Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Oct. 4, 2019
Northwest Zone – Captain Laura Petreikis
In Mercer County, CPO Francisko brought an extensive hunting investigative case involving an Iowa resident to a close. The man was buying Illinois resident permits and licenses when he should have been buying nonresident permits and licenses. The man was charged with multiple counts of fraudulently obtaining licenses, permits, or tags and multiple counts of illegal taking or possession of a protected species. In a plea agreement, the man pled guilty to two counts of illegal taking or possession of a protected species. On count one, the man received 12 months conditional discharge, and a $1,782.75 fine. He was also assessed a $250 civil penalty for an illegally harvested doe. A portion of that fine, $1,207.75, was restitution to the DNR for license and permit fees the man should have paid. On count two, the man received 12 months conditional discharge (running concurrent to the first 12 months) and fined $2,328.28. He was also assessed a $250 civil penalty on the illegal harvest of an eight-point buck, and the skull mount was forfeited to the DNR. A portion of that fine, $2,000, will go to the DNR Conservation Police Operations Fund.
In Whiteside County, CPO Palumbo issued several citations and written warnings to two Rockfalls men for unlawfully catching and possessing over limits of smallmouth bass on two separate trips in an area they did not have permission to fish. Some of the bass were under the 14-inch minimum length requirement. In addition to any fines and fees that are accrued, civil penalties are being sought.
In LaSalle County, CPO Kaufman investigated a report of a fox bite. The individual had been treated at a local hospital for the bite. The hospital had contacted the health department, which in turn contacted CPO Kaufman. After talking to the victim’s mother, he learned that the family had taken the fox in after its mother had been hit by a car. After being raised inside for approximately four months, the fox escaped from the house. When the victim tried to grab the fox, it bit her and ran off. The victim is currently getting rabies shots. A written warning was issued for take and retain of a live fox.
In LaSalle County, CPO Jansen responded to a complaint of an individual refusing to pay for camping at Illini State Park. The subject was located driving a vehicle in the campground. Further investigation led to his arrest for DUI, DUI with a blood alcohol concentration over .08%, no seat belt, and driving while revoked for DUI. A passenger, who was under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol, was located passed out in the back of the vehicle. CPO Jansen attempted to communicate with her, but she was barely responsive. EMS was called, and she was transported to the hospital in Ottawa for treatment.
In Fulton County, after a near head-on collision with a vehicle crossing the center line on Illinois 9, CPO Elliott conducted a traffic stop. Two loaded handguns were located under the passenger seat, and they were seized. Also, over 400 grams of suspected methamphetamine was found in the vehicle. Two subjects were arrested for the possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition without a FOID card, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and Illinois State Police assisted with this arrest.
In Jersey County, CPO Goetten, along with sheriff’s deputies, arrested two subjects for possession of methamphetamine at Pere Marquette State Park. In a separate incident, CPO Goetten stopped a vehicle at Pere Marquette State Park. After detecting the odor of cannabis, the vehicle was searched. Approximately 29 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia were discovered, and the driver was arrested.
In Peoria County, CPOs Gerard and Lazzell cited a fisherman at Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area for operation of a watercraft without lifejackets as required and unlawful possession/failure to release a slot limit largemouth bass. Five written warnings were issued for additional boating and fishing violations.
Northeast Zone – Capt. Jed Whitchurch
In Cook County, Sgt. Whitchurch was on patrol at the Des Plaines River when he observed two people fishing. While conducting compliance checks on the two subjects, he smelled a strong odor of cannabis coming from one of the subjects. When he asked the subject if he possessed any cannabis, the subject immediately provided a bag containing not more than 10 grams of cannabis. Sgt. Whitchurch asked the subject what he used in conjunction with the cannabis to ingest it. The subject said he used a can which he had tossed in the weeds on the riverbank. The subject was cited for the cannabis, and a warning was issued for discarding the can.
In Cook County, CPO Stanbary investigated a wildlife complaint from a resident of a condominium in Evanston. It was reported that another resident had used a substance called “Bird-Be-Gone” to deter barn swallows from nesting and residing near her residence. The substance is designed to ward off birds, but two birds died after becoming stuck in the liquid. This action caused alarm for other residents of the community. The CPO advised the woman that the barn swallow was a protected migratory bird, and the use of a substance that could potentially cause harm was not recommended due to the dangers it poses.
In Cook County, CPO Mooi was patrolling the Chicago inner city lagoons when he observed a man fishing and tossing garbage into the water. The man was issued a written warning for pollution of a waterway and made to clean up the garbage in the nearby area. In a separate incident, he observed a man attempting to duck behind some trees and bushes. CPO Mooi approached the man and observed him fishing with a fishing line attached to a water bottle. The man was found to have no valid sport fishing license, and a citation was issued for the violation.
In DuPage County, CPO Ausmus investigated a complaint of unlawful possession of a protected tortoise. A desert tortoise was found in a wooded area in Wheaton, and it was taken to an animal clinic. He tracked down the owner, who was in possession of two other desert tortoises. The family was gifted the tortoises in the 90s when living in California. The owner had records of the transaction and proof the tortoises were taken from the wild in the 1950s, well before they were listed on the threatened or endangered species list. The two tortoises where in good health and very well cared for. After lengthy discussions with the District Heritage Biologist who specializes in herpetology, it was determined the best course of action would be to bring the owner into compliance with the proper permits.
In Champaign County, CPO Cottrell investigated a call regarding an injured bald eagle. An injured juvenile red-tailed hawk was found and transported to the U of I for treatment.
In McLean County, while CPO Viverito was patrolling Moraine View State Recreation Area with K-9 Hank, Hank indicated on a vehicle in a parking lot commonly used by anglers. An investigation ensued which led to the arrest of two Normal men for drug related charges.
South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes
In Cumberland County, CPO Mieure recovered an immature bald eagle that was killed by electrocution on a power pole. The eagle was transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
In Clinton County, CPOs Sievers, Schachner, and Liebl conducted a commercial fishing detail on the Kaskaskia River. A damaged, abandoned gill net and hoop net were removed from the river.
In Clinton County, CPO Tapley was off duty when he received a phone call from a Corps of Engineers Ranger about a subject who had intentionally run over some gulls at the Coles Creek Boat Launch at Carlyle Lake. CPO Tapley contacted CPO Goetten, and CPO Goetten spoke with the subject at his residence in Jersey County. The subject confessed, and a citation was issued.
In Madison County, CPO Goetten checked a fisherman along the Mississippi River. The subject provided a fishing license; however, discrepancies were discovered. It was determined the subject provided a fishing license issued to another person. The fisherman could not obtain a fishing license due to failure to pay child support. He was cited for obstructing a CPO and fishing without a license.
In Madison County, CPO Liebl was asked to assist with a search for a vehicle with a person inside that went into the Mississippi River near the Arch. The vehicle was reported to have gone in the river the day before, and searchers were not able to locate the vehicle. Sonar was used to search the area. Several older vehicles were discovered, and one target of interest was marked or further investigation.
In Franklin County, CPOs Diggins and Williams assisted two Missouri residents when their boat broke down on Rend Lake. The subjects were unfamiliar with the lake and could not remember which ramp they had launched from. The CPOs towed the boat back to the ramp. While at the ramp, three personal watercraft arrived. It was approximately 30 minutes after sunset, and citations were issued to the operators of the personal watercraft.
In Jefferson County, CPO Folden assisted CPOs Williams and Lay with the search for a missing bank fisherman on Rend Lake. CPO Folden was on land and directed traffic on Highway 37. During the incident, CPO Folden was dispatched to check on a separate vehicle accident. He assessed the scene and documented no injuries. The scene was turned over to the Illinois State Police when they arrived.
In Hamilton County, CPO Folden is investigating a complaint in which a landowner crossed over property lines and planted a food plot on the neighboring property. The violating landowner also cut down trees and cut a fence.
In Saline County, CPO Folden has been working a case disposition for an investigation handled by multiple Illinois CPOs and Michigan DNR officers. During this investigation, four large bucks were seized and forfeited to Illinois because they were unlawfully taken by two Michigan men. Two Illinois residents assisted the Michigan men by loaning them deer permits and falsifying information to report harvests. Multiple charges were filed on the Illinois and Michigan violators resulting in a total of $10,952 in fines.
In Clay County, CPO Smith received information from CPO Jourdan regarding a Clay County man wanted on a warrant for logging violations issued out of Williamson County. CPO Jourdan was the investigating officer for the individual’s logging activities. CPO Smith found the man at his residence and advised him of the outstanding arrest warrant. The man was arrested and transported to the Clay County Sheriff’s Department. The man posted a $1000 bond and was released.
In Fayette County, While conducting a ginseng enforcement detail, CPO Compton observed a vehicle parked in a remote area of Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area. He noticed a subject walk out of the woods toward the vehicle. After a brief interview with the subject, he admitted to digging ginseng and hiding it in the woods prior to walking to his vehicle. He was planning on returning later to collect it. A search of the area found 54 ginseng roots and a small shovel hidden underneath a nearby log. The subject was charged with unlawful digging of ginseng during closed season and unlawfully digging on a state site.
In Marion County, CPO Buhnerkempe was on patrol at the Salem Reservoir when he encountered a man walking back to his vehicle with a fishing pole and a plastic bag. Upon seeing the officer, the fisherman quickly threw the rod and bag into his vehicle and shut the door. When CPO Buhnerkempe approached the vehicle, he detected a strong odor of cannabis. CPO Buhnerkempe told the subject to retrieve the bag from the vehicle, so it could be inspected for fish, but he refused.
CPO Buhnerkempe attempted to place the subject under arrest, but he resisted. Emergency assistance was requested, and an officer from the Salem Police Department responded with a taser and K-9. The subject was subsequently taken into custody, and a search of his vehicle was conducted. The search yielded over 23 grams of methamphetamine packaged for sale, a scale, another controlled substance, and a small amount of cannabis. The subject was arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis, and two counts of resisting arrest. He was transported to the Marion County Jail, and his vehicle was seized pending forfeiture.
In Marion County, a federal waterfowl case originating in Marion County was recently adjudicated. The investigation revealed the subjects unlawfully killed 49 Canada geese in one calendar day in January 2018. All six subjects pled guilty to federal charges of unlawfully taking over the limit of Canada geese, and they paid a total of $4,500 in fines.
In Perry County, CPO Lewis cited the president of a local bass fishing club for organizing a fishing tournament without a permit. This tournament was on Pinckneyville City Lake. CPO Lewis recognized the participants from a previous incident in which the same club had a tournament at Pyramid State Recreation Area. They did not have a permit for that event, and CPO Lewis had advised the president of the regulation. Further investigation revealed the president was obtaining permits for some tournaments, but not all. His intent with purchasing some permits was to give the illusion the club was legal.