CO Brian Lasanen was on routine patrol in the middle of the afternoon passing through the downtown of the village of Ontonagon when he noticed a vehicle traveling toward him was being operated down the center of the roadway. Lasanen performed a traffic stop on the vehicle and the operators showed signs of intoxication. Lasanen ran the driver through standard field sobriety tests and the driver did not do so well. The driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI). The driver agreed to take a breath test and blew over three times the legal limit and was lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail.
CO Nathan Sink responded to multiple animal complaints in Gogebic County. One call received by Sink involved an injured osprey that was recovered. A second call had Sink responding to pick up a bald eagle that was struck by a car on M-28 and killed.
CO Brian Bacon received a complaint regarding subjects keeping over limits of bluegills in Dickinson County. It was determined that the complaint involved a group of anglers who were cited in 2013 for the same violation. Bacon, CO Jared Ferguson and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted surveillance on the group and made contact with one of the groups while they were on the water fishing. The four subjects contacted were found to be in possession of 150 bluegills over their daily limit. The subjects were cited for the violation and the illegal fish were seized.
CO Brian Bacon contacted a suspect he developed regarding an illegal bear bait. A short interview resulted in a confession for starting the bait early and enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Zitnik and Forest Service Officer Dave Tembruell assisted park rangers in the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore in search of a family of four that was lost in the remote Chapel Lake area. Around 1 a.m., the lost hikers were located. They were in good health, but cold and wet from walking in the knee-high swamp water.
CO Michael Evink received a call from Manistique Public Safety about a fawn stuck in the Manistique River. Once on scene, Evink realized how fast the river was running. He attempted to reach the fawn using waders, but was unable. Using Manistique’s swift water gear, along with the assistance of Manistique Public Safety, Evink was able to reach the fawn It was uninjured.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when he located a live power line that was laying across the road on M-134 just before dark. Oberg noticed the wire appeared to be sparking. He advised central dispatch while blocking traffic coming from the west. Detour Fire Chief Chuck Lanning arrived on scene shortly after and was able to block traffic coming from the east. Oberg and the Detour Fire Department held off traffic until the power company was able to come remove the line from the road.
CO Brett Gustafson received an email from the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Department, advising of a boat that was stolen from Little Brevort Lake State Forest Campground. The next day, Gustafson located the vessel on the other side of the lake. The vessel was turned over to the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Department and returned to the owner.
While patrolling Lake Michigan near Northport on a very windy day in rolling waves, CO Andrea Albert heard a marine radio report of a vessel that was sinking and the elderly operator was not feeling well. When Albert arrived on scene, another boat had already taken the male subject to shore for medical attention. The man’s 16 foot salmon fishing boat was half filled with water and was sinking quickly as waves were going over the sides. The motor and stern were completely under water and the boat’s contents were starting to float out of the boat. Albert quickly hooked up the boat and towed it to Northport Harbor before the boat and all of its fishing equipment were a total loss. At the harbor, citizens assisted in pumping out the boat and found the owner’s trailer and loaded the boat onto the trailer. Albert got a message to the owner that his boat would be on his trailer at the harbor.
COs in Cheboygan County assisted the Michigan State Police and Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department with the recovery of the body of a kayaker who overturned on Burt Lake several days prior. The facts surrounding the death are still being investigated, however; it is believed the kayaker was not wearing a life jacket at the time the boat overturned.
CO Bill Webster assisted the Alpena County Sheriff and the Alpena State Police in attempting to locate a suicidal subject. Alpena central dispatch was able to get a general location of the subject from the cellphone towers. Webster located the vehicle on a two track in the area given by dispatch. The vehicle was idling with a hose attached to the muffler running into the driver’s side window. Webster opened the door of the car and shut off the vehicle. The subject had a pulse and was breathing but was incoherent. Webster directed EMS to his location and the subject was taken to the local hospital and treated.
Sgt. Michael Mshar responded to a complaint in Montmorency County involving numerous large turtles stuck in a culvert on a local lake. Mshar responded to the area and was able to get down inside the culvert in chest deep water and retrieve four large snapping turtles that were stuck in grates. The turtles were released back into the lake unharmed.
Sgt. Rebecca Hopkins responded to five different fishing complaints of snagging, retaining foul hooked fish and persons fishing in the closed waters of Homestead Dam on the Betsie River in four days. Over 100 contacts were made. The new single hook regulation has cut down some of the complaints; however, the large size and population numbers of the salmon in the river keep the anglers coming back.
Responding to a snagging complaint on the Pere Marquette River in Mason County, COs Kyle Publiski and Brian Brosky located and watched four subjects for snagging activity. The anglers kept several fish that were foul hooked and not returned to the river. The COs made contact with the anglers to address the keeping of foul hooked fish and littering. The anglers denied retaining the foul hooked fish and stated every fish was “hooked in the mouth.” The COs explained to the subjects they had been watching them for over an hour and enforcement action was taken.
CO Kyle Publiski and CO Brian Brosky were working a night shift at the Indian Bridge area of the Pere Marquette River and were able to sneak under the bridge and watch several of the anglers fishing. While watching for snagging activity, Publiski looked down and saw three subjects smoking marijuana and talking about how much additional marijuana they had in their vehicle. The COs made contact with the anglers, seized their marijuana and enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling near the Silver Lake State Park ORV area when he stopped a dune vehicle for no driver’s side mirror and a plate violation. Upon running the plate, it came back with a mandatory confiscation through Secretary of State for fraudulent insurance application. The plate was seized and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a call of a man waving a gun around at a boat access site along the Muskegon River. Upon arrival, Ginn observed frantic people running from the river. One man came to Ginn explaining the suspect was down by his camper pointing his gun at people threatening to kill them. Ginn quickly made his way down toward the man and identified himself. With the suspect at gun point, Ginn gave loud verbal commands ordering the man to drop the weapon. The suspect turned toward Ginn and refused. The suspect eventually placed the gun on a nearby chair. Ginn detained the suspect until other responding officers arrived and was placed in custody. It was later determined the man had been drinking excessively and smoking marijuana. Enforcement action was taken.
CO John Huspen responded to a state land litter complaint in Crawford County. Huspen located an address on a piece of trash that matched another address in a separate litter complaint he was investigating. He had been attempting contact with that suspect without any luck. After locating the second pile of litter, Huspen went by the suspect’s house and observed a van pulling into the driveway. He made contact with the suspect who admitted to dumping both piles on state land. The suspect was cited for both litter piles and agreed to clean up the mess.
CO Casey Pullum wrapped up an investigation from a 2016 case in Oscoda County by obtaining a 12-count arrest warrant on a Genesee County individual. Charges include multiple counts of taking a deer without a license as well as loaning and borrowing deer licenses. The investigation also led to the successful prosecution of the individual in Montana for taking a mule deer without a license. If convicted, the individual will be responsible for $20,000 in reimbursement to the fish and game fund for the deer taken illegally.
While on patrol, CO Josh Wright received a call from the Clare Police Department regarding subjects who had been observed fishing and using illegal drugs at a local dam. Upon arrival, Wright contacted the anglers who both admitted to using illegal drugs and fishing. The anglers claimed they had been fishing for roughly a half hour and forgot to purchase fishing licenses. After checking license purchase records, Wright discovered that the men had never purchased any licenses. Both subjects also had outstanding warrants and were arrested and lodged in the Clare County jail on numerous criminal charges.
While conducting ORV patrol in Sanilac County, CO Mark Siemen stopped multiple subjects for ORV violations. Multiple warnings and citations were issued. During this patrol, Siemen stopped a subject on an ORV for operating on a state road and not having an ORV license. During the stop the subject’s driving status was checked which came back denied and revoked for multiple drunk driving charges. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Foerster investigated a complaint involving the shooting of deer on a deer damage permit with the suspect not picking up the deer for human consumption. All permits were pulled from the suspect at this time for failing to comply with permit regulations.
During a marine patrol on the Chippewa River, CO Mike Haas witnessed a subject fishing from a bridge. As Haas exited the river, the subject put down his fishing pole and stepped away from the fishing gear. Haas asked how the fishing was and the subject stated that he was not fishing. After Haas notified the subject that he had witnessed him fishing for some time, the subject changed his story and stated he was helping his children fish. Haas pointed out that the children were nowhere near him and were playing in the woods. The man then stated he had purchased a fishing license, but he couldn’t find it. When Haas checked the man’s fishing license purchases through the DNR dispatch, the subject was found to have not purchased a fishing license since 2012. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
COs Mike Haas, Josh Russell and Dan Robinson conducted a river patrol on the Chippewa River in Isabella County. The COs set out to target fishing violations, littering and marine violations. Many contacts were made with people using the river system. Tubers, canoeists and kayakers were checked as well as several anglers. One citation was written for failing to provide sufficient PFDs in a canoe. Otherwise, the COs found that most people were making an attempt to follow the marine rules, especially those related to safety.
While patrolling Barry County, CO Richard Cardenas received a complaint from Barry County central dispatch of an ORV that was stuck near Deep Lake on an unmaintained portion of the roadway. Central also informed Cardenas that marijuana was possibly involved. Cardenas and CO Justin Ulberg located the vehicle stuck in the roadway. A marijuana bowl was visible inside of the vehicle and the COs found additional drug paraphernalia in the vehicle after conducting a consented search of the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling Barry County near Dagget Lake, COs Rich Cardenas and Justin Ulberg observed a subject fishing. Upon contact with the angler, it was found that the subject was in possession of an undersized smallmouth bass. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Jeff Robinette and Zach Bauer attended an all-day hunter safety day at Edwardsburg Conservation Club. The event went off well and the COs spoke to a large number of both youths and adults.
While patrolling a lake in Hillsdale County, CO Carter Woodwyk observed a boat from a distance with multiple anglers casting rods and lines. The CO also noticed that the occupants were passing beer around the boat. When the CO made contact with the anglers, he asked to see all of their fishing licenses. One of the anglers advised that they were planning on getting licenses, but arrived to the lake later than expected and did not have time to purchase them. The anglers were advised that fishing licenses can be purchased online at any time. It was discovered that one subject was under 21 years of age and admitted to drinking earlier in the day. This subject submitted to a preliminary breath test and it was determined he had more than just one drink. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Rich Nickols worked with a ride-along from DTMB. During the patrol, Nickols was checking access sites in the Maple River State Game Area and located a small pile of trash. Nickols discovered a bank receipt with a subject’s name on it. The subject was located at a residence nearby. During a follow-up interview, the suspect admitted to dumping the trash. The suspect was 16 years old and was told to clean up the site.
CO Chris Maher was working marine patrol on the Center Chain of Lakes in Jackson County when he contacted three individuals fishing from a boat. Maher recalled a contact with the same individuals a week earlier. During their previous encounter, Maher noticed they did not have life jackets and informed the group that they needed one life jacket per passenger before going out. While checking the group on Center Lake, Maher found again there were no life jackets on board. Maher reminded them of their previous conversation and escorted the individuals to shore. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Robert Slick was on marine patrol at Lobdell Lake when he observed a pontoon with two individuals fishing on it. As Slick approached the boat, he watched as they cut their lines and dumped their gear into the water. Slick made contact with the boat and asked how the fishing was. The two individuals stated they weren’t fishing. Slick informed them that he saw them fishing and asked for licenses. Neither individual could produce a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Travis Dragomer and Sgt. Stephen Mooney were on marine patrol on the Holloway Reservoir in Genesee and Lapeer counties when they observed four individuals fishing from a bridge in Columbiaville. After conducting a fishing check on the individuals, an undersized 9.5 inch smallmouth bass was located in one of the angler’s fishing bucket. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jacob Griffin and Sgt. Stephen Mooney were on patrol in Oakland County searching for illegal ORV activity. The COs spotted a suspicious ORV on private property near a public roadway. After passing the private driveway, the COs turned the patrol truck around. The COs found the subject operating the ORV down the county road. Griffin activated the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren to stop the ORV. The subject explained that he was just out testing his ORV. Griffin discovered that the subject lived about four miles from their location. The COs informed the subject that ORVs cannot be operated on the roadways of Oakland County, his ORV was not registered in any way, and the passenger of the ORV was not wearing any eye protection. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking for fishing activity in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen walked up on a group of anglers at a local marina and asked if they were having any luck. One of the anglers excitedly said, “Yes, I got a muskie,” and pointed to a tail sticking out of a five gallon bucket. Deppen asked if the angler knew the tagging requirements and what the legal size of a muskie needed to be, and the angler said “No.” Deppen took the dead muskie out of the bucket and it only measured 32 inches. The angler was given a copy of the fishing guide and enforcement action was taken.