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Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 1, 2020

Editor’s Note: The coronavirus outbreak and the state’s stay-at-home orders have interrupted some of the information provided by DNR, including regular CPO reports. Thus, we are reaching into the archives to piece together our regular Cuffs and Collars feature.

Northwest Zone –
Captain Laura Petreikis

In Henry County, CPO Posateri received a disposition involving a Geneseo man who received a citation for dumping a toilet out on the ice of the Rock River. He pled guilty to the charge of pollution of waterway, and he was fined $120.

In Stephenson County, CPOs Beltran and Teas responded to a report of a deceased person at Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area. The Illinois State Police division of investigations, Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lena Police Department responded as well. The case is under investigation.

In Cass County, CPO Wichern charged three commercial fishermen for failing to report their 2018 fishing harvest to the IDNR as required by their Illinois commercial fishing license.

In Christian County, CPO Wichern issued two fishermen citations for the unlawful possession of three undersized crappie. In a separate incident, CPO Wichern issued two fishermen citations for the unlawful possession of two undersized crappie and one undersized largemouth bass.

In LaSalle County, CPO Murry completed his investigation into the eight snowmobiles that failed to stop when directed. He was able to identify all eight of the snowmobile operators involved. CPO Murry, along with CPO Jansen and Sgt. Wire, interviewed several the suspects and got numerous confessions. The violations cited or warnings issued were: nine counts of resistance to officers – fleeing; eight counts of operation on property without permission; five counts of operation of unnumbered snowmobiles; four counts of failure to transfer registration within 15 days of purchase; four counts of operation of a snowmobile without mandatory insurance; three counts of failure to stop before crossing a roadway; two counts of failure to display a valid registration sticker; two counts of operation of a snowmobile without a headlamp; two counts of operation on a highway; two counts of operation of a snowmobile without 16 inches of reflective material; operation of snowmobile without tail lamp.

In Fulton County, CPO Thompson conducted a traffic stop on a truck hauling logs. Upon completion of a timber truck inspection, a citation was issued for failure to provide bill of lading paperwork; and the vehicle was placed out of service pending corrections.

In Fulton County, CPO Thompson received a case disposition from a November occurrence of hunting without permission and trespass to private property. The offenders pled guilty and each ordered to pay a $500 fine and court costs, along with $1,200 restitution to the DNR.

In Bureau County, CPO Wagner was called to the Hennepin Canal to investigate the report of an ATV dumped in the Canal. He coordinated the effort to have the ATV removed and taken to maintenance area. After working with several agencies, he determined that the ATV was stolen. It was part of a case being handled by the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department. The ATV was released to the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department.

In Greene County, CPO Goetten closed out four reports. The dispositions included: 1) A subject cited for trespassing, unlawfully harvesting a turkey, and turkey hunting without a permit pled guilty. The subject was assessed $550 in fines/costs. 2) A subject cited for falsifying records to obtain resident deer permits and harvesting a deer illegally pled guilty. The subject was assessed $750 in fines/costs. 3) A subject cited for driving while license revoked pled guilty. The subject was assessed $525 in fines/costs. 4) A subject arrested for the unlawful possession of a controlled substance pled guilty. The subject was assessed $2,512 in fines/costs..

Northeast Zone –
Capt. Jed Whitchurch

In Kankakee County, CPO Farber investigated a timber theft. Thirteen trees were unlawfully harvested from property owned by The Nature Conservancy. A suspect was located and interviewed. After a brief interview, the subject admitted to unlawfully cutting the trees without permission. The violator was charged and issued a mandatory court date.

In Kankakee County, CPO Farber received a complaint regarding an illegal timber cut in Pembroke Township. A land manager observed two subjects loading a vehicle with cut white oak trees. A DNR forester was contacted to determine the value of the timber, and the investigation is ongoing.

In Will County, CPO Reid responded to a complaint of individuals trespassing on private property. Two individuals were discovered collecting shed antlers from private property without the permission of the owner. Enforcement action was taken for the removal of shed antlers from private property without permission.

In Will County, CPO Reid discovered three individuals who were trespassing and fishing on private property without permission. The individuals accessed the water through a small hole cut in a fence. None of the individuals had a valid fishing license, and two of them provided false birthdays in a failed attempt to avoid citations. All individuals were cited for fishing on private property without permission and no fishing license.

In Cook County, While on patrol, CPO Sanford observed two individuals fishing from the shoreline and conducted a fishing compliance check. One of the individuals was fishing without a valid Illinois sportfishing license, and a citation was issued for the violation.

 In Cook County, CPO Sanford attended Cook County Court in conjunction with a multi-year deer hunting investigation. In total, four defendants pled guilty to numerous counts of unlawful hunting activity, including multiple counts of unlawful take of white-tailed deer, as well as multiple counts of unlawful hunting white-tailed deer by use/aid of bait. The four defendants paid fines, fees, and restitution totaling $2,096. The defendants were also ordered to forfeit four white- tailed deer racks that were awarded to the DNR.

In DuPage County, CPO Stanbary completed a permit investigation involving a DuPage County resident who was reported to be unlawfully attempting to obtain a free landowner permit. It was determined that the individual misunderstood the eligibility requirements upon applying. A written warning was issued to the applicant.

In Morgan County, a trapper was fined $576 for using an unmarked 330 conibear trap on land while attempting to trap woodchucks. The trapper did not have a trapping license or nuisance removal permit.

In Morgan County, a Georgia archery deer hunter was fined $120 for placing trophy rocks by her deer stand which was located on private land that her family leased.

In Cook County, CPO Mooi stopped a vehicle for improper lane usage. Before the vehicle stopped, the passenger tossed something out the window. It was discovered that the passenger was attempting to toss out cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The driver was issued a written warning for the improper lane usage violation, and the passenger was issued a civil citation for possession of cannabis under 10 grams.

In Cook County, while on patrol, CPO Stanbary observed a driver using Face Time on her phone while driving in traffic. This caused the driver to be driving in a very unsafe manner. He conducted a vehicle stop; and while speaking to the driver, he smelled burnt cannabis inside the vehicle. The driver was issued a civil cannabis citation, and two written warnings were issued for traffic violations. The cannabis was confiscated.

South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes

In Clark County, CPO Wellum received a complaint of an intoxicated subject at the rest area on I-70. He located the subject who was in physical control of his vehicle, and the subject was under the influence of alcohol. He also located a loaded firearm and 32.5 grams of cannabis in the vehicle. The subject was issued citations for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with blood alcohol concentration over .08, possession of cannabis greater than 30 grams but less than 100 grams, and aggravated unlawful use of a loaded firearm.

In Madison County, While conducting a commercial fishing detail, CPOs Schachner and Sievers received several citizen complaints of illegal commercial nets containing dead fish at Horseshoe Lake. They located and removed a considerable length of gill net. The net did not have device tags, and there was no name and address as required. There were many fish in the net; and most of the fish were dead. CPO Schachner returned the following day with CPO Tapley to remove the remaining netting and fish. In all, nearly one-half mile of gill net was removed. The net contained 410 fish with an estimated weight of 8,196 pounds. Of note, there were 11 giant flathead catfish with an average weight over 40 pounds each and two dead diving ducks in the net. The nets were illegally unattended (dead-set) for eight consecutive days. Further investigation resulted in identifying the suspected commercial fisherman, and he admitted that the nets were his. The commercial fisherman and his worker admitted that the nets had been in the water for approximately one week. The commercial fisherman responsible for the gill nets was cited for 21 violations, and his assistant received a citation as an accessory. The gill net was also seized.

In Jefferson County, CPO Jourdan initiated an investigation on multiple suspects falsely claiming residency to obtain free landowner deer permits. It was confirmed that the applicants did not reside with the landowner, and charges are pending.

In Williamson County, CPO Johnson investigated two subjects regarding deer hunting violations. One of the subjects purchased a deer permit prior to taking a deer but reported the harvest on another permit. He was issued a written warning.

In Randolph County, CPO Sievers was notified by DNR staff that there was an abandoned vehicle that was stuck off the roadway at the

Baldwin day use area. He had the vehicle towed, and he located the subjects who had left the vehicle. The person responsible for the vehicle was issued a citation for the unlawful abandonment of a vehicle, and the driver was issued a citation for the unlawful driving off the roadway on IDNR property.

In Randolph County, While on patrol at the Fort Kaskaskia Historic Site, CPO Sievers checked the registration of a truck that was parked in a parking spot. The truck’s registration was suspended for no insurance. The driver had a suspended driver’s license, and the truck did not have insurance.  He also smelled an odor of cannabis coming from the vehicle.  Drug paraphernalia and a small amount of cannabis were in the vehicle. The driver was taken to the Randolph County Jail, and the truck was towed.

In Jackson County, CPO Somers concluded the following investigations: 1) A deer hunter cited for unlawfully harvesting a deer with no hunting license, habitat stamp, or archery deer permit. 2) A deer hunter cited for unlawfully harvesting two bucks during the 2018 firearm deer season. 3) A deer hunter cited for unlawfully harvesting two deer during firearm deer season and for unlawful use of another’s permits. 4) A hunter cited for unlawfully possessing and tagging a deer harvested unlawfully by another hunter.

In Washington County, CPO Tapley received several complaints about a subject spotlighting deer near Centralia. Shortly after dark, CPO Tapley observed a light from a vehicle shining several fields; and he conducted a vehicle stop. The driver had his wife and children in the vehicle. The driver was found to be in possession of an uncased rifle, and he had a revoked FOID card. He was also in possession of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine. The man was arrested and taken to the Washington County Jail.

In Clinton County, CPO Tapley was notified that the sheriff’s department received complaints about someone in a vehicle shooting at deer from the roadway. A deputy stopped the vehicle, but no guns or deer were found in the vehicle. The deputy did find spent shotgun shells in the vehicle; and there was fresh blood in the cargo area. CPO Tapley interviewed the subjects and obtained a confession. The driver of the vehicle had shot a doe with a shotgun from the vehicle. The driver did not have a FOID card and was found to have a felony on his criminal history which made him ineligible to possess a firearm. The passenger assisted the driver with dragging the deer out of the woods and loading it into the vehicle. The deer and the shotgun had already been taken to a residence a short distance away. Both men were arrested and taken to the Clinton County Jail.

In St. Clair County, CPO Schachner conducted three taxidermy inspections. Two taxidermists had excellent records with only minor violations which were addressed with warnings. A third taxidermist was cited for untagged/no records on a bobcat. Multiple warnings were issued for a variety of other records violations.

In Williamson County, CPO Somers and US Fish and Wildlife Service Officer Schelling apprehended a man believed to be firearm deer hunting as a convicted felon who did not possess a valid FOID card. The individual also failed to wear blaze orange and did not possess a hunting license and firearm deer permit. The 12-gauge shotgun was seized as evidence.

In Fayette County, While on patrol, CPO Roper observed a large truck hauling logs. A timber transportation inspection was conducted, and it was discovered that the driver of the log truck had no required DNR paperwork to provide proof of ownership for the logs. The proof of ownership was determined through contacting the landowner. The driver of the log truck was issued a citation for failure to provide the required proof of ownership for logs.

CPO Roper was on a waterfowl patrol at the Patoka Boat Launch when he observed a hunter walking back to his vehicle. A hunter compliance check was conducted, and the individual was found to be unlawfully in possession of one lead shot shell while waterfowl hunting. A written warning was issued.

In Moultrie County, CPO Moody cited an Atwood man for stealing a trail camera from property owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. In a separate incident, CPO Moody cited a Sullivan woman for dumping a large amount of household trash on a state-owned site.

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