Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 18, 2021
CO Jenni Hanson responded to assist with a search and rescue in the Porcupine Mountains State Park. An elderly female failed to check out of her hotel room, and her vehicle was located at the state park. Officers involved contacted the family who advised they had not heard from her in two days. CO Hanson, along with a U.S Forest Service law enforcement officer, the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department, and Porcupine Mountains Park rangers conducted a half-day search for the missing woman. CO Hanson was part of the group that searched the shores of the park by boat. The woman was located on the shoreline in good health and good spirits. She was returned to her vehicle without incident.
COs John Kamps and Josh Boudreaux were discussing litter investigations when CO Kamps mentioned not being able to locate a suspect who was responsible for an ice shanty that fell through the ice. As the pair talked, CO Boudreaux asked what the guy’s last name was so he could assist in locating him. As CO Kamps told him the name, CO Boudreaux looked up in surprise. CO Boudreaux had been looking for the same individual for an unrelated illegal dumping incident on the other side of the county and it turns out that both COs had been making repeated efforts to contact the same individual. The COs paired up and using a description of the suspect’s vehicle and general location they drove around until they located him at a residence in Ishpeming. The individual confessed to both incidents and was issued two citations for littering.
While on routine patrol, CO Robert Freeborn observed what appeared to be smoke coming from a remote location of an ORV trail. As CO Freeborn arrived at the location of the smoke, he observed an active forest fire that was beginning to climb the trees and was spreading quickly due to the high winds. CO Freeborn advised local dispatch and proceeded into the woods to find the possible source. Once in the woods, CO Freeborn heard a power line shorting out on the ground several times. CO Freeborn immediately went back to his patrol truck and waited for the fire department and power company. After several hours, the fire was put out and power was restored. CO Freeborn was assisted by the MSP and Sault Tribal Police.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol of northern Luce County when an ORV sped around a corner coming at him, failing to maintain his vehicle on the right side of the roadway nearly hitting CO VanOosten’s patrol truck. A traffic stop was conducted, and the operator admitted to driving around the corner at over 50 miles per hour and stated that if the CO’s patrol truck were any closer it would have hit it. A citation was issued for careless ORV operation.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint from an Antrim County Sheriff’s deputy about a man who was driving a green and yellow ORV stealing timber from the Glacial Hills. CO Erratt drove around the area and located a John Deere tractor with a trailer hooked on back parked by a garage. CO Erratt talked to the owner who had a dead and down wood permit from the Antrim Conservation District for the Glacial Hills property. CO Erratt thanked the man for keeping the emergency access trails open and called the complainant to explain that the man had a permit.
CO Jon Sklba observed a vehicle stuck in a sandy parking area near Shoepac Lake. CO Sklba was able to help the stranded motorist out of the sand. The occupants were grateful for the CO’s assistance.
CO Sidney Collins retrieved a dead bobcat from the DNR Wildlife Division in Montmorency County. The DNR employee said the subject who dropped off the bobcat had two different stories when trying to get a permit for the bobcat. First, the subject stated the bobcat was found while he was turkey hunting. Then when the subject dropped off the bobcat, he stated he accidentally hit it with his vehicle. With concerns the bobcat was poached, CO Collins preformed a necropsy. The bobcat was found to have a broken neck and fractured skull. It was determined the subject’s story changed while attempting different ways to receive a kill-tag for the bobcat.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Alpena County when she received a complaint of a fire on a burn ban day that had escaped control. Multiple local fire departments responded, along with CO Curtis. The subject was burning illegal waste and household material. A ticket was issued by CO Curtis for failing to prevent the spread of a fire and a warning issued for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz assisted MSP troopers arresting a subject with a felony warrant in Montmorency County. Once the subject was placed into custody, family members became agitated and began crowding the officers near the patrol car. When troopers were searching the subject before placing him in the car, they located a single pill in the subject’s pocket. When the trooper pulled the pill out of the pocket, the mother of the arrested subject grabbed the pill from the trooper and attempted to swallow it but was unsuccessful. After a brief struggle to get the subject to drop the pill, troopers were able to get it back into their possession. It was determined that the pill was a pain pill that no one had a prescription for. The troopers on scene will be requesting charges on the woman for attempting to destroy evidence. The rest of the scene was cleared without incident.
CO Troy Ludwig received a complaint of anglers trespassing on private property to access the Pine River. CO Ludwig contacted the anglers when they returned to their vehicle and were trespassing on private property. The anglers advised that the had been using the trail they were on for over 40 years. The CO asked if they had observed the no trespassing signs, they had walked past to access the private property, and they admitted they had. Enforcement action was taken for recreation trespass.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded, along with CO Ryan Andrews and a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy, to an ORV crash. CO Killingbeck was first to arrive on scene and determined that the ORV had been driving too fast into a curve and the rider lost control and was ejected from his ORV. The subject had traumatic injuries, and after dressing the subject’s wounds, CO Killingbeck transported the subject out of the woods as EMS was unable to get into the area due to trail conditions. The subject was turned over to EMS and ultimately transported to a down state hospital for his injuries.
CO Jeff Ginn was dispatched to a hunter harassment complaint. The complainant stated he was actively hunting turkey on public land when the neighboring landowner came out to express concern of the property lines and her livestock nearby. He informed her he knew of the property line and her livestock. The following day the same incident occurred, and the hunter felt her actions were harassing and were preventing him from harvesting a turkey. Upon contacting the landowner, she admitted to contacting him about her livestock and property line, but the second day she was merely looking for mushrooms. This incident is being reviewed by the local court.
Sgt. Brian Olsen responded to an ORV trespass complaint in the Saint Helen area of Roscommon County. Upon investigation, a large homemade bridge was discovered going across Cedar Creek. The suspect admitted to placing the bridge to gain access to a large area of state land. Posted signs also were located on state land at the bridge to keep others from following the illegal trail and ending up in the suspect’s backyard. Sgt. Olsen has submitted a report to the Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office addressing the trespass and wetland violations.
CO Kyle Bader stopped at a local lake in Ogemaw County on a windy day to check for any marine or fishing activity and to talk to people about the consequences of not cleaning their vessel between lakes. CO Bader observed a large floating object with a man standing on it being pushed through the rough water by a narrow flat-back canoe with an outboard motor. Due to the wind, the trip was extremely slow going for the pair. CO Bader contacted the two when they reached the dock at the public access and learned the object was a floating dock they were taking out. There were no PFDs on board the vessel. It had also not been registered since 2012. The owner of the canoe was issued a citation for not providing an adequate number of PFDs and warned for the registration violation.
CO James Garrett was off duty scouting for turkeys near the end of legal hunting hours when he observed a hunter entering the woods with a shotgun and decoys at 8 p.m. in Roscommon County. CO Garrett sat in his vehicle nearby waiting for the hunter to exit the woods at the end of hunting hours, 8:06 p.m., but the hunter did not emerge from the woods. CO Garrett contacted an on-duty MSP trooper from the Houghton Lake Post for backup as he entered the woods to find the hunter. CO Garrett found the hunter with a loaded shotgun at 8:22 p.m. CO Garrett made the hunter aware he was an off-duty conservation officer and showed the hunter his department-issued identification and badge. CO Garrett informed the hunter he was hunting well past legal hunting hours and the hunter stated he thought hunting hours ended at 8:30 p.m. CO Garrett unloaded the hunter’s shotgun and observed a 3.5-inch BB shot in the chamber. CO Garrett informed the hunter he was also hunting with illegal ammunition and could only use shotgun shells loaded with No. 4 shot or smaller. The hunter stated he thought they were just like geese so he could use whatever size. Law enforcement action was taken.
No new reports
CO Travis Dragomer located a pile of trash in the Boyle Lake SGA. As CO Dragomer was looking through the pile, he located a property inventory from the Berrien County Jail which also contained information from a prior inmate. CO Dragomer and CO Zach Bauer spoke with the possible suspect at a nearby residence. The subjects stated that they paid an individual to take the trash as they do not have a truck. The COs obtained information from the subject they paid. CO Bauer followed up with the new suspect who stated that he was placing the trash there temporarily until he could find a better location for it. A litter citation was issued for the violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint in Allegan County of a group of people unloading trash from a pickup truck in the Allegan SGA. When he arrived on scene, four subjects were observed preparing for a bonfire and drinking alcohol. One of the subjects was scheduled to be released from probation in three days and was prohibited from consuming alcohol. The subject stated he made a mistake and started celebrating his release too soon. The subject submitted to a breath test showing a BAC of .179. All the information was turned over to the subject’s probation officer for further action.
CO Kyle McQueer received a complaint of a vehicle that had been driven off-road in the Barry SGA and became stuck in a wetland area. The vehicle had gone down a very steep embankment on a power line easement causing damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle and was leaking transmission fluid. Further, the suspects trespassed onto private property and cut down trees to access the vehicle to remove it. With the suspects gone and knowing they were going to return, CO McQueer deployed his trail camera. A few days later, the complainant contacted CO McQueer stating that subjects drove down his driveway to retrieve the stuck vehicle. By the time he arrived, both vehicles were gone. CO McQueer then checked his trail camera and obtained a license plate number on one of the vehicles. Follow up interviews resulted in confessions to the off-road violations and the damage to property. Citations were issued under the state land use rules.
CO Sam Schluckbier investigated a wildfire that had occurred in Allegan County. The investigation revealed the fire spread from a burn pile that was left unattended. The responsible party was interviewed, and charges are being sought through the Allegan Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County when he saw a vehicle with two unaccompanied toddlers in it. Approximately 20 feet from the car with the toddlers, another vehicle was parked with a male and female in it. CO Varriale noticed neither vehicle had license plates on them. CO Varriale made a U-turn and noticed the male subject got out of the female’s car and drove off with the toddlers. CO Varriale caught up to the female and conducted a traffic stop. The female admitted to not having a driver’s license or a registration for the vehicle and told CO Varriale she was on bond for a drug charge. During a short investigation CO Varriale also discovered she had a warrant for her arrest out of Montcalm County. Montcalm County advised to release on the warrant and the female was issued a ticket for her motor vehicle issues.
No new reports
CO David Schaumburger was sitting at a local ORV pit when he heard machines approaching. The CO met a pair of ORVs at the trail entering the pit and made a stop. The operators said they lived a few miles away and have been coming to the spot for a long time. Of the three operators, no one was wearing a helmet, one of the ORVs had two riders for a single ORV, they were both lacking the proper ORV registration, and were both trespassing. CO Schaumburger issued a ticket for operating without a helmet and issued a few stern warnings. The operators stated they knew a lot of people that rode back there and were going to help spread the word they are not welcome anymore.
CO Justin Muehlhauser assisted CO Josh Wright with an interview on subject who was hunting turkey in Tuscola County. CO Wright located an illegal ground blind on state land and discovered corn at the site, possibly used to hunt turkey. CO Muehlhauser interviewed the subject who stated that he did shoot a turkey, but he wasn’t using that blind at the time. The subject did state that the blind belonged to him. He said he just sat on a log on his friend’s property and shot the bird. Charges are being sought for the illegal ground blind.
While traveling on I-96, Sgt. Becker observed a vehicle approach him at a high rate of speed and was tailgating him for approximately a mile. The vehicle abruptly changed lanes to pass on the right. Sgt. Becker was able to pace the vehicle over 90 mph and then it swerved back in front of Sgt. Becker, nearly causing a crash. Sgt. Becker conducted a traffic stop and asked the driver why she was in a hurry. She stated that she was in a hurry to get home. Sgt. Becker learned that the driver did not have a valid driver’s license with her and did not have insurance on her vehicle. The driver was cited for speeding and no proof of insurance.
CO Joseph Deppen was headed home from marine patrol when he could see a vehicle approaching him at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was clocked at 120 mph in a 70 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted. The subject said he was having a really bad day and that was the reason he was speeding. CO Deppen issued the driver a citation for speed 120 mph in a 70-mph zone and verbal warning for careless driving.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were checking anglers along Lake St. Clair. CO Deppen checked two anglers who did not have any fishing licenses. The pair of anglers were asked to provide identification and they could not remember their own names or correct dates of birth. CO Deppen was given multiple false names, but one subject finally produced an out of state driver’s license. The subject had an outstanding warrant for OWI in a neighboring county. The COs called U.S. Border Patrol to assist, and they ended up identifying the second subject. Neither were United States citizens. The two anglers were cited for fishing without a license. The male was arrested on his outstanding warrants and lodged at the Troy Police Department. The female subject was turned over to Border Patrol for processing.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers on Summit Street near the state line when he spoke with an angler and asked to see his fishing license. The angler stated that it was not a problem and provided CO Ingersoll with an Ohio fishing license. CO Ingersoll advised the angler he was in Michigan and asked for his Michigan license. The angler stated he thought he was in Ohio, and CO Ingersoll advised he was almost a half mile into Michigan at this point. CO Ingersoll issued the angler a citation for fishing without a license.