New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 28, 2019
(Editor’s note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the state of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.)
Dinner plans thwarted
On May 18, ECOs Connor Dodge and Joshua Jarecki were on patrol at the Bayside Marina in Little Neck Bay when they witnessed a group of four individuals digging in the mud and collecting shellfish. The ECOs approached the group of family members and found that they were in possession of more than 1,000 clams. Five summonses were issued for the taking of shellfish from uncertified waters and the clams were released back to the bay. After the summons were issued to the individuals, Jarecki was walking through the parking lot when he spotted female crabs in the bed of the truck belonging to the group. Twelve of the 36 crabs had egg sacks attached to them. In New York, it is illegal to possess any species of crab in possession of egg sacks. A second summons for possession of crabs in spawn was issued to one of the subjects and the female crabs were returned to the water.
Horse neglect arrest
On May 20, ECO Anthony Glorioso responded to a location in the town of Durham after receiving a tip that horses were being neglected. On the scene, Glorioso found that two of the four horses had extremely long hooves, approximately 10 inches long, and one of the horses was unable to stand. Two days later, Glorioso returned to the location with SPCA investigators, who agreed that the conditions of the two horses were unacceptable and warranted criminal charges. Glorioso arrested the owner and charged him with two counts of a Class A misdemeanor for failing to provide sustenance to horses. Responding officers estimate that these horses have not been seen by a farrier in two years.
Bear relocation project
(Greene, Sullivan, Ulster counties)
On May 22, ECOs Jon Walraven, Melissa Burgess and Adam Johnson, members of DEC Region 3’s Chemical Immobilization Team (CIT), and Region 3 wildlife staff coordinated the relocation of seven rehabilitated bears from the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Hunter. The bears were previously brought to the facility as either orphaned cubs or young bears with injuries and in need of rehabilitation. The young bears average an estimated 60 to 90 pounds and were now old enough and physically strong enough to be released. DLE’s CIT team is a group of specially trained ECOs that responds to wildlife emergencies when wildlife needs to be relocated for the safety of the public and/or the animals themselves. The bears were brought to locations in Sullivan and Ulster counties for release back into the wild.
On May 25, ECO Nathan Doig responded to an anonymous complaint in the town of Deposit that an individual was conducting illegal excavation work on a Delaware River West Branch streambank. The Delaware is a renowned tailwater fishery that supports excellent wild populations of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Upon arrival, Doig observed the subject using a skid steer to alter the banks of the protected trout stream. Doig immediately ordered the man to halt the work and issued the subject a ticket for disturbing the banks of a stream without a permit. Remediation will be coordinated through DEC Region 4.
Outfoxed by a fence
On May 25, ECO Stan Winnick was contacted by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department about a curious kit fox that managed to get its head stuck in a chain link fence in the town of Owego. Once on scene, Winnick utilized bolt cutters to cut away a small portion of the fence, freeing the fox.
(Rensselaer and Saratoga counties)
In the early morning hours of June 1, ECO Brian Canzeri was alerted to a group of four fishermen illegally operating a 23-foot powerboat on the Tomhannock Reservoir, where no boats are allowed. Tomhannock Reservoir is a 1,700-acre public water supply that services Troy and surrounding communities, and for this reason, special rules and regulations apply to protect its water quality. Canzeri arrived and waited in the dark for the bow fishermen, surprising them as they came off the water. After interviews, Canzeri issued tickets for illegal boating on a reservoir, failure to have proper reservoir permits, and taking fish contrary to regulations, since bowfishing is not permitted at this location. Canzeri measured, weighed and photographed the two carp in the subjects’ possession, one of which weighed more than 30 pounds. The men were advised to dispose of the fish properly. The next morning Canzeri acted on a hunch, aware of a nearby fishing derby, and contacted one of the judges for the Springfling Bowfishing Tournament on Saratoga Lake. He also notified Saratoga County ECOs Mark Klein and Steven Shaw and told them to be on the lookout for the men he ticketed. Klein and Shaw were on hand when the four anglers attempted to enter the illegal fish, which would have won them the tournament’s top prize of $3,000. Tournament officials disqualified the group and the money was awarded to a team that played by the rules.
K-9 maritime training
(New York County)
On Oct. 3, Region 2 ECOs Waldemar Auguscinski, Adam Muchow, Jacob Jankowski, and Michael Wozniak along with Region 1 ECO Chris DeRose and K-9 Cramer participated in a Police K-9 Maritime Training exercise in New York Harbor. The training was organized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation canine unit and brought together more than 80 canine units from federal, state and local agencies. The training included maritime boarding techniques, narcotics investigation exercises, gunpowder, fish and wildlife and explosives detection, and handler protection scenarios. The training was the first opportunity for many of the handlers and K-9s to familiarize themselves with maritime procedures. DEC K-9 Cramer, the only fish and wildlife K-9 involved in the event, specializes in venison, striped bass and waterfowl detection, but has also helped track criminals on land.
Trespassing and firearms violations
On Oct. 9, ECO Lucas Palmateer received a trespassing complaint in the town of Shawangunk involving a hunter caught on a trail camera on two consecutive nights. The complainant stated that he had recently purchased the property and erected “Posted” signs. Palmateer and Jason Smith investigated the video footage of the subject trespassing on the property, which clearly depicted the hunter shining his light at the posted sign. Smith also noticed that the subject was carrying what appears to be a pistol on his right hip. The officers tracked down the subject and, after a brief interview, he admitted to trespassing and carrying a pistol while bowhunting. The ECOs charged the subject with possessing a firearm afield while bow hunting, a misdemeanor. The subject was due to appear in Shawangunk Town Court.