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Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Ohio Cuffs and Collars – April 10th, 2015

Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• State wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received a call through the 1-800-POACHER line stating that someone killed a buck four days prior and did not check it in. Officer Kiger made contact with the hunter at his residence. When asked about the deer, the hunter stated that he killed a deer the day before and was just about to check the deer in. The hunter stated that it was hanging in the garage. The hunter had to go through the house to open the garage door so officer Kiger could look at the deer. The hunter handed officer Kiger a temporary tag when the garage door went up. The temporary tag had the day prior written for date of kill. Officer Kiger looked at the tag closely, and under the date was written another date. When the subject went to open the garage door for officer Kiger to look at the deer, the hunter in a rush filled out the tag but put the actual date killed, and then had to change it because of his story. The deer was clearly not killed the day before. A summons was issued for failure to check the deer in and he was ordered to pay $185 in fines and court cost. Officer Kiger then had the hunter check in the deer.
• During the fall of 2014, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, received a phone call from the Champaign County Dispatch Center about a shot that had been fired from the roadway. The caller told the dispatcher that about 15 minutes after the shot, a pickup truck returned to the area and they recorded the license plate number. The plate from the pickup truck was registered to a man in Logan County. Officer Tipton contacted state wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County. Tipton responded to the area, spoke to the complainant, and walked the roadway to look for evidence. Officer Tipton was able to locate faint footprints in the snow and follow them. He soon found blood, and then found where a deer died. Officer Tipton contacted officer Smith, told him about the evidence, and asked him to speak with the owner of the pickup truck. Officer Smith located a suspect of the shooting and determined there was a deer hanging in the barn. The shooter was charged with hunting deer with the aid of a motor vehicle, hunting without permission, possession of an untagged deer, and killing a deer with a gun during archery season. The driver of the truck was charged with aiding an offender. The shooter was sentenced in Champaign County Municipal Court to pay $550 in fines plus court costs, was sentenced to 10 days in jail that were suspended, and lost his hunting privileges for one year. The driver was sentenced to pay $250 fines plus court costs, and was sentenced to 10 days in jail that were suspended.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• State wildlife officer Brad Buening, assigned to Van Wert County, watched several hunters on a deer drive during the gun season. After the drive was finished, officer Buening spotted an individual carrying a walking stick to the roadway as he checked the hunters’ licenses and permits. Officer Buening found the behavior of the individual odd and investigated further. The individual said that he left his deer permit at home and was just walking with his buddies. The man was adamant that he had not been hunting and insisted that he had not left a gun behind in the woods. After further investigation, officer Buening determined that the individual was in fact hunting and had tried to conceal his shotgun in the woods by tucking it under a log. The individual was charged with two hunting violations and was found guilty on both. He was ordered to pay court cost with fines and forfeited the shotgun to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
• While investigating deer records in the license database system, state wildlife officer Thomas Kochert found a subject that had used a $15 antlerless tag in Williams County, which was closed to using the tag during the 2014-2015 deer season. Further investigation revealed the man did not actually kill the deer, which officer Kochert uncovered when he recognized several key discrepancies in the situation. The subject had tagged and checked two deer from Williams County, both of which were killed by his son, and then had the meat taken to a processor. Several charges were filed in a Williams County court, and fines were levied totaling nearly $1,200. The processed deer meat was confiscated and given to a food pantry. The costs were ordered to be paid by both defendants.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• During the 2014 deer season, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, and state wildlife officer Kyle Queer, assigned to Carroll County, received a complaint about individuals shooting deer from the roadway in Jefferson County. They arrived at the scene and were able to locate the suspect’s vehicle pulled off the roadway, and two individuals in the field looking for a deer. Officer Porter contacted them and recognized the individual with the firearm as the same man he had charged the previous year with five different deer violations. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the subjects had driven up the road, shot at a deer, and missed. In addition, the individual with prior wildlife convictions had spotlighted deer and shot from the roadway directly toward a house the night before. He had also killed a 9-point buck several nights prior. Officer Porter seized the 9-point deer, a shotgun, a muzzleloader, and a spotlight. In total, officer Porter charged an adult and a juvenile with multiple deer violations. The adult, convicted of his fifth wildlife offense, was fined $400 plus court costs. In addition to the fine the man’s hunting privileges were revoked for one year, and he was required to pass a hunter education course. The shotgun, spotlight, and the deer were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
• One week after the close of deer season, state wildlife officer Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Lake County, received a call from the Willowick Police Department regarding possible hunting activity taking place in the city. A police officer accompanied officer Pellegrini to the scene where they followed a blood trail and drag marks to the back of a garage in a residential neighborhood. Officer Pellegrini contacted the homeowner shortly thereafter and determined that he had killed the deer after the close of the archery season. The deer was seized and the man was charged with the offense. He was convicted in court, ordered to pay more than $450 in fines and court costs, and received a 120-day suspended jail sentence.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In November 2014, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle for spotlighting on State Route 7 around 2:30 a.m. The trooper called state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, who responded to the scene and collected an AR15 rifle and interviewed three suspects. All three were cited with jacklighting and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. The backseat passenger was in possession of the rifle, which was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The individual also had his hunting privileges revoked for one year by Lawrence County Municipal Court. He received fines and costs of $635. The driver and front seat passenger each received $350 in fines and costs and are also under a one-year revocation of hunting privileges.
• In April 2014, wildlife officers received an anonymous complaint through Ohio’s online Turn In A Poacher hotline. The complaint alleged a hunter had harvested a 160-inch class 8-point buck in Belmont County on private property while trespassing and hunting without permission. An interview with the suspect led to the issuance of a search warrant conducted on his residence. Nine sets of deer antlers and a shoulder-mounted buck deer were seized, along with a muzzleloader. Additionally, 18 other illegally possessed deer, reptile, furbearer, and bird parts were taken. The defendant was ordered to pay $500 in fines and court costs, received one year of probation, and all evidence seized was forfeited to the state.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• State wildlife officer Ryan Schock, assigned to Hamilton County, and wildlife officer supervisor Brian Goldick were conducting sport fishing regulation compliance in Hamilton County. The officers noticed an unoccupied vehicle parked in an empty parking lot adjacent to a gravel pit where officer Schock had previously received trespassing complaints. Based on this complaint, the officers entered the gravel pit and discovered three men who were fishing without permission. They were each issued a summons for fishing without written permission and in total paid $440 in fines and court costs.

Division of Watercraft 
Southern – Cambridge Area Office

• Officers Plumly and Latchic were patrolling Atwood Lake on July 4, 2014. A vessel was observed operating with dock lights. The navigation lights were being obstructed and could not be clearly seen. Officer Latchic activated the blue lights on the patrol vessel, and officer Plumly made contact with the vessel’s operator. Officer Plumly explained to the operator why he was being stopped. He then explained to the operator that he was going to conduct a vessel safety inspection. The officer noticed open containers on the vessel while conducting the vessel safety inspection. The operator was asked to perform a couple of preliminary field sobriety tests, during which he could not recite the alphabet correctly. Officer Plumly also observed multiple clues of impairment from the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. The operator was asked to put on a life jacket and board the patrol vessel. The vessel was towed to shore, and the standardized field sobriety test was administered. The operator was found not to be impaired and was given a warning for the open containers and for the obstructed navigation lights. The operator was issued a citation for insufficient life jackets as result of the safety inspection. The operator was found guilty and paid $197 in fines.

Southern – East Fork Area Office

• On June 29, 2014, a watercraft officer stopped a man on the Little Miami River for operating his kayak without a valid registration. The man gave false information about purchasing his registration at the East Fork Area Office from a man behind the window. The problem was there are no males that work behind the window at the East Fork Area Office. The violator also was consuming alcohol and was under the age of 21. The male subject again gave false information about his birthdate. He was removed from the water for the day and received citations for no registration and underage consumption.

Southern – Springfield Area Office

• While patrolling Acton Lake (Hueston Woods), officer Brown observed a vessel coming across the lake near the marina during a thunderstorm. The bow of the small boat was taking on water, and the boat had very little freeboard. The vessel was stopped, and the following violations were found: no registration paperwork on board, insufficient number of life jackets on board, over the manufacturer’s rated capacity limit, and no distress signal on board. The owner was cited for insufficient life jackets on board. The defendant pleaded guilty and paid $120 in fines and court costs.

Northern – Cleveland Area Office

• On Oct. 2, 2014, a radio transmission was overheard regarding a boat that had caught fire at the East 72nd Street Ramp. East 72nd Street Ramp is very close to the Cleveland watercraft office, making it easy for investigator McCullough to get there swiftly. Upon arrival, investigator McCullough saw the vessel tied up on the courtesy dock, still in flames. The owner and passengers of the vessel were at a nearby picnic table, and they said that everyone was okay and accounted for. Following contact with the passengers, Cleveland Fire and EMS arrived to extinguish the flames and check out the involved party’s health. Investigator McCullough interviewed the owner of the vessel and found that he had purchased the vessel one day prior. While the owner has been on Lake Erie for years, this was the first vessel that he had purchased. The rest of his passengers were also seasoned boaters and came with him to teach him about the vessel. At the ramp, the starboard engine was started and ran for five to 10 minutes, until a passenger noticed a heavy gasoline smell. They checked under the hatches to locate the source, but came up with nothing. As they replaced one of the hatches, an explosion occurred, knocking the passengers onto the deck and burning one of them slightly on the neck and hands. The passenger with the burns was treated and released after the incident at a nearby hospital. An Ohio State Fire Marshall investigated the fire damage to the vessel, stating that the fire originated in the engine compartment and was accidental. He also stated that the backfire flame arrestor was improperly attached, allowing fuel vapors to leak into the engine compartment. When the vapors found an ignition source in the running engine, they exploded.
• On Sept. 5, 2014, a 42-foot sailboat and a personal watercraft were noticed by some boaters up against the Cleveland breakwall in an unusual location with no one visible. Some other boaters boarded the boat to see if anything was wrong. They discovered a man who was not the owner passed out and smelling of alcohol. They towed the boat to Edgewater Marina and notified the Cleveland Watercraft Office. Watercraft officers, a supervisor, and an investigator responded, as did Cleveland Metroparks rangers. During the course of their investigation, it was discovered that the suspect had been living on different boats at Edgewater Marina for at least two weeks. During the previous night, he broke into the sailboat and the power boat docked next to it. He transferred everything from the powerboat to the sailboat, including a television, several bottles of alcohol, curtains, clothes, and boat safety equipment. He also took a personal watercraft from another dock and tied it to the sailboat. He cast the sailboat off the dock and attempted to leave. He was hampered in his escape as the sailboat did not have a working motor, and he did not know how to sail. The breeze during the night pushed the boat up against the rocks where it was found the next morning by the boaters. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with several felonies. On March 19, he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted burglary, one count of grand theft, and one count of felony vandalism.

Northern – Sandusky Area Office

• On Aug. 31, 2014, officer Hodgkiss and officer Beard stopped two personal watercraft leaving Put-In-Bay approximately 30 minutes after sunset. It was dark out and hard to see the PWCs. Officers had both operators board their patrol vessel due to the safety issue. Officers observed obvious signs of alcohol impairment on both operators. They both performed the seated battery of field sobriety tests, where they both performed poorly. Both operators were arrested for operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs of abuse. They both refused to submit chemical tests, and they were both transported to the Ottawa County Jail. At the jail, they were issued multiple citations. One operator received a $574 fine, 30 days in jail, and has to complete an alcohol evaluation because he has prior OVI offenses. The second operator received a $446 fine and has to complete the first offender program.

Northern – Wapakoneta Area Office

• While providing event security at the Governor’s Cup Regatta near Celina on Grand Lake St. Marys, officers Roeger and Trump were notified of a wooden speedboat entering the race course on the far side of the track. The boat did about half a lap before exiting the course and heading to the East Bank boat ramp in St. Marys. The speed boat was stopped when it slowed to enter the channel. The operator was ordered to shut his vessel off as the officers pulled alongside. The operator stated he was sorry, but “just had to do a lap in his boat,” and he thought the crowd was getting bored during the short break in the racing. The operator was cited for operating a vessel in an area of restricted or controlled operation in violation of the designated restriction. Fines and courts cost totaling $145 were paid.

Southern – Alum Creek Area Office

• On Aug. 22, 2014, at Alum Creek Reservoir, officer Lange observed a personal watercraft being operated with expired registration. Upon making contact with the operator, officer Lange asked if he was the owner of the personal watercraft and if the registration was renewed. The operator advised he was the owner but was not sure if the registration was renewed. Officer Lange contacted the ODNR radio room, and they confirmed that the registration had not been renewed. The operator was cited into Delaware County Municipal Court for operating a personal watercraft without current registration. The operator entered a waiver guilty plea and paid $130 in fines and court costs.  

Southern – Cambridge Area Office

• Officer Plumly was patrolling Salt Fork Lake on July 22, 2014, when park officer Davis called him for assistance. Officer Davis had four subjects detained for swimming out of zone and multiple other offenses. Officer Plumly activated his blue lights and proceeded to officer Davis’ location near the water treatment plant. The officer noticed a half full can of Budweiser floating in the water when he got off his patrol vessel. Officer Davis informed officer Plumly that he suspected underage consumption and also drug abuse. Officer Davis contacted the juvenile’s parents and informed them of what was transpiring. After interviewing the subjects, officer Plumly cited one of the individuals for stream litter. The subject admitted to leaving the half full can of Budweiser near the water. Officer Davis issued citations to two of the subjects for underage consumption and for drug abuse. The subject charged with stream litter was found guilty, and paid $125 in fines and court costs. The juvenile subject pleaded no contest and was found guilty of underage consumption, paying $150 in court costs and fines. The subject charged with drug abuse was found guilty. His driver’s license was suspended for six months and $263 in fines and court costs were paid.

Southern – East Fork Area Office

• On Aug. 10, 2014, watercraft officer Ferguson and wildlife officer Schock were on patrol on the Whitewater River when officer Ferguson noticed a gentleman floating in a kayak smoking out of a glass pipe. Officer Ferguson made contact with the gentleman and asked him what was in the pipe. The gentleman pretended that there was no pipe. However, when he moved his backpack, the glass pipe was discovered hidden underneath his bag. When he handed the pipe to officer Ferguson, the substance of the pipe smelled like marijuana. When asked if he had any more marijuana, he stated that he did and it was in his backpack. The gentleman was issued a citation for unlawfully possessing a controlled substance to wit: marijuana. The marijuana and contraband were confiscated. A guilty plea was entered, and the man paid a $150 fine.

Southern – Springfield Area Office

• While on patrol of Cowan Lake, officer Brown observed an inboard/outboard vessel operating at near idle speed. The boat was stopped, and the operator was advised that Cowan Lake is a 10-horsepower limit lake. The operator stated that he didn’t think anyone would be out today, and that he was told that if he went slow it would be ok. The boat had a 120-horsepower inboard/outboard motor. The operator was cited for operating over the horsepower limit. The defendant pleaded guilty and paid $125 in fines and court costs.

Northern – Akron Area Office

• On Saturday, Jan. 31, watercraft officer Daisher assisted with the Guilford Lake State Park’s inaugural “Plunge.” This year’s event raised money for the Humane Society of Columbiana County and the Hanover Township Fire Department. The event began at 2 p.m. and hosted approximately 50 jumpers who plunged into the frigid water. Crews had to cut through 11 inches of ice to make this event possible. Team activity was encouraged and rewarded with prizes for the biggest team jump, most outrageous costume, biggest fundraiser, and most creative plunge style. The event was also not without its celebrities, either, as Sparky the Fire Dog made an appearance. The Humane Society collected shelter supplies from attendees and had pet treats, toys, and T-shirts available for sale. The all-day event closed at 8 p.m. with an American Revolution Live Pro Wrestling match. At the end of the day, approximately $5,000 was raised for these two community organizations.

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