnes was contacted with a dumping complaint in rural Coles County. Upon investigation of the numerous bags of garbage, evidence belonging to a Mattoon subject was found. The subject admitted to dumping the garbage and a citation was issued.
Sgt. Williamson tracked two snowmobiles from McLean County to the Power House Pub in the town of DeWitt. When Sgt. Williamson stopped the two snowmobiles, he found multiple violations: operation of a snowmobile on a roadway with a revoked driver’s license, no registration, and no insurance on one of the snowmobiles. A citation and several written warnings were issued to the Stanford man. The Leroy man received several written warnings and was taken to the DeWitt County jail on a warrant for three counts of destruction of property.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
CPO Tapley received a phone call about two men snagging paddlefish in the Kaskaskia River below the Carlyle Lake Dam. CPO Tapley watched them from a distance and saw the two men snagging fish. The men were throwing back Asian carp and eventually caught a paddlefish. One of the men took the fish to his car where he put it in a large bag and then walked across the street and hid the fish in tall grass. When Tapley approached them, both men denied catching any fish. One man said he was fishing for catfish with stinkbait, however, in the 40 minutes that Tapley watched them, he had not baited his hooks. Tapley retrieved the fish and the bag and asked the two men about it. They denied catching it or hiding it. Both men were issued citations for snagging. After they were released, another fisherman told Tapley there were at least two other paddlefish the men had caught. CPO Tapley went back up to the grass field and recovered two more paddlefish that had been hidden in the tall grass.
CPO Swance investigated a stolen signs complaint from Sangchris Lake. A stolen sign was located at a residence and had been partially painted over to advertise the home owners business. The subject admitted to painting the sign but denied stealing it.
CPO Swance conducted waterfowl enforcement as migrating geese arrived in the area. Two hunters were observed actively hunting near the end of legal hours. Legal time passed and the hunters appeared to still be "flagging" geese. Several minutes after legal shooting time Swance observed the hunters shoot at a flock of geese, harvesting one. Before Swance could get from his place of observation to the hunters, they had shot at two more flocks and killed two more geese. The hunters were met in the field by Swance each carrying freshly killed geese. When questioned about legal hunting hours, the hunters did not know what time they were required to stop.
Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber
CPOs Jourdan and Williams investigated a report of a wild captive raised deer near the Sesser-Valier school. The deer was located, persons raising the deer were educated about wildlife rehabilitation and the deer was relocated to a licensed rehabilitator. A written warning was issued for unlawful possession of a white-tailed deer.
After receiving a complaint from a Gallatin County farmer having a cow being shot at night, CPOs Diggins and Schoenhoff conducted a decoy detail near the residence. A vehicle was stopped for shining the decoy with its headlights; the vehicle had pulled completely off the road to view the decoy. No weapons were found in the vehicle but the driver was cited for no valid insurance and issued two written warnings. Warnings issued were for no seatbelt and use of motor vehicle to shine wildlife.
CPO Mohrman, while on patrol in rural Jackson County, discovered a DNR tree planter which was missing for a couple of years. The owner of the property where the tree planter was parked told CPO Mohrman that the machine broke down and he was planning on fixing it before returning it. Unfortunately time got away from the subject and he never got around to the repairs. CPO Mohrman advised the subject that the DNR could fix the planter and it needed to be picked up. The subject was fine with the officer and district forester retrieving the planter and has already asked to borrow it again for future tree plantings.
CPO Boston was on patrol around Crab Orchard Lake when he was flagged down by two females. They told Boston their car was rolling into Crab Orchard Lake and they couldn’t stop it. CPO Boston ran to the vehicle and stuffed a spotting scope under one of the front tires. CPO Boston got the vehicle started and backed it to level ground. The two women were very grateful.