Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Oct. 6, 2017
Region I – Capt. Laura Petreikis
CPO Jones issued a Savanna man a citation for failure to submit his annual commercial fishing report.
CPO Palumbo issued citations and written warnings to four Chicago men for taking by illegal methods and possessing a cooler full of spinyback softshell turtles. All of the turtles were released back to the waters of the Rock River in Whiteside County.
Two disoriented women from the suburbs were driving in a remote area of White Pines State Park and observed CPO Beltran. The driver pulled in behind Beltran when he was patrolling the area. CPO Beltran noticed they were driving very close to the rear of his vehicle and was concerned there may be a problem and pulled off at a secondary location which is restricted to regular vehicle traffic. The vehicle followed and CPO Beltran performed a traffic stop. When contact was made with the females, the driver stated she thought CPO Beltran was her friend and she was following closely to orientate herself with the park in an attempt to return to her camp site. CPO Beltran asked if her friend’s car had the word police written on the side or a light bar on the top. She said “no” and that she was not paying attention. She was cited and warned for several vehicle code and park violations.
A Waukegan man was driving his ATV down the middle of a gravel road while his license was revoked. CPO Beltran and Sgt. Petreikis stopped the man and issued citations for his vehicle code violations.
CPO Beltran was checking squirrel hunters in Ogle County when he saw a man sitting at the field’s edge drinking a beer in his truck. CPO Beltran inquired as to his success for the day. He stated he had not been hunting but did have two firearms and was happy to show them to the officer. Upon inspection CPO Beltran discovered one of them was loaded and issued a warning for the violation.
CPO Murry along with CPOT Stanbary were patrolling LaSalle Lake. While working LaSalle Lake, they cited multiple fishermen for fishing without a sport fishing license. One individual was observed as having a short (7 inches) smallmouth bass in his possession. When asked about it, the fisherman stated he caught the fish with a cast net and was going to take it home and put it in his fish tank. The fisherman was cited for failure to immediately release a short fish. He was issued a warning for taking a sport fish by illegal means. The smallmouth bass was released into the lake.
State parks are known for alcohol restrictions to keep the noise and behavior under control. A man from Wisconsin failed to properly follow the warnings and when approached by CPO Beltran claimed he did not see the signs. As CPO Beltran walked up to the site, he began hiding his bottle which was in plain view on the picnic table. Rather than ask about the reasoning on why he hid the bottle and how he did not know there was an alcohol ban, CPO Beltran wrote out a citation. When asked if he could simply issue a warning CPO advised the man he was warned when he saw the signs stating “No alcohol.”
Cpt. Petreikis received a call from a landowner advising a timber buyer was cutting walnut trees on her property without permission. She advised he was cutting them as she made the call. When Cpt. Petreikis arrived, the timber buyer had left the area. The landowner advised he cut seven large walnut trees. Several walnut logs were lying along the driveway. While conducting the investigation, it was determined the tenant who lived in the residence on the property had portrayed himself as the landowner. He agreed to sell the walnut trees to the timber buyer for $5,000 and had already been paid $2,500. When identifying witnesses, it was learned that a subject was wanted on a FTA warrant out of Peoria County for retail theft. Capt. Petreikis transported the subject to jail where she was held on $20,000 bond. The tenant who portrayed himself as the landowner returned $2,500 to the timber buyer.
CPO Reid finished an investigation of a large fish kill in Warren, Knox and Fulton counties. An estimated 17,000 plus fish were killed over an 11-mile stretch of Cedar Creek. The cause of the kill was traced back to a large cattle operation. Charges are pending.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO Mooi issued a citation to a man for poisoning skunks and raccoons and a written warning was issued for nuisance animal trapping without a nuisance animal removal permit. The man informed CPO Mooi and CPOT Poffenberger that he was “outraged that he received a ticket but “Killary gets off scott free,” apparently referring to one of current presidential candidates.
CPO Kelley issued a citation to a subject in possession of a 6.5-inch largemouth bass where a 14-inch minimum length limit applies.
CPO VanWiltenburg found a subject on the Fox River with two 9-inch largemouth bass. A citation and written warning were issued.
CPO Honiotes handled a boating accident on the Kankakee River. Two fishermen in a small Jon boat set out to go fishing during the high water conditions. They improperly anchored their boat from the stern and the current quickly pulled their boat under the water. The two fishermen were able to swim to shore and didn’t incur any injuries. The boat sank and has not been recovered.
CPO Honiotes was performing a boat safety inspection at the DesPlaines Conservation Area boat launch during the high water conditions. A subject was trying to assist a PWC (Personal Watercraft) in docking and he fell into the water. He was wearing an unzipped life jacket. CPO Honiotes quickly secured the individual, zipped up his life jacket, and was assisted from the river safely. The subject may have drowned without intervention as the river was flooded, the current strong, and there was a large amount of debris collected around the dock that could have snagged him and held him under the water.
CPO Whitchurch was on patrol at a DNR lake when he observed a subject fishing. As CPO Whitchurch drove past the angler, the angler kept watching CPO Whitchurch closely. As CPO Whitchurch pulled his patrol vehicle around the corner of the lake, he observed the angler hurriedly return to his vehicle and attempt to leave the area. CPO Whitchurch made contact with the subject who admitted he knew he should not have been fishing because he could not obtain a valid Illinois Sport Fishing license because he was delinquent on child support. The subject was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CPO Whitchurch was on patrol during nighttime hours at the Des Plaines River when he observed a subject wading in the river fishing. The subject was observed drinking alcohol out of a glass bottle. When the subject was finished drinking the alcohol out of the glass bottle, CPO Whitchurch observed the subject toss the glass bottle into the river. CPO Whitchurch made contact with the subject who was also unlawfully fishing without a valid sport fishing license. CPO Whitchurch ordered the subject to cease fishing and to find the bottle he tossed into the river. The subject successfully retrieved the glass bottle from the river. Citations were issued.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Reeves issued and observed a Champaign man snagging fish at the Clinton Lake Spillway. He claimed that he was just snagging Asian carp. CPO Reeves informed him that snagging is not selective and issued him a citation.
CPO Viverito and CPOT Ausmus were on boat patrol on Clinton Lake when they stopped a pontoon boat with three male occupants. During the check they noticed a strong smell of an alcoholic beverage. After getting the Bloomington man on their boat, he admitted to drinking and taking prescription pain medication. He registered a .182 BAC and was written for operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. He had a conviction for the same offense in 2013.
While checking fishermen at the Clinton Lake Dam, CPO Viverito and K9 Hank found a car that Hank alerted on. CPO Viverito found the vehicle owner fishing and asked them if there was anything in the car that a K9 would hit on. The Lincoln man stated that he had a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. He gave CPO permission to search his vehicle and during the search CPO Viverito found an open phentynol patch in the glove compartment. When asked about the patch, the man stated that it was for his mom who had passed away. He did not have a prescription for the patch and the investigation is ongoing.
CPO Cottrell and CPOT Sanford investigated a burglary at Kickapoo Landing Canoe Rental in Kickapoo State Park in Vermilion County where a large sum of money was taken. After collecting evidence, and conducting numerous interviews, CPO Cottrell and CPOT Sanford were able to develop suspects and able to secure a confession within 27 hours of the crime. This case is now pending filing of formal charges.
CPO Cottrell and CPOT Sanford investigated the unlawful sale of protected aquatic species in Region 3 and this investigation is still ongoing.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
CPO Cochran received information from site staff of illegal dumping at Sangchris Lake State Park. The investigation led CPOs Cochran and Tanke to a female out of Pawnee. CPOs Cochran and Tanke arrived at the female’s residence in Pawnee but were unable to make contact. A business card was left at the residence informing her to contact CPO Cochran. The next day CPO Cochran had a voicemail from the female and several from an adult male. The male confessed to dumping the trash and was issued a citation.
CPO Cochran received a disposition regarding a man arrested on Lake Taylorville for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol in May 2016. The man pleaded guilty to OUI and paid a total of $1,567 in fines and court costs. Because the man refused to submit to the breath test he will subsequently be suspended from operating a watercraft for a minimum of two years.
CPO Rolfingsmeier, after receiving a picture off of a trail camera from a landowner of an individual fishing without permission on his property, was able to track down the individual and issued him a citation.
CPO Ralph Sievers had seized cannabis from a subject in Frank Holten State Park in June. The cannabis was transferred to the Illinois State Police Forensic Lab to be tested and weighed. The cannabis tested positive as cannabis and weighed over 12 grams. CPO Sievers located the subject at his residence and issued him a citation for the possession of cannabis over 10 grams and released him on a notice to appear.
Region V – Capt. Tim Daiber
CPO Folden received information from an informant alleging two subjects were illegally snagging fish directly below the Rend Lake spillway. CPO Folden responded to the location and observed the subjects in question through binoculars. CPO Folden did not observe either subject snagging. However, one subject was throwing a cast net which is illegal within 1,000 yards downstream of the Rend Lake Spillway. The other subject was fishing with a rod and reel. CPO Folden contacted the subjects. One subject was issued a citation for the unlawful use of the cast net. The other subject did not have a fishing license and was cited.
CPO Lentz, CPO Roper and CPO Compton were working a ginseng enforcement detail in Fayette County. A Ramsey subject was found in possession of approximately 20 wet, freshly dug Ginseng roots. An additional 6 pounds of dried ginseng roots were discovered at the subject’s residence. All of the ginseng was seized for evidence and charges are pending in this case.
CPO Compton reports the disposition of a theft case which occurred at the Carlyle Lake Waterfowl Management Area last duck season. A group of hunters had their bicycle and cart stolen while out duck hunting. Two subjects were charged and pleaded guilty to theft and are banned from entering DNR managed property for three years. The third subject was charged and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
CPO Mohrman completed an administrative investigation regarding a commercial fisherman not sending in his 2015 fish harvest report. The fisherman, who only commercial fishes a couple weeks out of the year, did not know about the requirement to report his harvest. The Jackson County fisherman was issued a written warning for the violation and provided with the paperwork to remedy the situation
CPO Mohrman assisted a local city police department in an effort to locate stolen machinery. The machinery was reportedly stolen from local farmers and homeowners and allegedly “stashed” on and near Burning Star State Fish and Wildlife Area. No machinery or stash areas were located yet on this 4,500-acre site. Future search efforts will include a drone flight.
A Jackson County landowner contacted CPO Mohrman about trash dumping near his property. A large amount of clothing and personal items were dumped off the county roadway back into the woods. The location was near SIU-Carbondale and appeared to be a dump site for stuff left after a student(s) moved out of a residence. A name was located on discarded mail in the trash pile and the follow-up investigation continues.
CPO Thompson observed a subject “hide” something in the woods at Ferne Clyffe State Park and then drive away. The subject later returned and CPO Thompson approached the man. His driving privileges in Illinois were revoked and he was in possession of cannabis and paraphernalia.
After nearly completing their patrol on Lake of Egypt CPOs Mohrman, Thompson and CPOT Knop were notified that a serious personal injury boat accident occurred on Crab Orchard Lake. The officers were called by Refuge Officer Rawlinson who was first to respond to the early evening accident. A subject operating his personal watercraft with his 4-year-old granddaughter on board lost control of the machine and crashed into the rocky shoreline near Carterville beach. The granddaughter was not injured but grandpa was not as lucky. The grandfather was immediately attended to by a nurse and military personnel who happened to be in the area recreating at the time. The injured subject is listed in critical but stable condition. The Illinois Conservation Police and Refuge Police from Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge are investigating this accident