Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Jeremy Sergey was northbound on M-35 in Menominee County when he stopped to check on an individual pulled over with his flashers on. The elderly individual said he was trying to call 911 because he could not get to his friend who was stuck in the snow. The individual pointed to a house 20 yards away and CO Sergey saw another older individual who had fallen off his porch and was buried up to his knees in snow. The individual stuck in the snow had medical issues that made it difficult for him to move his legs. CO Sergey helped the individual with getting his legs out of the snow and began to shovel a 20-yard pathway through three feet of snow to the highway as the residence had not been shoveled all winter. Officer McRae from the Menominee City Police Department arrived and helped CO Sergey shovel a path and the two officers lifted the individual out of the snow into a warm car.
COs Josh Boudreaux and Zach Painter responded to a snowmobile accident with injuries on Trail 1 where an operator lost control around a corner and struck a tree. Friends in the group assisted the rider out from the trail to the county road where Marenisco Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was waiting to transport the victim.
CO Brett DeLonge assisted Northern Michigan University Public Safety with a career exploration day in law enforcement for over 80 local high school students. During the multiple sessions, students learned about different law enforcement agencies and their varied daily enforcement functions. The students were also able to participate in an interactive law enforcement shooting simulator, an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) driving simulator, and Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) wearing goggles designed to give the students the visual feeling of being intoxicated. Several questions were asked about how patrols for conservation officers are often different than other state, county, and city police departments.
COs Brett DeLonge, Josh Boudreaux, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman conducted a snowmobile speed enforcement patrol on Trail 417 in Chocolay Township, Marquette County. During the patrol the officers stopped several snowmobiles exceeding the 35-miles per hour (mph) speed limit by over 20 to 30 mph. During the patrol the officers provided security to dog sleds using the trail for the Midnight Run and UP 200 Dog Sled races. The officers stopped multiple snowmobiles that were operating carelessly in congested areas with dog sleds and spectators. Citations were issued for speeding, careless operation, and registration violations. The officers were thanked by several snowmobilers, land owners, race staff, and spectators for their efforts in keeping the trail safe.
CO Brian Lasanen was working general snowmobile patrol when he observed a group of four snowmobilers failing to stop at a stop sign. Contact was made with the group, with CO Lasanen asking why they did not stop at the last intersection. One of the riders stated we were going too fast to see the stop sign. Law enforcement action was taken for careless operation of a snowmobile.
CO Jennifer Hanson conducted a snowmobile patrol to address complaints of operators disregarding posted stop signs along the trail in Gogebic County. Enforcement action was taken on subjects observed disregarding the posted stop signs.
CO Cody Smith was starting his patrol when a call came across the radio of a two-car accident involving an overturned logging truck. CO Smith responded to the scene along with Michigan State Police (MSP) and Baraga County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival at the scene it was observed that one of the logging truck’s trailers had overturned on the opposing shoulder of the roadway to their direction of travel. CO Smith and MSP directed traffic while the truck used its crane to unload the flipped trailer. A second logging truck up-righted the overturned trailer as it was reloaded by the crane operator. After clearing the semi from the roadway, the second vehicle was pushed out of the ditch by CO Smith and the Baraga County deputy.
CO John Kamps was patrolling Trail 8 in Marquette County when a snowmobile blew past a stop sign and crossed a frequently traveled road. The CO was able to make contact with the individual later down the trail and law enforcement action was taken for carless snowmobile operation.
CO John Kamps assisted the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue teams for missing snowmobilers during the weekend blizzard. With wind gusts that reached over 40 mph and in deep snow conditions CO Kamps was able to help find three different snowmobilers that were all reported missing in different locations near Trail 8. After spending multiple hours in the blizzard conditions all three snowmobilers were found and brought back to safety.
COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were on their way home from a training in Houghton when they noticed a vehicle which appeared to be stuck down a side road. After turning around, the COs discovered that the vehicle was stuck on the railroad tracks and appeared to have gotten stuck trying to turn around on the snowy road. Upon contact with the railroad company, the COs learned a train was headed to their location and would be unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with the truck. With the tow truck being a great distance away, COs Boudreaux and Kamps assisted the driver and his wife with removing their vehicle from the tracks.
COs Josh Boudreaux, Brett DeLonge, and Sgt. Mark Leadman responded to a report of three snowmobilers who had been stranded on a heavily drifted snowmobile trail north of US-41 in Humboldt Township. With wind gusts nearing 40 mph and temperatures hovering around zero degrees, the COs broke trail through massive snowdrifts heading to the reported location of the snowmobilers. After some time, the COs were able to locate the snowmobilers who were cold but in good health. The three had begun to build a shelter, planning on spending the night in the woods after the snowmobiles became stuck in snowdrifts nearly four feet high. Seeing as there was no way to remove their snowmobiles, the COs assisted the three up the trail and transported them out of the woods via snowmobile to a Michigamme-Spurr Fire/EMS side-by-side which was waiting further down the trail. The three operators were incredibly thankful for the assistance and stated it was an eye-opening experience, as they quickly realized they were not adequately prepared for a night in the woods.
CO Doug Hermanson and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted a snowmobile patrol near South Range in Houghton County to address complaints in the area. The officers checked many sleds during the afternoon patrol, with violations addressed for exceeding the sound decibel limit, failure to register a snowmobile and failure to purchase trail permits.
COs Zach Painter and Josh Boudreaux responded to a one operator snowmobile accident in Gogebic County. The operator of the snowmobile failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree receiving non-life-threatening injuries.
CO Brian Lasanen was on patrol when he heard the radio call of a hit and run accident. CO Lasanen was close to the area and responded to assist Houghton County deputies. The suspect vehicle was located, and the suspect found with the vehicle. The suspect was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and OWI.
CO Michael Evink responded to a three-car accident on US-2 in front of the casino. No MSP or Schoolcraft County deputies were available. CO Evink made the scene safe, made sure traffic on US-2 was not interrupted and assisted tribal police once they arrived on scene.
COs Mike Evink and Steven Butzin patrolled Big Bay De Noc looking for fishing activity. Due to poor weather, activity was light. However, the officers located a gillnet in the bay and turned the information over to Great Lakes Enforcement Unit.
Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Ariel Corr, CO Calvin Smith, and a Chippewa County Sheriff’s deputy provided first aid to a victim that fell off his roof while shoveling snow. The victim was transported to War Memorial Hospital for further treatment by Kinross EMS.
PCO Ariel Corr and CO Calvin Smith were on patrol when they observed a snowmobiler traveling against the flow of traffic on H-40 near Rudyard. PCO Corr conducted a traffic stop on the snowmobiler who had also failed to purchase a trail permit. Law enforcement action was taken.
CO Colton Gelinas and Luce County Deputy Tim Maskus responded to a snowmobile personal injury accident in northern Luce County. Upon arrival at the scene the officers found a male to have a broken arm after hitting a tree with his snowmobile, speed was a factor.
COs Colton Gelinas and Kevin Postma responded to a wolf killed in Chippewa County. The hunters believed that the wolf was a coyote, shot it and after discovering that the animal was a collared wolf the hunters reported their mistake. The shooter was a seven-year old, hunting as a mentored youth with his father who directed them to take the animal. A report has been forwarded to the Chippewa County Prosecutor for review.
CO Chris Lynch and PCO Michael Olesen were working snowmobile enforcement on Trail 8 in Alger County when a call came out for a two-vehicle personal injury accident a short distance from their location. The COs responded to the traffic crash and performed traffic control duties while EMS and fire assisted the victims of the crash.
CO Chris Lynch and PCO Michael Olesen were working with CO Mark Zitnik performing a group snowmobile and ice fishing patrol in Alger County. During the patrol of South Bay, Trout Bay, Sand Point, and surrounding trails, multiple violations were discovered including, one small splake, careless operation of a snowmobile, failure to attach snowmobile registration, failure to register snowmobile, and failure to attach trail permit. In total 10 tickets were issued along with 20 warnings given during the patrol.
CO Andrea Albert and PCO Andrea Dani received a complaint from a landowner of three snowmobiles running over his fence and trespassing on his property. The landowner had the snowmobiles stopped and was waiting for the COs arrival. The COs contacted the suspects and issued citations for trespassing.
COs Andrea Erratt, Andrea Albert, and PCO Andrea Dani conducted group snowmobile patrols on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday of the busy President’s Day weekend. On Friday night, CO Erratt warned a juvenile for running a stop sign whose father was very appreciative of the warning and safety lesson learned by his son. On Saturday, CO Erratt stopped a father and son on two snowmobiles with registration decals on the tunnels. CO Erratt ticketed the father who owned the snowmobiles for failing to attach the snowmobile registration decal to the forward half of the snowmobile. On Saturday and Sunday, CO Erratt ran radar on plowed roadways near trails and warned one juvenile for driving his snowmobile 69 mph in a 55-mph zone. CO Erratt called his father who drove his truck to the road and thanked the COs for warning his son. On Sunday, CO Erratt ticketed a man on an unregistered snowmobile in the Jordan River Valley. CO Erratt warned snowmobilers for failing to attach trail permits and registration decals.
CO Andrea Erratt observed a snowmobiler run a stop sign at a road near East Jordan. CO Erratt followed him as he failed to stop again as he crossed a bridge on M-32, opposing the flow of traffic, as a truck also crossed the bridge. CO Erratt stopped the snowmobiler whose registration was expired. CO Erratt ticketed the snowmobiler for operating an unregistered snowmobile and warned him for not transferring the registration into his name and failing to stop before crossing a road and bridge.
CO Duane Budreau stopped two snowmobilers in northern Emmet County for failing to stop at a roadway intersection. One of the riders attempted to provide excuses and reasoning for his failure to stop. He began to justify his actions and stated that he slowed down enough to see that there were no vehicles coming. CO Budreau then asked the subject if he noticed the black patrol truck parked near the intersection. The subject then frustratedly said, “just give me the ticket.” Enforcement action was taken for careless operation of a snowmobile.
CO Chad Baldwin conducted a snowmobile patrol in Charlevoix and Antrim Counties during the annual Snow Blast Festival in East Jordan. Hundreds of spectators traveled to the festival by snowmobile. CO Baldwin encountered several upset snowmobilers at an intersection stating there was an SUV traveling down the designated snowmobile trail. CO Baldwin investigated the complaint and found a Ford Excursion driving down the trail, unable to turn around anywhere due to the depth of the snow. The driver stated that he and his wife were not from the area and were looking for a place to let their dogs run around and thought the area looked like a good spot. CO Baldwin escorted the SUV off the trail and out of the area. Multiple other violations were witnessed during the festival patrol and enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Mark DePew had just completed his shift during a severe blizzard in Otsego County when he was contacted by Otsego Central Dispatch who advised several people were stranded in their vehicles on Alba Highway for over seven hours and needed emergency help. Dispatch advised initial first responders were unable to get to the stranded people because of the blizzard conditions and impassable roads. Sgt. DePew responded on his department snowmobile contacting a total of 11 stranded people providing survival blankets and assessing each person’s medical status. After checking each person and finding them okay, the sergeant then organized a rescue response, safely taking each person one by one on his snowmobile out to a waiting Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and MSP patrol cars who then took them to local hotels for the night. The sergeant advised no injuries were reported during the rescue.
CO Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Mark DePew investigated a minor personal injury accident that occurred on I-75 involving a southbound vehicle striking the rear of a stationary Otsego County Sheriff’s Department vehicle that was investigating an accident. The deputy sustained minor injuries. The investigation determined the vehicle that struck the patrol car was at fault and enforcement action was taken.
CO Kyle Cherry and Sgt. Mark DePew were patrolling in Cheboygan County on snowmobiles when they saw a side-by-side stopped in a roadway. The COs checked on the side-by-side and discovered an open liquor bottle on the floorboard. The driver was given SFST but was found not to be intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken for the open intoxicants.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Eric Bottorff were on patrol Cheboygan County snowmobile trails during President’s Day weekend. Numerous snowmobiles were contacted with several citations issued for registration and trail permit violations.
CO Tim Rosochacki was on his snowmobile sitting stationary along the snowmobile trail when he observed a snowmobile traveling down the middle of the adjoining county road at an excessive speed. CO Rosochacki was able to stop the operator several miles away. The operator admitted to traveling nearly 100 mph down the county road. In addition, the snowmobile was not displaying a trail permit or current registration. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick patrolled the speed limit area of trail 720 in Cheboygan County. Three operators were cited for violating the posted speed limit of 35 mph on the snowmobile trail. During one of the encounters, it was discovered that one of the operators also had a suspended operator’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Eric Bottorff and Tim Rosochacki patrolled the snowmobile trails south of Indian River and contacted over 400 sleds. Enforcement action was taken on four riders for operating without current registrations and trail permits, and multiple warnings were given for careless operation and sticker violations.
COs Eric Bottorff and Tim Rosochacki responded to a complaint of a snowmobile that had caught fire on the snowmobile trail south of Indian River. On arrival, the COs ensured that there were no injuries to the rider and assisted in removing the engine and skis from the roadside. The rest of the snowmobile was destroyed by the fire.
COs Eric Bottorff and Tim Rosochacki patrolled northern Cheboygan County on snowmobiles and took the ice bridge across the Straits of Mackinaw to Bois Blanc Island. The COs contacted a group of four snowmobile riders that had no current registrations stickers or trail permits displayed on the sleds. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Tom Oberg and Kyle Cherry located a subject whom they had an arrest warrant for stemming from a violation involving an illegal taking of elk. The arrest was made without incident.
Sgt. Mike Mshar, COs Sidney Collins, Jessie Curtis, and Jon Sklba worked a group snowmobile patrol near Lewiston in Montmorency County. Several violations were found including no trail permit, improper placement of registration, and failure to stop at intersections. The COs also responded to a single snowmobile accident. The subject hit a tree after holding the accelerator and brake at the same time. The subject had no injuries. The snowmobile was inoperable and towed.
CO Sidney Collins and Sgt. Mike Mshar were first on scene to a single vehicle accident in Montmorency County. After further investigation, it was found that the subject was under the influence of alcohol. The subject was unhurt in the accident but was lodged in the county jail for operating under the influence of alcohol and charges have been requested for the super drunk law.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Montmorency County when two snowmobiles were driving on the wrong side of the road, without trail stickers, and no registrations. After contacting the two snowmobilers they did not have their driver’s licenses on them and stated that they were just coming from their cottage and have a piece of property they can access from the road. Since, they rarely leave their property they take the chance of not being caught. Enforcement action was taken for not having the snowmobiles registered.
CO Jessie Curtis was checking anglers on Fletcher’s Pond in Alpena County when she noticed a four-wheeler with an expired Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) license from 2010. The subject said that he only uses his four-wheeler to haul his ice fishing equipment out to his shanty and was willing to take the chance that he didn’t get caught by a CO. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jessie Curtis was out on snowmobile patrol near Hillman in Montmorency County, and witnessed a side-by-side not driving on the far-right side of the roadway. As CO Curtis approached the side-by-side, the driver proceeded to drive down the middle of the road. The driver admitted to drinking alcohol while ice fishing, and further advised that he was on his way to pick up his heater from his cottage. The driver had open intoxicants inside the side-by-side and was intoxicated while driving. The subject was lodged in Montmorency County jail.
CO William Haskin was on snowmobile patrol in Wexford County when he observed an individual riding without a helmet, CO Haskin pursued the individual and witnessed him run a stop sign on the snowmobile trail. After CO Haskin stopped the sled, he could immediately smell alcohol. CO Haskin conducted SFST and determined the individual was intoxicated. Enforcement action taken.
CO William Haskin observed an individual fishing on Hodenpyl Dam backwaters with seven tip-ups at one time. CO Haskin watched the individual catch a 30-inch pike, contacted the individual and enforcement action was taken.
COs William Haskin and Troy Ludwig were patrolling on their snowmobiles in Wexford County and surrounding counties. Several violations were witnessed including snowmobiles without registration, snowmobiles without trail stickers, careless operation, under age riding, and fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Bill Haskin, Troy Ludwig, Sam Koscinski, Scott MacNeill, Will Kinney, Patrick McManus, Rebecca Hubers, and Amanda Lake participated in a weekend-long snowmobile patrol that covered numerous counties in the northwestern lower peninsula. The COs, in teams of two, worked a designated portion of the trail system and collectively patrolled several hundred miles. The COs then converged to a single location and patrolled the routes in reverse on the second day of the patrol. Numerous citations were issued for violations such as expired registration, failure to obtain a trail sticker, as well as other fish and game related issues.
COs Steve Converse and Scott MacNeill were on patrol of Manistee County when they stopped to assist an MSP trooper with a traffic stop where the suspect had an outstanding warrant. This stop resulted in the suspect fleeing in his vehicle when the trooper attempted to arrest him. Several miles down the road, the suspects’ vehicle was unable to navigate a sharp corner in the snowy conditions and crashed into the trees. COs MacNeill and Converse assisted the trooper in tracking the suspect on foot after he fled his vehicle. The suspect was located several hundred yards away, where he continued to be noncompliant. Officers used a TASER and were able to take the individual into custody. The suspect was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons as a result of the motor vehicle accident and lodged in the Manistee County jail on several felony charges.
COs Sam Koscinski, Scott MacNeill, Ryan Andrews, Josiah Killingbeck, Kyle Publiski, PCO Josh Reed, Steve Converse and Sgt. Grant Emery conducted a group snowmobile and sound enforcement patrol in Manistee County. Over 100 snowmobiles were contacted. Several snowmobile operators were cited for their machines with sound levels in excess of the 88-decibel limit. Numerous other snowmobile related violations were also addressed. The officers also took one subject into custody on an outstanding domestic violence warrant.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Josh Reed were finishing up on a snowmobile stop when they observed two snowmobiles operating toward them on a county road with one snowmobile operating against the flow of traffic. After finishing with the original snowmobile stop, officers caught up to and stopped the second group who were observed operating down the middle of the roadway and against the flow of traffic at speeds over 75 mph in a 55-mph zone and disregarded a stop sign crossing a busy road. Contact was made with the operators who said that they were not familiar with regulations pertaining to snowmobile operation. Both subjects were educated on the importance of snowmobile safety and legal operation. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Josh Reed, while on patrol, were contacted by Lake County Central Dispatch and asked to respond to a snowmobile personal injury accident. PCO Reed and CO Killingbeck investigated the cause of the accident and, after speaking with the driver, determined that the driver was intoxicated and admitted to driving 80-90 mph before failing to negotiate a curve in the roadway which resulted in the crash. After making sure the driver was not injured and refused medical treatment, the driver was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail for OWI.
While on snowmobile patrol in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews encountered a snowmobile being operated on a county road with two juvenile passengers. As the snowmobile approached the intersection, CO Andrews could see that none of the riders had protective helmets. CO Andrews stopped the snowmobile as they reached their residence addressing numerous violations including operating the snowmobile with a suspended operator’s license and operating an unregistered snowmobile. During the investigation, CO Andrews detected the odor of intoxicants coming from the operator. After performing SFST, the operator was arrested for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated as well as numerous other violations.
CO Angela Greenway, along with Sgt. Mike Bomay, were on patrol in the Canadian Lakes area when an ORV was observed traveling on the roadway riding double and wearing no helmets. CO Greenway activated the emergency lights and turned the patrol vehicle around to conduct a traffic stop on the ORV. The operator suspiciously cut through a gas station parking lot and was located behind a business building. The young operator admitted to being afraid of being ticketed. The ORV was also displaying a 2014 ORV license. A citation was issued for no ORV license with verbal warnings for riding double and no helmets.
CO Troy VanGelderen was checking anglers on the ice and observed an angler acting suspiciously while he approached. Upon contacting the angler, it was determined he was fishing with too many lines. The angler stated his daughter was supposed to be fishing with him, but she was taking a nap. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines.
CO Mike Hearn responded to the scene of a single snowmobile accident in Excelsior Township in Kalkaska County. Upon investigation, it was determined the operator lost control climbing an embankment when leaving the roadway onto private property. The operator had inadvertently hit the throttle, sending the snowmobile head on into a tree. The operator was uninjured and was warned for trespassing on the private property.
CO John Huspen and PCO Nathan Beelman were on patrol when they noticed a Jeep parked along the side of a trail that leads back towards state land in Crawford County. The trail cuts across railroad tracks before entering an area of state land. CO Huspen has had issues with railroad trespass in the area in the past. CO Huspen and PCO Beelman followed the snowshoe tracks across the railroad tracks and eventually found the owner of the Jeep returning from the woods. The individual had passed two no trespassing signs that had been posted by the railroad company. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mathew Zultak and Chuck McPherson were patrolling Higgins Lake and located several tip-ups with no one around. One of the tip-ups had a flag that had been tripped indicating a fish was on the line. The two COs sat at a distance for around a half hour when they noticed an ORV pull up to check the tip-up. The COs contacted the subjects and found open intoxicants in the ORV, no identification on the tip-ups and lines not under immediate control. Enforcement action was taken.
COs John Huspen, Matt Zultak, Chuck McPherson and PCO Nate Beelman contacted anglers fishing with too many lines on Higgins Lake. The anglers advised there were others fishing with them but were on shore getting bait. A time later the subjects returned. They had no ORV license on their ORV and did not have their fishing lines under immediate control. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Matt Zultak and Chuck McPherson contacted five anglers on Houghton Lake. Three of the anglers did not have fishing licenses and were smoking marijuana in a public area. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Casey Pullum and PCO Jesse Grzechowski were looking for a suspect of an ongoing investigation in Oscoda County. The COs determined the suspect had a valid warrant for his arrest and obtained a good address for him. MSP assisted in knocking on doors to not tip off the suspect that COs were looking for him. While conducting surveillance, the COs observed a vehicle pull up to a stop sign near the address and sit for an extended time. CO Pullum and PCO Grzechowski noticed someone exit the vehicle and start walking in the opposite direction. The COs contacted the man and determined it was the suspect with a warrant. The COs obtained the information they needed and arrested the man for his warrant.
COs Steve Lockwood, Craig Neal and Ethan Gainforth patrolled Saginaw Bay on their snowmobiles. Throughout the patrol, several citations were issued for unregistered snowmobiles and unlicensed ORVs. The COs checked hundreds of anglers as they made their way off the ice. One angler stated that he had caught his limit of walleye. However, when he dumped his bucket of fish out onto the ice more than his limit of eight walleye fell out. The angler stated the bite picked up right at the end and he kept throwing fish in the bucket without counting. A citation was issued for possession of an over limit of walleye.
CO Mark Papineau completed an investigation regarding a Gladwin County resident that had shot a 9-point buck without a license. CO Papineau received the tip while investigating a separate case involving the unlawful taking of a deer. According to the tip, CO Papineau was informed that the suspect had been hunting without a license and shot a large, 9-point buck during the first week of the firearm deer season. License purchase records confirmed that the suspect had not purchased any licenses and several photographs clearly depicted the suspect with the deer. CO Papineau contacted the suspect and obtained a full confession. CO Papineau was also able to recover the antlers and head of the deer, which were also illegally tagged with another person’s license. Warrants are being sought for taking the deer without a license and the borrowing/loaning of tags.
While patrolling Gladwin County, CO Mark Papineau observed a vehicle weaving in and out of its lane of travel in addition to being operated grossly under the posted speed limit. A traffic stop was conducted and contact with the single occupant was made. Almost immediately, CO Papineau was alerted to the driver’s abnormal behavior and a request was made for a second unit from the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Department. Further investigation revealed an outstanding warrant and an extensive criminal history from Texas, Florida, and the entire east coast of the United States including a 1970s conviction from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for domestic terrorism. With assistance from the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Department, CO Papineau placed the driver under arrest on the outstanding warrant. Further investigation revealed that the driver was watching YouTube while driving and texting friends. The driver was transported and lodged in the Arenac County jail.
CO Mike Haas and PCO Brandon Vacek received a complaint that a bobcat had gotten stuck in a resident’s deep window well in central Isabella County. The COs checked on the bobcat and it appeared to be uninjured and healthy. A long board and ladder were placed in the window well and the COs determined the bobcat would most likely climb out if left undisturbed. The COs heard back from the complainant the following day and were told that the bobcat had climbed out of the window well at some point in the middle of the night.
CO Mike Haas and PCO Brandon Vacek were patrolling in western Midland County when they heard a ‘be on the lookout’ notification over the police radio. A vehicle was being sought in reference to a recent retail fraud that had occurred in Mt. Pleasant. The COs located a vehicle matching the description of the wanted vehicle and followed the vehicle into a gas station. After speaking with the driver, the COs determined it was not the vehicle they were looking for but there were other issues concerning the driver and vehicle. The car was not registered and was displaying a license plate that had been borrowed from another vehicle, there was no insurance on the vehicle and the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. The driver was arrested for driving with a revoked license.
While patrolling northern Montcalm County, CO Mike Haas and PCO Brandon Vacek witnessed snowmobiles being operated on a smaller inland lake. The COs contacted the group of snowmobilers and located numerous violations. Multiple machines did not have valid trail permits and one machine was not registered, the owner failed to transfer the registration within 15 days of purchasing the snowmobile. Numerous citations and warnings were issued to address the licensing and permit violations.
CO Dan Robinson was responding to a roll-over personal injury accident when he came up behind a fire truck en-route to the incident with lights and siren in use. The fire unit was behind a truck and trailer that was not showing any signs of yielding to the emergency vehicle behind them. The driver traveled at least a mile without pulling over to allow the two emergency vehicles to pass. Upon passing the vehicle, CO Robinson noticed that the trailer had a large amount of blood in it and did not have any rubber on one of the rims. CO Robinson called in the license plate, briefly talked to the driver, and continued to the accident. At the scene CO Robinson assisted extricating and packaging the semi-conscious driver from the passenger side of the vehicle, which was nose down in a deep roadside ditch. After leaving the scene of the accident CO Robinson followed-up with the vehicle from earlier. The driver stated that she saw the emergency lights and heard the sirens but wanted a safe place to pull over. She also said that the tire blew off the rim of the small lawnmower trailer while transporting a large steer to the butcher. Upon inspection the rim was badly worn from being driven miles without the tire. A citation was issued for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, and a warning was given for an equipment violation of the motor vehicle code.
CO Joe Myers and PCO Dan Liestenfeltz conducted a late-night fishing patrol along Saginaw Bay. The COs contacted many individuals and were able to check a lot of fish coming off the bay. Later in the evening, the officers patrolled a parking lot on foot, searching for any illegal or suspicious fishing activity. The COs observed a cooler in the back of an out of state truck that was open and in plain view, over flowing with walleye. The COs moved to an unmarked patrol unit and watched the vehicle until they were able to follow it to a local motel. After sitting on the vehicle all night and assuming they would be going out fishing again in the morning, the vehicle left the motel and went to a gas station where they were filling-up to head back to Ohio. Upon contact, it was found that the anglers had 16 walleye over the legal possession amount. The illegal walleye were seized, and citations were issued for the violations.
COs Rich Cardenas and James Zellinger teamed up with Barry and Allegan County Sheriff’s officers and patrolled Yankee Springs Recreation Area during the 2019 Winterfest. During the event numerous contacts were made with snowmobile and ORV operators. Violations encountered included operating without valid license and operating without registrations or trail permits. Several citations were issued for the violations and many positive comments were made to the officers regarding their presence at the event.
CO Sam Schluckbier was checking a public access site on Gun Lake in Barry County when he observed a snowmobile drive across the lake. The operator was not wearing a helmet and was holding onto a youth passenger who also was not wearing a helmet. CO Schluckbier followed the subjects to a nearby cabin where he was able to make contact. The driver and his six-year old son borrowed an unregistered snowmobile from his father-in-law and took it across the lake. CO Schluckbier advised the father of his concern for the child’s safety and informed him of the several violations he had committed. A citation was issued for the safety violation.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau checked several inland lakes in Allegan County during Free Fishing Weekend. They made contact at one shanty surrounded by five tip-ups and two anglers inside the shanty jigging for panfish. One angler denied having a line in the water prior to their arrival. He stated that he baited his hook as a back-up fishing rod that his son could use in case a school of fish came in. CO Schluckbier and PCO Viau were skeptical of the story they were given when it was pointed out that a second hole was drilled, and the bait was saturated with water from recent use. Further investigation revealed additional fishing violations and a citation was issued for failure to identify the tip-ups by name and address of the owner.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Anna Viau observed a snowmobile without a trail permit or proper registration operating on a county roadway. The COs initiated a stop with the snowmobile and found the operator’s driver’s license was also expired. The subject explained he was new to snowmobile operation and regulations. The COs provided him with necessary information and a citation was issued for the trail permit and registration violations.
CO BJ Goulette responded to a complaint of a subject who had posted a buck he had taken on Michigan Buckpole who had not purchased a buck tag. After an interview with the subject he admitted that he only had purchased an antlerless license but still shot the buck and then had his wife buy a license in order to tag the buck after the fact. The prosecutor’s office approved charges against the subject and he plead guilty resulting in payments for fines and reimbursement for the illegally taken deer.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at Cranberry Lake in Kent County where he witnessed an individual fishing. CO Varriale contacted the individual and she immediately stated she wasn’t fishing. CO Varriale told her he witnessed her fishing from his truck and she still had a rod in her hand with the line in a fishing hole. The individual still stated she was not fishing despite the facts presented to her. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Mike Drexler was off duty when he received an in-progress recreational trespass complaint in an area where trespassing has been a problem in recent years. CO Drexler responded and was backed up by an MSP Trooper. Together, they were able to track the suspects who were still in the area rabbit hunting on several properties where they did not have permission. Citations were issued for recreational trespass.
CO Jason McCullough completed an investigation involving a large buck that was killed with a bow and arrow around midnight, during firearm deer season, within a local city limits. The suspect had watched a deer bed down along a set of railroad tracks on his way home from the store. The suspect went home grabbed his bow and arrow, drove back near the deer, parked his car, stalked the deer down the opposite side of the railroad tracks and shot the deer. The suspect then went home, met a friend, and the two of them went and retrieved the deer. After the suspect hid the deer under some tires, he started a car in his driveway, which backfired. The neighbors called to report shots fired within city limits. The local city police department answered the shots fired call and discovered evidence of the deer. CO McCullough responded to the scene and along with the city police, were able to obtain a confession and gather overwhelming evidence. A full confession was obtained and a follow up investigation, with the assistance of CO Jeff Goss they located the friend who had helped recover the deer. Warrants were sought through the local prosecutor’s office.
CO Nicholas Wellman was patrolling for anglers in the southern end of Branch County when he noticed several anglers on a small lake. After observing the group for a period, CO Wellman contacted the angler. One of the anglers was fishing without a license and had five tip-ups in the water. The person stated that he was Native American and could do those things. CO Wellman informed him that this far into southern Michigan, many of those laws do in fact apply to everyone. A citation was issued for fishing with too many lines and a written warning was given for fishing without a license.
CO Matthew Neterer investigated a case where a coyote hunting dog was shot and killed while pursuing a coyote across private land. The victim claimed that the accused shot his dog intentionally. The accused stated that he mistook the dog for a coyote. The case is being reviewed by the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
While checking for fishing activity on Lake St. Clair, COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen were checking anglers near the Coast Guard Station. The COs smelled marijuana coming from a shanty and contacted the angler at his shanty. The angler stepped out and was accompanied by a plume of suspected marijuana smoke. The angler was questioned about his marijuana use and the angler said, “It’s legal man.” The angler was cited for using marijuana in a public place.
While checking for ORV activity along Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen noticed two snowmobilers operating at a high speed along the lakeshore. Both riders were operating within 100 feet of other anglers and persons on the ice before they came ashore and started to put their snowmobiles in the trailer. CO Deppen contacted the rider at their truck and noticed the riders did not have snowmobile permits. One rider also admitted that he purchased the snowmobile two days prior. A check revealed that he did not transfer the registration in his name. When questioned about the snowmobile permits, the riders said they only planned to use the snowmobiles for ice fishing. CO Deppen pointed out that racing along the lakeshore is not ice fishing. The riders were given multiple warnings and cited for operating snowmobiles without a snowmobile trail permit.
While patrolling Lake St. Clair for ORV activity, COs Brad Silorey and Joseph Deppen noticed an ORV travelling in and out of fishing shanties at an unreasonable speed and the operator was not wearing helmet. As the operator got close to the launch and saw the COs he turned around and headed back out to the ice. CO Silorey noticed he did not have a 2018 ORV license on the ORV. The COs got the clothing description of the rider as he traveled farther out into the lake. The COs watched the rider as he exited the ORV and packed up his fishing items. Another rider took the helm and the anglers started riding double. The COs tracked the two anglers to the other side of the lake. CO Deppen drove to the other side of the lake, exited his patrol truck and walked out to the anglers. The first rider was only fourteen years old. The father was the second operator. The father was cited for transporting passengers improperly and operating an unlicensed ORV. They were given warnings for allow a minor to operate, no safety certificate, minor operate unlicensed ORV, no helmets, and operating within 100 feet of a fishing shanty and or person. As CO Deppen explained the multiple warnings that were present the father verbally expressed his displeasure with receiving any citations at all.
CO Ray Gardner was on patrol and stopped at the Lapeer Shooting Pit to check on the activity. While there, CO Gardner found two individuals who were shooting at stuffed teddy bears. When asked, the individuals said they didn’t know they couldn’t do that, despite all the signs stating what allowable targets are. A citation was issued for shooting at improper targets.
COs Kris Kiel and Joseph Deppen located a single ice shanty on a canal, behind a residence. Upon checking the shanty, a single subject fishing inside stated that he had his fishing license in the house. The subject reappeared with his wallet but said he must have left his fishing license in his boat. Upon running the Retail Sales System, it was found the subject had not purchased a fishing license since 2014. The subject received a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Breanna Reed stopped a father and daughter operating ORVs without ORV licenses. One citation was written to the father for operating an unlicensed ORV and a verbal warning was given to the daughter for operating an unlicensed ORV. Another citation was written for operating an unlicensed ORV to a subject that had returned to an access site from fishing.
CO Robert Watson followed up on a large pile of trash that had been dumped over the side of a bridge. After finding a suspect and conducting an interview, CO Watson was directed to talk with multiple other parties involved. Eventually a phone interview led to a confession and a ticket was issued for littering on state land. The garbage was picked up by the suspect following the ticket being issued.
CO Pat Hartsig was checking ice anglers on Lake St. Clair when he observed an ORV operating carelessly on the ice. The operator was contacted and in addition to operating carelessly they failed to license the machine as well as another machine that was operated. Tickets were issued for the careless operation and unlicensed ORVs.
CO Robert Watson was patrolling Hewitt Pit in St. Clair County, when he observed two subjects for approximately one hour while they shot many rounds with multiple different firearms. CO Watson observed the two subjects shoot at the frozen ground from near point-blank range, sending multiple rounds ricocheting through the trees. CO Watson then was able to observe the two subjects as they packed up their firearms and left the area, walking back to their vehicle. The two shooters approached their pile of empty ammunition boxes and spent casings, and both began kicking the garbage into the weeds. Upon seeing this, CO Watson issued both shooters citations for littering and educated them on basic firearm safety.
COs Jacob Griffin and Danielle Zubek were patrolling a lake in Oakland County during a fishing event. During their patrol, CO Griffin noticed two tip-ups set in the water, but with no anglers nearby. After discovering the tip-ups did not have the proper identification on them as required by law, COs Griffin and Zubek watched the tip-ups from a distance. After about 45 minutes, CO Griffin noticed two snowmobiles coming from across the lake to check the tip-ups. The COs contacted one of the subjects taking claim to the unattended tip-ups. CO Griffin educated the subject on leaving lines unattended and not having them in the immediate control of the angler. While CO Griffin was addressing the violations, an uninvolved individual circled the COs on an ORV and then stopped next to them. CO Zubek addressed the fact the subject was operating an unregistered ORV. While addressing the violation the subject fled the scene and then returned very quickly. CO Griffin wrote one subject a citation for leaving his lines unattended and not in his immediate control. A warning was given for failing to have the proper identification on his tip-ups. CO Zubek wrote the ORV operator for failing to register his ORV and not wearing the required helmet while operating. Additionally, CO Zubek warned the subject for littering after CO Zubek asked the subject to pick up the trash he placed on the ice.
CO David Schaumburger approached an angler on "Grosse Ile Airport Bay" and asked how the fishing was going. The angler stated he had 30 keepers and the CO asked if he could see them. The angler sat up and showed the CO a five-gallon bucket that was full to the brim with perch. The CO told the angler it appeared he had more than 30 fish, and the angler replied he was just about to sort the fish and release the smaller perch. CO Schaumburger counted 77 perch in the bucket. The angler was cited for an over limit of perch and 27 perch were seized. The CO will be seeking $10 in reimbursement per perch over the limit.
COs Daniel Prince and Matt Theunick responded to the beach area on Riverbank Drive in the Belle Isle State Park to the report of teenagers walking on the ice near open water. COs Prince and Theunick were able to get the teenagers attention with their patrol trucks emergency lights and get them to come off the ice. The teenagers stated that they were just curious about the open water. COs Prince and Theunick explained the dangers about the unsafe ice conditions.
During a patrol on Belle Isle, CO Jeremy Beavers and PCO Ariel Corr were assigned to work a midnight shift on the island. The officers patrolled the island to make sure no one was still there, as it is closed to visitors after 10 p.m. Once the island was cleared, the officers monitored traffic near the casino, where a prom was being held. During this time, the officers spotted a vehicle near the Flynn Pavilion. CO Beavers and PCO Corr watched the vehicle as it proceeded towards the Strand and towards the east end of the island. After it became clear the vehicle was not leaving the island, the officers left their position in order to make contact. As they approached the vehicle near the Athletic Field, the vehicle almost came to a stop and then made an abrupt left turn onto the grass. At this point, PCO Corr activated the emergency lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle did not immediately stop, going back on the road and driving the wrong way. Once the vehicle was stopped, the officers made contact. The officers first asked the subject why she was slow to stop, asking if she had consumed alcohol or was having a medical emergency. The subject stated no. She was informed that she was stopped for being on the island after hours, driving off-road, and driving the wrong way. While checking the subject’s information, the subject attempted to drive away. The subject did not drive far before stopping again. At that point, CO Beavers and PCO Corr ordered the subject from the vehicle. At first, she refused, stating she just wanted to go home. After being told to exit the vehicle on her own or she would be removed, she willingly exited. Once out of the vehicle, it was obvious the subject was visibly impaired. She then admitted to drinking two beers. PCO Corr then administered SFST to gauge her level of impairment. The subject was unable to complete all tests including the Preliminary Breath Test. As a result, a voluntary blood sample was obtained at the hospital. The investigation is currently pending.
CO Ben Shively was conducting speed measurement enforcement on Belle Isle when he observed a vehicle operating at a high rate of speed on Riverbank Drive. CO Shively activated his radar and obtained a speed measurement reading of 80 mph in the posted 25 mph zone. CO Shively conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and the subject was cited for 80 mph in a 25-mph zone.