Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Aug. 25, 2017
Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis
CPO Posateri and Sgt Petreikis were patrolling the Mississippi River near Rock Island in support of the fireworks display Red, White & Boom. Just as boats were going out for the fireworks, a small 14-foot aluminum jon boat was coming back in toward the marina. A safety inspection was completed, and there was only one life jacket for three people on board. The operator was issued a citation for the violation and was escorted back to the ramp with all occupants wearing life jackets.
CPO Francisko conducted watercraft safety inspections at Sunset Marina. A passenger sitting in the stern of a cabin cruiser and smoking a marijuana cigarette didn’t see or hear the CPO approaching the boat. The subject was issued a civil citation for the violation.
CPO Kaufman received a phone call from a retired CPO who stated that he had located a pile of trash along a road he routinely hikes on. The retired officer had located some information in the trash that indicated who had dumped it. CPO Kaufman went to a residence in a neighboring town, and using the information the retired officer had provided, was able to get an individual to admit he had dumped the trash along the road. A citation was issued.
Sgt. Wire was returning from a fight in progress call when he noticed a vehicle driving on the left side of the road. The vehicle also did not have tail lights, and it was after sunset. A traffic stop was initiated. The driver reportedly had a stroke two weeks prior and was on medication. The driver showed signs of alcohol impairment and was arrested for DUI. He was found to be operating the vehicle with a .223 BAC. A subsequent investigation showed that the driver was a felon and was in possession of a loaded handgun in the vehicle.
Two individuals were seen illegally driving their vehicle down the I&M Canal near Buffalo Rock State Park. Sgt. Wire stopped at their campsite and waited for the campers to return to their site. While waiting, Sgt. Wire observed a pouch in open view with numerous bags of cannabis. Sgt. Wire confronted the campers when they returned. Additional cannabis and paraphernalia was located.
While checking kayaks and fishing licenses at Olson Lake in Rock Cut State Park, CPO Fraser observed several vehicles parked on the grass in an area restricted to handicap parking only. CPO Fraser located all vehicle owners but one and issued written warnings for parking violations and citations for boat violations. When only one vehicle remained, CPO Fraser checked the registration and walked to a nearby bank fisherman to check his fishing license. Upon seeing the angler’s valid license, CPO Fraser discovered the angler and the registered owner of the vehicle had the same name. Despite CPO Fraser brought this to the angler’s attention and the angler stated the vehicle was not his, and he was parked in a different area. CPO Fraser left the area and confirmed the angler and the vehicle owner were the same. Upon confirming what he discovered, CPO Fraser called the angler using the phone number on his fishing license and instructed him to come remove his vehicle. The angler was upset and stated he would contest the violation in court and refused to move his vehicle. CPO Fraser advised the angler if he did not remove his vehicle, it would be towed, and he would be charged with obstructing. The angler begrudgingly removed his vehicle from the area and returned to fishing.
CPO Fraser received a complaint from a subject who stated his neighbor was illegally trapping squirrels and had left one in a live trap for over two days. CPO Fraser responded to the address where he was met by a second neighbor with the same complaint. CPO Fraser located the baited live trap and found there was a squirrel in the trap that appeared to have been there for some time. The squirrel was released and the owner was contacted. The illegal trapper stated that he considered squirrels rodents, and he was within his rights to trap rodents due to the damage they were causing. CPO Fraser asked the suspect to show him where his property was damaged and he could possibly be issued a nuisance trapping permit. The suspect was unable to show any damage and stated the squirrels dig holes in the grass. CPO Fraser advised the suspect that squirrels burying nuts was not property damage, and the trapping he was doing, along with not checking the trap, was illegal. The suspect was defiant and stated he would continue to trap squirrels. The suspect was issued a citation for illegal trapping, and the complainants were advised to call CPO Fraser if the trapping continued.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO Farber observed a subject fishing below the Kankakee Dam in Kankakee. CPO Farber observed the subject catch three smallmouth bass and put them into a bucket. Twenty minutes later, CPO Farber approached the subject to conduct a compliance check. The fisherman was in possession of two smallmouth bass within the protected slot limit for that stretch of the river. The fisherman was educated about Illinois site specific sport fish rules and regulations and issued two written warnings
CPO Bergland observed a subject fishing with his family. Although he was helping his kids fish the subject was also actively fishing. After checking another fisherman in between CPO Bergland and the fisherman, CPO Bergland then came upon the fisherman and his family. However, there were no fishing poles to be found. There was a tackle box, and the man was holding a container of worms, but he said that he wasn’t fishing. CPO Bergland found the subject’s fishing pole after a quick look around in the woods behind the family. The subject did not have a fishing license and no identification. CPO Bergland advised him that cash bond would be required for the citation. His wife made the short drive into town to get bond. While she was gone, CPO Bergland made a computer check and learned that the subject had a suspended driver’s license for a previous insurance violation. When the subject’s wife got back, CPO Bergland ran the plates of the vehicle she was driving. The registration was suspended for mandatory insurance violation. After talking with the wife, CPO Bergland learned that there was no proof of insurance with the vehicle. Citations were issued for these violations as well.
CPO Mooi was patrolling Lake Michigan in the playpen area when he observed a personal watercraft with no registration decals. The registration numbers were run through ISP dispatch and returned expired. The operator was issued a citation for the registration violation.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
While working boat enforcement, CPO Viverito observed a blue fish and ski boat with six occupants heading towards the Weldon access boat ramp at Clinton lake. CPO Viverito performed an inspection which uncovered numerous boat violations. The driver of the vessel,was investigated and arrested for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol.
CPO Viverito and Sgt. Williamson were notified of a missing 14-year-old from the Clinton Lake campground. They were notified at 11:15 PM that the mother had not seen the youth since 6 p.m. CPO Viverito, Sgt. Williamson and a DeWitt County Deputy followed up on some leads in the campground to no avail. They were then notified by the mother that a Snapchat locator notification put him in the town of Clinton about 11:45 PM. When interviewed, the mother stated that must be a mistake because he didn’t know anyone in Clinton. Upon notification, Clinton police found the juvenile in Clinton at about 12:30 a.m. When he was returned to the campground, he stated that he met some girls in the campground, and they took him to Clinton. The juvenile was returned to the custody of his mother.
CPO Reeves and CPO Graden conducted recreational watercraft enforcement on Clinton Lake. A pontoon boat was observed making way with a passenger illegally riding on the stern deck. As the CPOs attempted to stop the vessel, the operator abandoned the helm and another operator took over the boat. A boat safety inspection was conducted, and the passenger location was addressed. Upon further investigation, it was determined the initial watercraft operator was under the influence of alcohol. CPO Graden cited the 25-year old-male for unlawful operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. The operator provided an evidentiary breath sample which determined his blood alcohol concentration was .156 percent.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
CPO Gilmer was patrolling Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area where he witnessed two fishermen along the main road. Eventually the two fisherman saw CPO Gilmer. One approached him with his fishing pole. The other left his fishing pole on the bank and approached CPO Gilmer without it. When CPO Gilmer asked for their fishing license, the fisherman, with a pole in hand, produced a valid license. The other did not, and when asked how his fishing was going he said, “oh I quit fishing.” CPO Gilmer asked him how old he was when he quit fishing. His response was, “oh I’ve only quit for about five minutes now. Basically, since I seen you.” CPO Gilmer rewarded the young man’s honesty with a written warning instead of a ticket.
CPO Gilmer was patrolling the Illinois River and checked the Spoon River for fishing devices. He then went up a slough and found three hoop nets and a 57-hook trot line completely impeding the waterway through the slough. Normally, commercial fishing devices are allowed in the Illinois River and backwaters. The problem, though, was that they were on the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge. CPO Gilmer laid in the weeds along the slough to witness the commercial fisherman and his granddaughter checking the commercial fishing devices, and then the officer seized the three hoop nets and trot line. CPO Gilmer paid a visit to the commercial fisherman at his residence where he got yelled at by the fisherman for “stealing” his nets. After CPO Gilmer explained to the fisherman he was fishing on a national wildlife refuge and he could be charged federally for the offenses, the fisherman realized he was wrong and calmed down. CPO Gilmer not only seized the nets and trot line, but also issued three citations and three written warnings. The fisherman apologized afterwards once he realized he was fishing a refuge.
CPO Tapley worked complaints of people snagging for fish below the Carlyle Lake Dam. In a two-day period, four snaggers were caught. Three of the four snaggers had snagged paddlefish. The fish were returned to the river.
Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber
CPO Mohrman was contacted by a subject who found two kayaks laying on the shoulder of Route 3 in Randolph County. The subject provided the CPO with the water usage stamp numbers, and because they were properly registered, CPO Mohrman was able to contact the owner of these watercraft. The owner of the kayaks was very happy to have her kayaks found and returned to her by this good Samaritan.
CPO Vasicek arrested a subject on Kinkaid Lake for operating a motorboat after sunset without any navigation lights, operating under the influence of alcohol, and careless operation.
CPO Mohrman, CPO Somers and CPO Lewis assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s office with a sonar search for two subjects who are believed to have drown while swimming in the Mississippi River.
CPOs Lewis and Mohrman were patrolling Kinkaid Lake when they stopped a pontoon boat with a large number of passengers onboard. A boat safety inspection was completed. During the inspection, the operator showed signs of impairment. He was found to have a BAC of .143 percent. He was cited for operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol.
CPO Johnson cited two minors for unlawful consumption of alcohol and pollution of a waterway. CPO Johnson observed the two minors toss bottles into the Herrin City Lake and sink them plus overheard them discussing how drunk they were.
CPO Mohrman and Sgt Taylor assisted with the recovery of a subject who fell overboard and drown while fishing on Kinkaid Lake. The subject was located with sonar and recovered by a dive team. A boat accident report will be filed.
CPO Johnson was checking fishing licenses and found a subject wanted on a warrant. The subject was wanted on a felon in possession of a weapon charge.