Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Josh Boudreaux responded to a fatal off-road vehicle (ORV) accident in Wells Township, Marquette County, after midnight on the Memorial Day weekend. The elderly male operator was travelling at a high rate of speed and lost control of his ORV, causing it to roll. CO Boudreaux assisted the Michigan State Police (MSP) and Forsyth Township Police Department on scene. Speed and alcohol were both believed to be factors in the crash.
While conducting a marine patrol on Deer Lake in Marquette County, CO Brett DeLonge made several marine checks. As CO DeLonge was checking one boat, he observed another boat with two anglers throw two empty plastic worm containers into the lake. CO DeLonge contacted the anglers and they explained that they didn’t want to get hassled over having empty worm containers on a lake where live bait is prohibited. The anglers were cited for littering. After leaving the anglers, CO DeLonge observed a canoe with one individual attempting to hide amongst some over-hanging trees along the shoreline. CO DeLonge contacted the individual and found that the canoeist did not have a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and was fishing without a license. A citation was issued for failure to have a PFD.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol in Baraga County when a domestic violence call came out over the radio. CO Smith responded to the scene, along with Baraga Police Department and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Tribal Police. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect had fled the scene. KBIC K9 was brought to the scene and did not pick up a trail leading into the woods. A nearby vacant house was searched, and the suspect was located hiding in the crawl space. He was taken into custody.
CO Dave Miller was checking inland lakes in Baraga County when he observed a single boat on King Lake. When contacted, the angler who stated his motor had died and he had been drifting across the lake for several hours in his small boat. CO Miller towed the happy fisherman back to the access site.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon, COs Anna Viau and Ariel Corr, along with several Wisconsin Conservation Wardens, held a field day for local high school students coordinated by Wisconsin Conservation Warden Kelly Crotty. The students learned about Department of Natural Resources (fisheries research techniques, safe kayaking, canoe and boating practices, and important wildlife and recreation regulations. To put their new knowledge into practice, the COs and wardens led the students on a kayaking trip down the Brule River. Officers prepared a lunch for the class and enjoyed the good weather and a fun educational experience.
COs Brett DeLonge, Josh Boudreaux, Jenni Hanson and Jeremy Sergey taught several marine and hunter safety classes at the BOW class at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Marquette County. Numerous women were taught basic marine safety skills as each person got the opportunity to operate a motorized boat on Lake Independence as well as the opportunity to work on trailering and boat launching exercises. The class was well attended with the participants feeling very confident about their future boating experiences. The COs spent time with women of all ages from all parts of the country teaching them the basics of firearms. Firearm safety and proper handling techniques were taught before the participants were able to get their first exposure to shooting several types of firearms. Many participants were very nervous and unsure of themselves until the end of the class when smiles and enthusiasm were seen on each participant’s face as they turned clay pigeons into dust.
COs Calvin Smith and Cole VanOosten came across a trio of anglers that were trying their luck on the St. Mary’s River. One of the anglers could not produce a valid fishing license but stated he probably had one since he fishes every year. A check of the subject’s license history showed he had not purchased a fishing license since 2015. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Robert Freeborn was first on scene to a possible heart attack in progress. After checking the patient’s pulse and breathing, CO Freeborn kept the patient alert and talking until EMS arrived on scene shortly after.
COs Duane Budreau, Chad Baldwin, Paul Fox, Sidney Collins, and Craig Milkowski all attended the Michigan Career Quest recruiting event in Onaway. Over 1,600 students from schools all over northeast Michigan were scheduled to attend. The COs had set up a display showcasing some of the equipment they utilize in the field and explained how technology assists them in performing their job. Some of the items that were on display were an ATV, side by side, boat, electric mountain bike, patrol truck, an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle, thermal imager, night vision, and metal detectors. The students were able to be “hands on” with most of the equipment to help them understand how each item worked and how the COs use the equipment in day-to- day operations.
CO Ethen Mapes assisted Boyne City Police Department with a pursuit that started with a drunk that was kicked out of a local bar and started to drive home. The city police pursued the vehicle at speeds from 5 mph up to 70 mph. As the suspect was driving, he was throwing empty beer cans out the window and flipping off the officers. The pursuit ended in the suspects driveway where he was taken into custody still holding an open beer in his right hand.
CO Tom Oberg was on patrol in Otsego County when he was requested by Crawford County Central Dispatch to respond to a domestic assault situation involving a firearm at a campsite at a rural inland lake just south of the Otsego/Crawford County line. The suspect had beaten up his wife and then fled the scene with a firearm. CO Oberg responded to the area, keeping a lookout for the suspect’s vehicle on the two-track roads. CO Oberg met up with Crawford County Sheriff’s Department and Grayling Public Safety at the scene. CO Oberg and the other agencies split off looking for the suspect’s vehicle. CO Oberg was checking various backroads when he saw something out of the ordinary down a two-track off one of the main roads as he was driving past. CO Oberg turned around and located a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle. CO Oberg waited for the other units to arrive at his location. Once arriving, all units moved in on the vehicle, which was confirmed the suspect’s vehicle. CO Oberg and other units located the suspect passed out at the steering wheel. The suspect was taken into custody and lodged by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Kyle Cherry responded to four ORV crashes in Otsego County over the holiday weekend. All drivers and passengers involved sustained some sort of injury ranging from bruises and scrapes to broken bones.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis were patrolling Montmorency County when they assisted Sgt. Mike Mshar regarding an ORV he had stopped. The subjects in the ORV were riding on a lawn chair and a cooler in the bed of the ORV, and all the passengers were drinking alcohol while the ORV was traveling down the roadway. Tickets were written for open intoxicants and transporting more people than the ORV is manufactured to carry.
CO Justin Vanderlinde and Corporal Sean Kehoe assisted the MSP dive team in retrieving one of the two aircraft crash victims from Lake Michigan near Frankfort. The MSP dive team is continuing to search for the other victim.
After a storm and strong winds pushed though the Ludington area in Mason County, there were toppling trees and powerlines. CO Kyle Publiski assisted other law enforcement agencies and fire departments with traffic control at busy intersections without power and checked on residences that were reported to have trees fallen on them to make sure no one was injured. CO Publiski also helped cut up and clear trees that were blocking roadways.
While working a marine patrol over the busy holiday weekend, CO Kyle Publiski stopped a large pontoon boat with several subjects on board. CO Publiski noticed that the pontoon had an expired registration and, after running the registration, it came back no record. Talking to the owner of the pontoon, it was determined that the vessel had not been registered for almost 16 years and the registration numbers on the side of the pontoon were fake. To compound the owner’s problems, he had no PFDs on the boat and had minors in possession of alcohol. Citations were issued for the marine violations.
CO Mike Wells was conducting stationary patrol in an area of the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA) due to multiple issues involving ORV activity. This location is a deep ravine area, with a stream at the bottom of it on a power line. Violations in the area include closed area, erosive operation, illegal operation of ORV on public utility, and operate ORV through stream. During this surveillance, CO Wells observed a black color sport utility vehicle (SUV) stop at the top of the hill and two subjects exited the vehicle. CO Wells could hear the subjects discussing and pointing in directions down into the ravine determining the best route to travel. The subjects re-entered the vehicle and CO Wells ran video as the vehicle illegally entered the ravine driving down through the stream and up the other side. A short time later another video was taken of the same vehicle driving back through the ravine and getting stuck two times, finally reaching the top of the hill on the third try. While this first vehicle was stuck in the bottom of the ravine, CO Wells obtained video of a side-by-side ORV entering the ravine and driving around the first stuck vehicle and continuing through the stream and out the other side. Both the SUV and the side-by-side ORV reached the top of the hill at roughly the same time, only to be stopped and issued citations for the illegal operation through the stream, with warnings issued for the closed area, erosive operation, and operating on a public utility.
CO Josh Reed was dispatched to back-up a county deputy on a domestic in progress. Dispatch advised that two brothers had gotten into a physical altercation at their parent’s house. Upon arrival, it was determined that both brothers had assaulted each other. One of the suspects had run from the scene after he had found out that 911 was called. While the deputy interviewed the first suspect, the second suspect arrived back at the residence. Both had pulled weapons on each other during the fight. It was determined that a long gun and a knife were used to threaten each other. Both subjects were ultimately arrested. CO Josh Reed transported one of the suspects to jail for the county.
While conducting mobile patrol on Buchanan Road near 125th, CO Josh Reed observed an older model truck with a severely cracked windshield operating in front of the patrol truck. CO Reed followed the truck for a couple of miles and observed the truck cross the center line twice. A traffic stop was made, and upon contact with the CO, it was determined that the driver was not intoxicated but looking for mushrooms in the ditches along Buchanan Road. Further inquiry about the truck resulted in the truck having no insurance and several equipment issues. The driver was cited for no insurance and a warning was given for the equipment violations.
While conducting mobile patrol south of Big Rapids, a call came out from dispatch about an Amish buggy/SUV personal injury accident on Pierce Road and 140th Avenue. CO Josh Reed and several deputies arrived on scene to find a Chevy Tahoe with severe front-end damage and a destroyed Amish buggy and a deceased horse. The two passengers in the buggy, a 19-year-old female and a 6-year-old male, were injured after being thrown from the buggy during the impact. Both passengers had been thrown into the ditch and the horse had landed on top of them both. The female and a passerby were able to pull the 6-year-old out from underneath the horse. Life flight was called to the scene to take the child to Grand Rapids for his injuries. CO Reed assisted with traffic and the accident investigation.
CO Jeff Ginn was working the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area when he received information of a vehicle being operated by an intoxicated driver. CO Ginn was able to locate the vehicle and executed a traffic stop. The investigation revealed the driver being highly intoxicated. He was lodged for the operating while intoxicated. Another passenger was lodged on a separate violation. The occupants were all found to be in possession of open intoxicants. The alcohol was dumped, and the subjects were evicted from the dunes. The vehicle was towed from the scene and impounded.
While on patrol, CO Timothy Barboza noticed a vehicle take a corner at a high rate of speed. The CO turned around to catch up with the vehicle, which had already passed another truck. The vehicle pulled into a residence and the driver ran inside the building. CO Barboza ran the plate on the vehicle, which came back to a different vehicle. After a few minutes, the driver of the vehicle emerged from the house and notified the CO that he had warrants. CO Barboza confirmed the warrants and placed the individual under arrest. The vehicle was towed due to lack of registration and insurance. Upon an inventory search, a double-edged fixed blade knife was found in the driver door panel.
During Memorial Day weekend, CO Mike Hearn patrolled an illegal hill climb on private property in Kalkaska County. The property has a berm and is posted as private property. While on the property for only an hour, CO Hearn contacted five different groups of ORV operators that ignored the signs and opted to trespass on the hill. The groups were all cited for ORV trespass. One of the riders commented that the property owner should install a barb wire fence like the ones found around a prison if he wants to keep people off his 100-acre property.
COs Chuck McPherson and Matt Zultak contacted an individual cutting firewood on state land in Roscommon County. CO McPherson had dealt with the individual ten years ago to the day on a turkey case. Upon further investigation, the COs located a loaded 22 magnum rifle in the vehicle. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Joshua Wright and Intern Austin Maxey were launching their patrol boat on an inland lake in Clare County when they noticed a boat registration that looked as though it was expired. CO Wright used his binoculars to verify the registration was expired and they made their way toward the vessel, which had just pulled into a dock. CO Wright contacted the operator and ran the MC number for the vessel. It was verified that the vessel was expired from 2015 but was displaying an expired registration from March 31, 2019. The paper registration onboard the boat matched the expiration date back in 2015. The subject was issued a citation for operating an unregistered watercraft.
CO John Huspen gave a presentation to the students of Crawford Au Sable Elementary School in Grayling. This is the 18th consecutive year CO Huspen has presented to the entire fourth-grade class. The presentation is part of the Junior Deputy Program ran by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. The fourth-grade students get a chance to meet with and ask questions to any of the law enforcement officers and emergency responders who work in the area.
COs Quincy Gowenlock and Joe Myers were on ORV patrol near the Turtle Ponds in the Au Sable State Forest in Midland County. While in a closed area, the COs came across an SUV with a trailer, which had somehow gotten around the locked gates. As the COs neared two subjects, who were in kayaks, they began to paddle back to the COs. The subjects were contacted, and the driver identified. When asked, the driver related he thought he could drive back to the ponds. When asked about the locked gate, the driver said he followed the trail around the gate. The driver went on to explain that he didn’t think he was going to make it around the trees because it was very narrow. He had to get out of his vehicle and used a measuring tape to see if he had enough room. Upon hearing this, CO Gowenlock asked if it made any sense that the DNR would establish a two track into the state forest, put a locked gate at the end, and then have people drive around the gate. Upon hearing that question, it finally made sense to the driver that he was not allowed to be there. The driver was issued a citation for operating a motor vehicle in a way not designated for such use and was escorted out the area.
During an evening patrol in eastern Isabella County, COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson witnessed a car driving towards them and operating in the middle of the roadway. The car returned to the proper lane at the last minute and narrowly avoided the COs’ truck. The COs turned around and began to pace the vehicle at approximately 90 miles an hour in a 55-mph zone and initiated a traffic stop. After being advised that the driver had a valid warrant, but before she could be removed from the vehicle, she shifted her car into drive and sped away. The woman ran numerous stop signs crossing major highways and was able to pull away from the officers. The COs eventually witnessed the woman’s car crash into a water filled ditch and found it resting upside down in the ditch. Fearing that the driver may still be in the vehicle, both COs searched the water filled ditch and upside-down vehicle only to find the driver was not in the vehicle; foot tracks were located leaving the crash scene and entering a heavily wooded area. Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department units and Isabella County Sherriff’s deputies assisted with setting up a perimeter of the area while the COs searched for the woman. An MSP K9 officer arrived on scene and flushed the woman from her hiding spot; CO Robinson and a nearby tribal officer were able to catch and restrain the woman. The COs were advised by the woman’s family member that she had recently used methamphetamine and possibly other controlled substances. After the woman was medically cleared at a nearby hospital, she was lodged at the Isabella County jail for fleeing and eluding, operating while under the influence of a controlled substance, fleeing the scene of an accident, and other charges.
While conducting an ORV patrol in western Montcalm County, COs Mike Haas and Josh Russell located a group of juveniles operating ORVs and dirt bikes down a public roadway. The operators were not wearing required safety helmets, did not have current licenses on the machines, were operating without adult supervision, and were operating down the middle of the roadway. The COs escorted the group to their house and contacted their father. While speaking with the father, the COs discovered that the gentleman had an active warrant out of Mecosta County. The man was able to pay the required bond for his warrant and citations were issued to address the ORV violations.
While concluding a marine patrol on a lake in western Montcalm County, COs Josh Russell and Mike Haas heard a call come through Central Dispatch that a child was seen drowning in the Tamarack River. The COs arrived on scene, stripped out of their uniforms, and entered the river searching under numerous large bunches of low hanging trees and log jams. Deputies and fire personnel located children’s clothes and beach towels nearby and searched along the river as the COs checked the water. After some time, children that the clothing belonged to were located in a nearby neighborhood and it was unclear whether there was anyone in the river. The witness statement was eventually deemed unfounded and no one was ever reported missing. The officers responded quickly and worked well with other first responders; but thankfully there was no drowning child in the river.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were called to a residence where there was a fawn being held in captivity. The COs arrived and found the days old fawn on the kitchen table in a dog bed. The residents said they watched “Northwoods Law” and knew better than to pick it up, which they did anyhow, and they also said they knew not to give it cow’s milk, which they did. They said they picked up the fawn because it was going to rain, and it looked sick. The fawn was taken to a rehabilitator and died shortly after; charges are pending for possessing a game animal contrary to law.
CO Chad Foerster was working the Saginaw Bay area on his patrol vessel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend when he received a complaint from local dispatch advising that there was a pontoon capsized in the inner bay with two subjects in the water approximately two miles offshore. The CO responded to the scene along with the US Coast Guard battling six-foot waves due to the high winds out of the northeast. Upon arrival to the location, they reported to Central Dispatch and MSP advised from shore that they had located the pontoon in question safely secured at shore to a dock. The MSP trooper was able to speak with the owner and confirmed through information gained that it was, in fact, the pontoon in question. All souls were safe and sound.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer conducted a patrol upon Little and Big Smith Lakes in Berrien and Cass County. The COs conducted a check on two anglers on Little Smith Lake. The COs determined the two anglers were 63 fish over their limit of panfish. The COs also located three bass that were under the legal-size limit, and one of the anglers did not have a valid fishing license. The COs issued three citations, two for over limit of panfish and one for fishing without a license. Multiple warnings were given for possessing undersized bass. The COs donated the 63 fish for consumption.
COs Travis Dragomer and Jeff Robinette responded to a 911 call of two kayakers that were in the water and hanging onto a tree. COs Dragomer and Robinette were in contact with Cass County Dispatch and, once the kayakers heard the siren, they advised the COs were getting closer to their location. The COs made their way closer to the approximate location of the subjects in the water. The COs were met by a Cass County Marine deputy off Sink Road near the Dowagiac River. They made their way through the swampy wooded terrain toward the river. The COs heard the women hollering and made their way to their location. COs Dragomer and Robinette and Cass County Marine Deputy 98-25 observed two females in the water hanging onto a tree and a kayak. Neither subjects had PFDs. The subjects in the water were given PFDs and were then pulled out of the water to safety. Both women were escorted out of the woods and taken to their vehicle. There were no injuries.
COs Jackie Miskovich and Paul Higashi were on patrol in St. Joseph County when they observed two individuals sitting in their car with fishing poles up on a trestle with lines in the water. Upon contact with the individuals, they said that they had caught a few fish but only kept a bluegill. CO Miskovich then went to inspect the fish and found that there was also a short largemouth bass in their bucket. Upon questioning, it was found that both individuals were fishing without a license and that they were planning on keeping the short bass. The fish were seized, and tickets were issued for the short fish and license.
COs Richard Cardenas, James Zellinger, Carter Woodwyk, and Sam Schluckbier conducted targeted marine enforcement patrols over the Memorial Day weekend in Allegan and Barry Counties. Though boating activity was relatively light, the COs encountered multiple issues including Minors in Possession of alcohol, expired vessel registrations, slow/no wake violations, failure to provide PFDs, fishing without a license, over-limits of catfish, and one subject with an arrest warrant. Citations were written for the violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when he observed a truck pulled off in an unusual location in the Allegan State Game Area (SGA). The vehicle’s license plate came back being registered to a different vehicle. The CO went for a walk and located the truck owner fishing a shoreline. A brief conversation with the angler revealed the truck did not have insurance and had an improper plate. The angler packed up all his gear and was done fishing for the night, so the CO followed him back to his vehicle. When the angler opened the door of his vehicle to place his fishing gear inside of it, CO Woodwyk noticed a shotgun barrel behind the single bench seat of the vehicle. The firearm was retrieved, and a spent cartridge was in the chamber. The subject was given a warning for the vehicle violations and a ticket was issued for the uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked angler and marine activity at Morrison Lake. CO Beavers observed three subjects fishing from the dock. After making contact, CO Beavers asked the subjects for their fishing licenses. Two subjects stated they were in the vehicle and the third said he did not have one and did not need one. After instructing the two subjects to retrieve their licenses, CO Beavers once again asked the additional person for his license. The subject then stated he did not need a license since he was fishing for pleasure and not a commercial fisherman. The subject explained that he was serious, and that the information came from the DNR. CO Beavers asked for the name of the person from the DNR who provided the information and the subject could not provide it. CO Beavers then instructed the subject to return with him to his patrol truck. CO Beavers then got the subject’s identification and informed the subject that he was going to be cited for fishing without a license. While checking the subject’s information with dispatch, it was learned the subject had two outstanding warrants for child support. After confirming the warrants, the subject was lodged at Ionia County jail.
COs Jeremy Beavers and Anna Cullen patrolled Mona Lake in Muskegon County in response to complaints of illegal PWC activity. During their patrol, the officers spotted two subjects operating PWCs at a high rate of speed near a beach. One of the subjects then drove his PWC wide open to shore in the beach area. Contact was made with the subjects and the dangers of operating carelessly and the slow/no wake rules were discussed. CO Beavers cited the subject who beached his PWC at a high rate of speed.
COs Anna Cullen and Ivan Perez patrolled Muskegon Lake using the safe boat during the holiday weekend. Numerous contacts were made, and citations were written for marine safety violations. During the patrol, CO Perez dropped CO Cullen off on shore to make contact with various shore anglers. The first individual that CO Cullen made contact with was fishing without a license but advised he was helping his kids fish. CO Cullen observed him fishing prior to their contact and denied his claim as a result. CO Cullen continued by asking about a short bass that was visible in his cooler. He advised the fish had swallowed a hook and he didn’t want to put it back in the water dead. Based on the circumstances present, CO Cullen told the individual to stand by while she ran his file through dispatch. Two valid Muskegon County warrants were present. The warrants were confirmed, and the individual was taken into custody as a result.
CO Nick Wellman was driving through Branch County late at night, with a boat and trailer, when several ORVs were seen driving toward him through downtown Union City. None of the drivers had helmets on and when CO Wellman turned on his emergency lights to stop them, they took off. CO Wellman turned around and attempted to locate the ORVs and found a spot where vehicles and quad trailers were parked. CO Wellman was assisted by MSP, Union City Police Department, and CO Jason McCullough. After several hours of searching and rounding up kids on quads, the entire group was located and brought together at the parking spot where their vehicles were. In all, ten citations were issued to individuals in the group for failing to stop for a police officer, operating ORVs on a public road, and operating ORVs with no helmets.
CO Nick Wellman was called at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Memorial Day with a report of a capsized, sinking boat with four occupants holding onto it. CO Wellman responded with his patrol boat and launched to render aid. There was a man that lived near the accident site that was able to reach the group just before CO Wellman and loaded the four young people onto his pontoon boat. CO Wellman had him continue toward the boat launch with the four people to get medical attention while he continued toward the accident site to collect evidence, take photos, and hook onto the boat to keep it from sinking completely. CO Wellman was assisted by Branch County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol and a local towing company in recovering the vessel, all debris, and contents of the vessel from the lake. All four occupants ended up being ok and went home the same day.
COs Nick Wellman and James Nason responded to Quincy to assist MSP after a trooper had attempted to serve a felony warrant on a subject and the man took off running into the woods. A K9 search was underway but unsuccessful. The COs were able to find out, through a local contact, that the man was still in the swamp. COs Wellman and Nason advised MSP and the Branch County Sheriff’s Department they would be going into the swamp to either find the subject or flush him out. After about 30 minutes of searching and tracking, CO Wellman found the subject laying in shin deep mud, and took him into custody. CO Nason and an MSP trooper assisted in getting him out of the swamp. The man was lodged for several felonies in the Branch County jail.
COs Nick Wellman and James Nason were patrolling in Branch County when they responded to an accident where a tractor pulling a disc had sheared off a power pole and the live wire was laying on the tractor. Upon arriving, CO Wellman kept contact with the individual to let him know what was going on and that the power needed to be shut off by Consumer’s Energy. CO Nason maintained contact with several neighbors on scene to keep them at a safe distance. Consumer’s Energy shut the power down and the tractor was moved. No injuries to anyone at the scene.
COs Todd Thorn and Nathan Beelman responded to a complaint of a suspect shooting deer in East Lansing with a pellet gun. CO Thorn and CO Beelman contacted the suspect who admitted to shooting at deer when they came into his yard. The suspect was mad at the deer for eating the flowers that he planted near the woodlot in his yard and was shooting at the deer to scare them away. The suspect admitted the deer did not seem to be deterred by getting shot by his pellet gun. The elderly suspect was educated on the law and educated on better ways to handle the deer issue.
CO Nathan Beelman received a complaint from Eaton County Central Dispatch of a fawn that had broken through a screen door of a house and was now stuck in the house. CO Beelman responded and found a fawn in the corner of a back bedroom. The fawn was uninjured and was very anxious to get out of the house. CO Beelman was able to remove the fawn from the house unharmed and the fawn was released outside to return to its mother who was still nearby.
COs Shannon Kritz, Nathan Beelman, Katie Stawara, and Todd Thorn attended the fifth annual river cleanup program in Eaton Rapids. The COs participated with the city of Eaton Rapids, the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department, Ingham County Parks, and students from Eaton Rapids High School. The group floated the Grand River by kayak and collected litter along the way. Students also received hands-on education in water quality testing and invertebrate collection.
CO Katie Stawara was searching Facebook when she found a post of a subject with a turkey stating, “Got it done this morning.” CO Stawara ran the subject’s retail sales history to find he possessed a spring turkey license; however, it expired three weeks prior. COs Stawara and Matthew Neterer interviewed a witness from the post who admitted he and the suspect had been hunting out of season a couple weeks before when his friend shot the turkey. The COs attempted to contact the suspect multiple times while he was home but were unsuccessful. A search warrant was obtained and executed with the assistance of COs Robert Slick, Nathan Beelman, and Sgt. Richard Nickols. The suspect admitted to shooting a turkey out of season. An arrest warrant is being sought for the violation.
CO Robert Watson patrolled the St. Clair River during the Memorial Day weekend and contacted multiple recreational boaters and anglers. During one contact, CO Watson discovered the owner of the boat had failed to renew his registration and was also unable to provide CO Watson with a throwable type PFD. CO Watson issued the subject a civil infraction citation for the violation of not being able to provide a PFD.
CO Ben Lasher patrolled in the Port Huron Game Area and issued three tickets for subjects operating ORVs without helmets and one ticket to a parent who permitted his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old friend to operate ORVs on the county roads.
COs Brad Silorey, Joe Deppen, and Sgt. Todd Szyska worked marine patrol for the Memorial Day holiday on Lake St. Clair. Many contacts were made with boaters.
Citations were issued for violation of the slow/no wake law and failing to provide PFDs. Warnings were given for failing to provide type IV PFDs, violation of slow/no wake law, no fire extinguisher, and failing to display current registration.
COs Brad Silorey, Chris Knights, and Pat Hartsig worked marine patrol on a special detail patrolling the St. Clair river system for slow/no wake violations. With the record- breaking high waters, emergency management has been set in place. Michigan conservation officers were requested to assist local agencies with the enforcement of the local watercraft controls in the area to minimize shore damage. Multiple warnings were given, and one citation was issued for a wake violation.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers at a local launch and observed two adults and two children catching multiple fish and throwing them into a bucket. One adult was fishing, and the other was just helping his son cast. Multiple fish were caught but one of the last fish caught appeared to be an undersized largemouth bass. CO Deppen watched the anglers starting to pack up and placed the bucket of fish in their vehicle.
CO Deppen stopped the vehicle as it was exiting the area. There were twenty rock bass in the bucket and one undersized largemouth bass. The father said, “I don’t fish, I do not know what type of fish these are.” CO Deppen had the young angler step out of the vehicle and educated both about largemouth bass identification along with size and season limits. The angler and his father were given warnings about their violations, a fishing guide and the fish was released back into the water.
CO Ben Lasher worked the Port Huron SGA for camping violations. CO Lasher found four subjects camping, all claimed not to know the SGA rules. Camping in game areas is only permitted during normal fall, winter, and spring hunting seasons. One ticket was issued to the driver of the vehicle who brought them all to the area.
CO David Schaumburger followed up on a captive animal complaint. When contact was made with the subject, it was found that she was in possession of several baby raccoons. The suspect stated that she was listed as a rehabber sub-permittee a few years ago but was not current. The raccoons were given to her to care for by a local rehabber who was full of animals. The subject was given a warning for rehabilitating animals without a permit and the raccoons were returned to the original rehabber.
While checking a vessel on the Detroit River, Sgt. Damon Owens and CO Dan Walzak observed another vessel with three subjects stop fishing and leave in a hasty fashion. Catching up to the vessel and making contact, Sgt. Owens and CO Walzak checked safety equipment and found that the vessel was missing a fire extinguisher as required. When asked if there were any fish on board, the owner of the vessel stated that they had caught approximately 65 white bass. Checking two coolers on board, it was found that the three subjects were in possession of 129 white bass or 54 fish over the limit.The three subjects were each issued a citation for possessing over-limits of fish.
While on marine patrol, Sgt Damon Owens, COs Dave Schaumburger, and Dan Walzak checked an 18-foot vessel with six persons on board fishing. The vessel was in a high traffic area and occupants of the vessel were frequently standing in the vessel even though wake from passing boats would rock them. When asked for safety equipment, the vessel owner had to move quite a bit of gear to get to the PFDs. CO Walzak advised the vessel owner that the equipment had to be readily accessible and suggested that he keep the PFDs out while they were on the water. When asked for a throwable life preserver and fire extinguisher, the vessel owner stated that there was no throwable on board and produced a discharged fire extinguisher. A citation was issued for the lack of a throwable device with warnings given for the other violations.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nicholas Ingersoll took part in a group patrol along the Detroit River during the white bass run. The COs contacted dozens of anglers along shore and conducted multiple checks of anglers with possible over-limits. The COs issued several citations for over-limit of white bass and seized approximately 73 pounds of white bass.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nicholas Ingersoll responded to a complaint from an angler who reported being harassed by an intoxicated individual while fishing. While attempting to locate the subject in the area the COs noticed a running vehicle parked in the road. The COs contacted two subjects outside of the vehicle who were visibly intoxicated. Both subjects submitted to a preliminary breath test and neither were legal to operate a vehicle. The subject’s vehicle was moved off the road by a sober driver who also gave the subjects a ride home. A citation was issued to the owner of the vehicle for consuming/possession of alcohol on a public highway.
CO Tom Peterson conducted a marine patrol on Pontiac Lake on Memorial Day. CO Peterson contacted two individuals riding double on a PWC that displayed no MC numbers and registration. He asked the individual if he had obtained a boater’s safety certificate to be able to operate a PWC, he said he had the summer previous. After running a check through dispatch to confirm this information, it was discovered that he, in fact, never took boater’s safety. CO Peterson asked why he had lied. The subject replied that he didn’t know and regretted the lie. The watercraft was operating under a temporary registration after its recent purchase. The man was issued a citation for operating a PWC without a boater’s safety certificate and was warned for fail to display registration.
While on routine patrol in Oakland County, CO Tom Peterson encountered a subject operating a go-cart through the streets of downtown Holly. CO Peterson conducted a traffic stop and asked the subject if he knew that Oakland County roads were closed to ORV use. The subject replied he did not know and that he just lived down the street and would go get a truck and transport it home. CO Peterson then asked the subject for his driver’s license at which time he produced a Michigan Identification card. CO Peterson then asked the subject if he had a current driver’s license and he said, “No, it was suspended.” CO Peterson informed the subject that it was unlawful for him to operate an ORV while license suspended. Upon running the subject for a file through dispatch, it was confirmed that the subject was currently suspended and had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to appear for driving while license suspended. The warrant was confirmed, and CO Peterson was advised to take bond or advise and release. The subject did not have bond and was advised and released after being cited for driving while license suspended and operating on a closed roadway.
CO Tom Peterson participated in a group patrol in St. Clair County focusing on the walleye fishery. Compliance was high during the patrol. COs Peterson and Brad Silorey encountered a subject fishing without a fishing license on him. The man was arrested for warrants previously by CO Peterson several months earlier. Upon running his name through dispatch for a file and license purchase history, it was discovered that the individual had three outstanding warrants. The warrants were confirmed via LEIN and were valid. The subject was taken into custody for the warrants.
CO Andrea Erratt patrolled Belle Isle over the Memorial Day weekend. CO Erratt checked several anglers and warned five others for fishing without a license. One of the anglers had two undersized bass in his possession and CO Erratt explained the size limit and the bass were released.
CO Andrea Erratt was checking a car without a recreation passport parked on a road posted with no standing signs. She turned on her emergency lights and a couple sat up in the back seat and a male got out of the car. CO Erratt explained their behavior was not allowed in a state park where families could ride by on bikes or in cars. The man had four misdemeanor warrants, so CO Erratt arrested him and transported him to the Detroit Detention Center where he was lodged.
Sgt. William Webster and CO Scott MacNeill were on foot patrol on Belle Isle over the Memorial Day weekend. The COs made numerous contacts with families thanking them for making Belle Isle a safer, more enjoyable place to visit. While the COs were out on foot patrol, they gave over 50 warnings for people having alcoholic drinks in the state park.
Sgt. Bill Webster and CO Scott MacNeill were patrolling Belle Isle when they came across a kayaker who did not have a PFD or light when it was approaching dark. After speaking with the individual, it was determined that the paddler came from the Detroit side of the river and was planning on paddling back in the dark without any safety equipment. A citation was issued for the marine safety violation and arrangements were made to have someone come and pick him up.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Sam Schluckbier responded to a complaint on Belle Isle where a hen mallard had nested in the grass right next to the Grand Prix Track. The COs were able to remove the entire nest, while the hen watched, and place it in a safe location some distance away.