5/5/2019 - 5/18/2019

Law Enforcement Division, Bi-Weekly Report

DISTRICT 1

Conservation Officer (CO) Brett DeLonge assisted with multiple presentations at Northern Michigan University for several local high school career days. CO DeLonge presented with other local law enforcement representatives including Michigan State Police, Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Forsyth Township Police Department. The presentation provided students with insight on the responsibilities of law enforcement officers from different agencies, how each department works together, and recruitment efforts. Approximately 100 students attended the presentations, several of which were interested in pursuing the career as a conservation officer.

COs Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were returning home from a late-night patrol in Negaunee Township when they detected the odor of burning rubber or plastic. Due to the darkness, the COs had to follow the odor to find the source which was a pile of shingles, tar paper, and other assorted debris. The fire on the property was unattended and the COs took note of the newly shingled roof on the property. The next morning the COs followed up with the landowner who stated there were just a couple shingles in the pile which was still smoldering with fresh particle board added to the fire. The owner said they could check the other burn piles on his property as he assured them that they only contained wood and yard debris. Further examination revealed all burn piles contained various plastics, shingles and tar paper. The individual had been burning his roofing material at night to hide the black smoke and was cited for unlawful disposal of solid waste.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mike Evink received a complaint of two dirt bikes driving in a careless manner on a state highway. The caller stated the bikes were pulling wheelies on the shoulder of the highway. The caller also gave a good description of the bikes and the drivers’ clothes. The description matched a case from the previous year where two bikes fled from and eventually caught by CO Evink. CO Evink was able to locate and contact the bike riders and obtain a confession. A report is being submitted to the prosecutor for appropriate charges.

CO Steve Butzin was patrolling the Gladstone area when he observed a dirt bike traveling down a busy highway. A traffic stop was conducted on the dirt bike operator and further investigation found that the operator was recently released from the Delta County jail on bond for an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) second offense charge. The operator’s driver’s license was suspended/revoked and had a bond condition of not operating any motor vehicle. The operator was arrested and lodged in the Delta County jail for operating an ORV while suspended/revoked and for violating bond conditions.

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin recently had three different illegal deer cases adjudicated in court. Combined, the cases resulted in $29,500 in fines and restitution, with each subject getting sentenced to five days in jail, having all hunting privileges revoked until 2025, and each being sentenced to 12 months of probation. Violations included taking one nine-point buck, four eight-point bucks, one seven-point buck without a license, and seven counts of borrowing/loaning kill-tags.

CO Chris Lynch was on patrol when a call came out for a suicidal subject that was going to a local river to drown himself. The call further reported the subject was just involved in a domestic violence incident, left the residence where the incident occurred, and was armed with two long guns. CO Lynch and a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the river where the subject was reported to frequent. The officers spotted the subject in a boat on the river. The officers maintained surveillance on the subject until CO Butzin responded to the scene with a boat and another sheriff’s deputy. The officers drove out to the subject on the river and made contact. The subject was going through some rough times and was offered the help he needed.

COs Calvin Smith and Cole VanOosten were checking anglers near Dunbar Park in Chippewa County when Central Dispatch reported a subject in cardiac arrest nearby. The officers stopped what they were doing and responded to the scene to assist first responders in providing medical treatment to the individual, among the first responders was DNR Fire Officer Rob Shields. The subject had a pulse and was again breathing when he was transported by ambulance from the scene.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Albert recently testified in a jury trial regarding an investigation from last fall of a turkey hunter who shot a turkey with the aid of bait. During the trial, the hunter stated he put the bait out for deer and not turkeys. He claimed he never intended to attract turkeys with his bait; therefore, it was legal for him to shoot a turkey near the bait. The jury found the subject guilty of taking a turkey with the aid of bait and was sentenced to three days jail, four days community service in lieu of eight days in jail, one year probation, $1,625 in fines and costs, $2,000 reimbursement for the bearded turkey, and revocation of all hunting privileges for the current year and an additional five years.

CO Andrea Albert received a complaint of someone possibly living on state land near a local lake. The complainant advised there were four tents and a large amount of trash. CO Albert contacted one male subject at the remote camping location. The subject had a warrant for his arrest. The subject was in possession of a small dog and insisted the dog would be fine as someone else would come back to take care of it. CO Albert lodged the male subject in jail for his warrant and returned to the camp location to check on the dog. Upon her return, another male subject was at the camp site. This subject had two warrants for his arrest. CO Albert lodged the subject on the warrants and made sure another person responsible for the camp was coming to pick up Moo Moo the dog and to clean up the camp site.

CO Duane Budreau was patrolling a closed ORV area in Charlevoix County near Chandler Hills area. CO Budreau was parked about an eighth of a mile behind a “No ORV” sign on a closed trail when three side-by-sides came ripping toward him. When CO Budreau contacted the operators, they advised they didn’t know what it meant when it said “No ORVs” because they were on-side-by-sides. All three operators were issued tickets for operating in a closed area and CO Budreau explained the rules related to ORV operation.

CO Duane Budreau was patrolling a back road in southern Emmett County when he contacted an ORV illegally operating with two people on it. Neither the driver or the passenger where wearing helmets and the ORV was not licensed. CO Budreau asked where they were headed, and the man responded that they were just out for a Mother’s Day ride. CO Budreau issued the driver a ticket for no ORV license and gave them warnings for the other two violations. The driver commented to CO Budreau he was planning on taking a nice Mother’s Day ride, but now he must pay “this mother” as he held up the ticket he was just issued.

CO Tim Rosochacki participated in a group event with the Sturgeon for Tomorrow Black Lake Chapter. CO Rosochacki discussed the critical working relationship between the public and Law Enforcement Division in protecting sturgeon in the unique local water system as well as other locations in the state.

COs Matt Theunick and Ariel Corr received a complaint from central dispatch in reference to a dumping complaint on Alpena State Road in Cheboygan County. The caller stated that he had witnessed the truck drive by his house pulling a trailer full of mattresses and unknown rubbish headed toward Alpena State Road. He decided to follow the truck and eventually met the truck coming in the opposite direction without the load it was carrying previously. The caller then followed the truck and was able to get a picture of the license plate. The COs traveled various two tracks on state land near Alpena State Road, eventually finding the garbage. The investigation continues.

Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark DePew was working the sturgeon spawning closure portion of Black River in Cheboygan County when he observed two individuals fishing in the closure. After watching the subjects fishing and witnessing them catch two large walleye, contact was made with the anglers. When advised of the closure, they both stated they had no idea that portion of the river was closed. However, they admitted to walking past three DNR signs posting the closure. In addition to the two walleye observed being caught, three additional large walleye were also located that both anglers admitted to catching. The subjects were ticketed for fishing in a spawning closure, and the fish were seized as evidence.

Sgt. Mark DePew was first on the scene of a property damage accident on M-68 in Cheboygan County. The ensuing investigation determined the operator was intoxicated and a revoked driver. She was subsequently arrested for OWI and Operating While Revoked. In addition to the arrested charge for OWI, the driver had three prior OWI convictions, making this charge a felony. The Cheboygan County prosecutor is reviewing the case.

CO Jon Sklba was patrolling Presque Isle County when he noticed dark smoke coming from behind a local tire business. CO Sklba responded to the scene and contacted the responsible party. The subject had decided to burn items in order to get rid of them. The items included multiple oil filters, a waffle maker, a television set, and various other items. The responsible party was ordered to extinguish the fire and a ticket was issued for the violation.

CO Jon Sklba was on patrol in Presque Isle County when a call came out to any law enforcement in the area. The complaint was that a vehicle was following two kids that were walking down the roadway. CO Sklba was able to respond and contact the responsible party. The kids had recently been kicked off the school bus for poor behavior and dad was showing the kids what walking home from school was going to feel like if the kids continued their bad behavior.

DISTRICT 4

Sgt. Dan Bigger and CO Rich Stowe responded to assist the United States Coast Guard in the search of an airplane that went missing approximately five miles west of Frankfort at approximately 8 p.m. on Sunday May 12, 2019. The COs voyaged out of the Leland Port on the Great Lakes Patrol Vessel “Averill” and travelled through the Manitou Passage to meet with Coast Guard units west of the Frankfort Light. Sgt. Bigger and CO Stowe conducted numerous grid searches over miles of Lake Michigan in the attempt to locate the plane. The COs returned to port the following morning after searching nearly 100 miles of water.

COs William Haskin and Larn Strawn were patrolling Belle Isle when they responded to an assault complaint. Ultimately a male suspect was taken into custody for Assault and Battery - Domestic Violence. He attempted to lie about his identification but was later properly identified. It was found that he had warrants and personal restraining orders from the female he assaulted. The male suspect was arrested on scene.

COs Haskin and Strawn were patrolling Belle Isle and assisted Michigan State Police (MSP) with a traffic stop. There were two small children ages two and four in the vehicle that were riding with no car seat or seatbelt on and the car was driving in a careless manner. The driver of the car was unable to provide identification and the name he provided was coming back no record. After further investigation and questioning, the male subject informed CO Haskin that he did not have legal documentation allowing him to be in the United States. CO Haskin contacted Border Patrol and the subject was taken into custody and turned over.

CO Haskin received a call from Wexford County Central Dispatch late in the night to report that a vehicle was stuck somewhere on state land and lost. The vehicle contained an elderly woman and two other adults that were walking for help.

CO Haskin responded to the area and was able to locate the vehicle and people.

CO Haskin cleared a path to get the tow truck in and was able to get the vehicle back to main roads.

COs Patrick McManus and Dan Liestenfeltz were contacted by the Leelanau County Central Dispatch regarding an early morning road hunting complaint. The COs contacted the complainant, who was not only able to obtain a license plate number off the suspect’s vehicle, but witnessed a suspect exit their vehicle with a shotgun and shoot a large tom turkey on property owned by the complainant. After contacting the suspect, the COs gained a full confession and seized the turkey, along with the shotgun they used to take it. Charges have been submitted to the Leelanau County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Brian Brosky was patrolling in Lake County when he received a “Be on the Lookout” for a suspect vehicle that had visited several local stores in the area and was allegedly passing bad checks. The suspect had apparently returned to one of the stores to pay the store employees back, then left the store. As CO Brosky was receiving the suspect’s vehicle description, it passed by him. CO Brosky noticed that the license plate was obstructed with a plate protector that appeared to be spray painted black.

CO Brosky was able to stop the vehicle and contact the driver who was subsequently unable to produce a driver’s license or insurance. Further investigation determined that the suspect had put an improper plate on the vehicle he was driving. The suspect was arrested for the traffic violations and transported to jail. An inventory search of the vehicle produced several incriminating items, which included forged checks, copied checks, and a printer that was attached to a power inverter that the suspect was apparently printing and using at several businesses in multiple counties. Deputies in Lake County are also seeking charges for the complaints being investigated and two additional counties are also involved with similar complaints on the suspect.

CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, stopped a vehicle for a motor vehicle code violation and found out that the vehicle had no insurance. While speaking with the driver, CO Killingbeck could smell intoxicants coming from the driver. The driver admitted to drinking and driving and turned over a mixed drink to CO Killingbeck.

CO Killingbeck performed sobrieties on the driver and found that the driver was operating while intoxicated. CO Killingbeck arrested the subject and lodged her at the Lake County jail for OWI, Open Intoxicants, and No Insurance.

While on patrol, CO Killingbeck observed a vehicle go by him with a motor vehicle code violation. CO Killingbeck turned around and attempted to catch up to the vehicle. Upon catching up to the vehicle, the vehicle pulled onto a side road, at which time

CO Killingbeck turned on his emergency lights and the vehicle suddenly pulled into a yard. CO Killingbeck contacted the driver and was immediately greeted by the odor of intoxicants. The driver begged CO Killingbeck to let him go, saying that he had just been arrested for OWI several months ago. The subject failed sobrieties and was found to be twice over the legal limit. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail for OWI.

While responding to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of a turkey being shot off a birdfeeder, COs Steven Converse and Noah Thompson found that the turkey was not actually shot off the bird feeder. A neighbor had called the turkey from the birdfeeder to his own backyard and that was where the bird was killed. He was, however, well within the safety zone and charges are being sought through the Manistee County Prosecutor.

COs Andrea Dani and Jeff Ginn responded to an ORV personal injury accident on a local trail system in Newaygo County. COs Dani and Ginn provided medical attention until EMS arrived. They relayed the condition of the patient to EMS explaining the severity of his injuries. Because of the remote location the patient was transported in the back of CO Dani’s patrol vehicle with EMS treating his injuries to the awaiting ambulance on the main road. The patient was suspected to have double femur fractures and a broken pelvis with internal bleeding. He was later transported to Grand Rapids, via AREOMED helicopter, which landed in a nearby field.

COs Andrea Dani, Jeff Ginn, and Troy Mueller assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, along with additional conservation officers, in the search for a drowning victim from this past winter who had fallen through the ice on the Muskegon River.

COs Ginn, Dani, and Mueller later assisted in transporting the medical examiner to the scene where the MSP K-9 had located the drowning victim. The victim was later transported to a nearby boating access site.

COs Josh Reed and Jeff Ginn assisted Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a drowning incident. The COs used side and down scanning SONAR to locate the victim in waters that had near zero visibility. Divers from the Mecosta County Sherriff’s Department were able to recover the victim from the water.

CO Mike Wells received a complaint of subjects that were observed shooting an illegal turkey. CO Wells arrived at the location and the complainant informed him that two subjects had trespassed and shot a turkey on his property. The subject that had harvested the turkey admitted that the bird was running and that he shot at the bird a total of four times. The first shot was on public land and this shot wounded the turkey. The bird ran back onto the private property and the hunter pursued it, past “No Trespassing” signs, firing three more shots at the bird before it went down. The suspect had traveled approximately 40 yards into the complainant’s property, shooting at least two times while on the private land. The hunter said that the turkey was from state land and admitted that he did not know that he could not cross a private property line to retrieve a wounded animal. The turkey was seized pending review from the prosecutor’s office.

DISTRICT 5

CO Charlie Jones responded to a medical call of an unconscious male subject in Garfield Township of Kalkaska County. When he arrived, the victim’s wife was providing chest compressions. CO Jones could not locate a pulse or detect any breathing. He took over compressions and soon gained a pulse and some labored breathing from the victim. EMS arrived a short time later and administered NARCAN. The victim began to gain consciousness within a few minutes after receiving NARCAN. He was transported to the hospital for further treatment.

CO Josh Wright was patrolling Clare County when he noticed a vehicle that had an improper license plate. CO Wright was able to catch up to the subject and his passenger and make contact. During the interview, it was revealed that the operator’s driving privileges were administratively denied and revoked. In addition, he was operating without vehicle insurance as well as the improper plate. The subject was already on probation for other criminal offenses and stated that he was “trying to get his life back together.” The female passenger also had a suspended driver’s license.

CO Wright issued a citation for Driving While License Suspended and the vehicle was subsequently towed. A report was submitted to the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office and further charges may be authorized.

DISTRICT 6

COs Josh Wright and Adam Schiller were patrolling the back roads when they noticed cows wandering around in the front yard of a residence. The COs stopped and managed to corral the three cows back into their enclosure. Once the cows were contained, the COs contacted the residents in the area and were able to contact the owner, who safely returned them to the pasture.

During patrol in a state game area, CO Josh Jackson noticed several turns in the gravel road where a vehicle spun tires and kicked up gravel. The CO followed the tire tracks and spotted two pickup trucks in the distance. The CO walked through a heavily wooded area to observe the three individuals. One driver began spinning their tires erratically. The CO emerged from the woods and made contact. The driver advised that he had no tread on his tires. The CO issued a citation for the driving offense and warned the driver about the lack of tread on his tires.

CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol in Saginaw County when he was following a school bus when it activated its flashing lights. The CO observed a black pickup truck behind him accelerate at a high rate of speed passing him and the school bus. The CO immediately activated his emergency lights and sirens and conducted a traffic stop. The CO explained how dangerous it is to pass a school bus at a high rate of speed while it is picking up and dropping off children from school. The driver was issued citations for careless driving and failing to stop for a school bus.

Sgt. Ron Kimmerly observed a very small flat bottom boat heading down the Bad River in St. Charles. The boat was sitting very low in the water. The Sgt. yelled from shore, “Are you all set with life jackets?” The operator yelled back, “We are all set.” The sergeant yelled back, “Hold them up.” It turns out they had no personal floating devices (PFDs) and the boat’s registration had expired in 2008. The sergeant met the occupants back at the access site where a ticket was issued for not having PFDs and a verbal warning for the registration that had been expired for 11 years.

CO Kyle Bucholtz responded to an unlawful disposal of solid waste complaint. The suspect was reportedly burning building material. On scene, CO Bucholtz met with the suspect and located a fire containing drywall and other home construction materials. A report was written and will be soon forwarded to a prosecutor.

CO Seth Rhodea stopped two ORVs after observing several violations. One passenger was found to have a felony warrant and was lodged in the Sanilac County jail while the two operators were issued citations. Three hours later CO Rhodea located the same two ORVs being operated illegally. Again, citations were issued.

CO Mark Siemen while on patrol saw a vehicle enter a state road from a secondary county road spinning its tires and then slide sideways on the asphalt. As the vehicle passed, CO Siemen could see that the vehicle did not have a plate on it. The vehicle was stopped, and contact was made with the driver. After the investigation was complete, the driver was issued a citation for not having insurance on the vehicle and failing to register the vehicle. The driver was also given warnings for careless driving and for not wearing a safety belt.

COs Dan Robinson, Josh Russell, and Mike Haas were called to Isabella County for a possible lost person. The elderly man had gotten his car stuck in a mud puddle attempting to locate an alternate route around a detour. The man left his vehicle and was walking through the state land to find the next road. The COs arrived on scene and located the car and tracked the man and located him. The man thought he was walking back towards his car but was in fact walking in the opposite direction. The COs transported the man back to the main road and met with the family so they could give him a ride back home. The car was removed from state land.

DISTRICT 7

While patrolling Kalamazoo County, CO Chris Holmes overheard a local dispatch of a “grab and run” at a local grocery store. CO Holmes remembered the description and license plate of a suspect vehicle that had fled from police officers two days prior after attempting to pass counterfeit money at a restaurant in Portage. The vehicle description matched both occurrences. Approximately an hour after the “grab and run” crime, CO Holmes saw the vehicle driving on a city street and pulled behind it.

CO Holmes stopped and detained the three subjects after the driver attempted to elude him by turning into a private residential drive. Once local officers and detectives were on scene, it was determined that the driver of the vehicle had fled from officers two days prior. Two of the occupants had felony warrants for credit card fraud and possession of dangerous drugs. CO Holmes also found stolen checks on the ground after the traffic stop and returned them to the owner who had put them in the mail to pay bills. Two of the subjects were lodged in the Kalamazoo County jail for their warrants.

COs Travis Dragomer and Jeff Robinette responded to a belated complaint of an individual who shot two geese with a .22 rifle in Niles Township, Berrien County. COs Dragomer and Robinette interviewed the suspect at the location of the complaint. The COs received a confession that the he had shot two geese with a .22 rifle. The COs were unable to locate any remains of the geese or evidence of the crime. The COs located a loaded and uncased .22 rifle in the front seat of the suspect’s vehicle. A citation was written for the loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Jeff Robinette picked up three arrest warrants from the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office stemming from an incident during the 2018 archery deer season. CO Robinette had received a complaint from a RAP dispatcher that had photos from an internet forum showing an individual with an untagged 8-point deer. The RAP dispatcher had confirmed in the RSS that the individual did not have a deer license for 2018. COs Robinette and Jackie Miskovich had interviewed the individual and obtained a confession that he had shot the deer without a license. The individual further confessed to borrowing his friend’s kill-tag to eventually place on the deer. The individual identified his friend, who was the same individual that had made the internet post showing the illegally taken deer, and that subject was interviewed. That subject confessed to borrowing his kill-tag to the individual seen in the internet post. A two-count warrant was issued to the individual in the internet photo with the deer for taking a deer without a license and borrowing a kill-tag. A single count warrant was issued for the individual that had posted the photo for loaning a kill-tag. The individuals were both notified regarding the arrest warrants and were instructed to turn themselves in at the Cass County jail.

COs Robinette and Matt Page closed a case involving a deer poaching incident in Berrien County during the 2017 archery deer season. A RAP dispatcher had located a picture of a juvenile individual with an untagged 10-point deer. The RAP dispatcher had confirmed through the RSS that the juvenile did not have a 2017 deer license. The juvenile was interviewed and insisted that he had purchased a 2017 deer license. The juvenile’s father also stated that the juvenile had a 2017 deer license. When asked where the antlers for the deer were, the juvenile stated he had taken the antlers to a taxidermist. COs Robinette and Page contacted the taxidermist and discovered that the antlers had been picked up from the taxidermist only a few days after they had been dropped off. The taxidermy specimen tag for the antlers contained the license number for the juvenile’s father. COs Robinette and Page contacted the juvenile and his father again and interviewed them regarding the antlers. The juvenile stated that the antlers had been stolen out of his truck at an outdoor show days after picking them up from the taxidermist. During the interviews there were several discrepancies in the details of the incident. A warrant request for the juvenile was submitted to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for taking/possessing a deer without a license and borrowing a kill-tag, as well as another warrant request for the father for loaning a kill-tag. All the charges were authorized by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office. Due to the legality of the incident involving a juvenile, the plea process took some time to be completed. Ultimately, the charge against the juvenile’s father was dismissed. The juvenile, who is now an adult, plead to taking/possessing a deer without a license and the charge for borrowing the kill-tag was dropped. He was sentenced to probation until October 2019 and received a court order for license revocation for four years. Per the court order, failure to abide by the court ordered license revocation will result in the individual being arrested and brought before the Berrien County Judge for contempt of court.

CO Justin Ulberg assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department with an investigation of a Canada goose being illegally killed in a residential area. CO Ulberg responded to the area and interviewed the suspect. While the suspect denied the accusation at first, a confession was soon received. The subject stated that the geese keep him up because they are so loud. The subject admitted to shooting the goose with a pellet gun and stated that he was surprised he even hit it because he has shot at the geese in the past and always missed. A report will be submitted to the county prosecutor’s office for charges.

DISTRICT 8

CO Nick Wellman received a call of a hunting accident that occurred this past weekend. The victim was hunting turkeys with a 30.06 bolt action rifle and, when he shot at a turkey, the barrel split causing minor injuries to his hand. The investigation is ongoing.

COs James Nason and Matthew Neterer were checking anglers in the Holt area when they were dispatched to a golf cart crash that occurred a few miles from their location. Witnesses stated they saw a golf cart exit the roadway where it crashed through their mailbox and became stuck in the ditch. The operator appeared to be intoxicated and left on foot. COs Nason and Neterer were able to determine the suspect’s identity and the man was located at his residence where he admitted to drinking and operating the golf cart. The man was taken into custody and a search warrant was obtained for a blood draw. He was later lodged at the Ingham County jail where he was found to have a 0.15 blood alcohol content. A report requesting charges was forwarded to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office

DISTRICT 9

Station 20 contacted CO Christopher Knights at his residence just after he checked out of service. They received a complaint that someone was irritating some geese on a lake in Lapeer County, then took a gosling from the area. Someone was able to get a license plate number and from that CO Knights was able to locate the subject.

CO Knights checked back into service to interview the subject. CO Knights pulled into the driveway a couple minutes after the individual did and observed that the garage door was open, and a child was holding a gosling. The subject met CO Knights at the door and willingly spoke to him. The individual stated he never harassed any geese but saw the gosling swimming by itself and thought it would die without his assistance.

CO Knights advised him there were witnesses that stated otherwise and advised him of the laws for taking or rehabilitating wildlife. CO Knights issued a citation to the individual and took the gosling to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers fishing at the DTE Energy fishing piers when he contacted three individuals having decent success. After talking with the anglers, it was determined that only one out of the three had a fishing license. One of the anglers who did not have a fishing license also had a warrant out of Wayne County for failure to pay his child support. CO Ingersoll issued both anglers citations for fishing without a license and lodged the angler with the warrant in the Monroe County jail for Wayne County to pick up the following morning.

COs Keven Luther and Brandon Vacek met with a sixth-grade class from Brownstown Middle School to release 127 salmon that they raised as a class project. The two conservation officers spoke with approximately 12 students answering questions. After clearing the sixth-grade school group, CO Luther conducted a traffic stop where the subject was operating his vehicle erratically. The operator was issued a citation for careless operation.

COs David Schaumburger, Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, Daniel Zubeck, Keven Luther, Brandon Vacek, Nicholas Ingersoll, and Sgt. Damon Owens worked a resource protection group patrol with an emphasis on white bass possession limits. The COs contacted several anglers throughout the patrol. Multiple violations were observed, and multiple citations were issued for fishing without a license and possessing an over-limit of white bass.

Working on an anonymous complaint, CO Dave Schaumburger set up surveillance on a charter boat captain suspected of taking multiple limits of fish throughout the day.

CO Schaumburger observed the captain and his five clients return from the morning charter and fillet 29 walleye. Approximately one hour later, the same five clients returned and went back out with the captain for another round of fishing.

CO Schaumburger enlisted the help of CO Joe Deppen to contact them at the dock when they returned. When the anglers returned, the COs interviewed them separately and the COs learned the anglers took an additional 32 walleye in the afternoon. The COs seized the 32 walleye from the afternoon trip and the 29 filleted walleye from the morning trip and issued citations to all the anglers for possessing an over-limit of walleye.

With the use of surveillance cameras, CO Dave Schaumburger observed an angler go out fishing, return from fishing, then go back out fishing again. The CO drove to the location and setup surveillance as CO Brad Silorey assisted him. The angler was a suspect that the CO had been receiving complaints about for over four years but was never able to catch him in any violations. CO Schaumburger watched the angler return for a third time and contacted the subject at his residence. The angler was in possession of 17 walleye. The angler admitted to taking 12 walleye in the morning and the other five walleye were from the morning before. When CO Schaumburger met the suspect for the first time over four years ago, the CO told the angler he would eventually catch him. The poacher admitted to the CO that he had finally caught him. The angler was given a citation for possessing an over limit of walleye.

COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey received information that a subject living in Macomb County had killed two wild turkeys this spring. The COs interviewed the subject and received a confession and a written statement that the information was correct and that the turkeys were killed in St. Clair County. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor for taking an over-limit of wild turkeys.

COs Brad Silorey and Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint from DNR dispatch regarding a subject shooting out the back of his residence. The caller stated that she observed her neighbor walk out into his back yard and shoot two mallards out of season and throw the carcasses into the creek that runs through the property. COs Silorey and Kiel responded to the subject’s address shortly after receiving the complaint. After knocking on the subject’s doors for several minutes, he finally emerged out of his garage.

COs Silorey and Kiel identified themselves and asked the subject if he was doing any hunting that day. The subject stated that he was shooting his gun into the creek; however, there was a strong language barrier. CO Silorey asked the subject to show them where he was shooting and what he was shooting at. The subject waved the COs over towards his back yard, pointed down at the creek and stated, “I shoot the raq.”

CO Silorey began to search the banks of the creek for mallard carcasses as CO Kiel kept questioning the subject. After several minutes, CO Kiel asked the man if he could spell out what he was shooting at. The man stated “R.A.Q.” At that point, COs Silorey and Kiel realized that he was saying he was shooting rats, referring to muskrats.

CO Kiel secured the subject’s weapon, which was a .22 caliber rifle. The man was discharging his rifle within 30 yards of other homes and shooting into water. The subject stated that he shot two muskrats and fired approximately four rounds. The subject also stated that he did not know there was an issue with shooting his rifle so close to other residences and into water. COs Silorey and Kiel told the subject that a report was going to be generated and charges sought for discharging a firearm within a safety zone, taking muskrat out of season, and unlawful method.

CO Joseph Deppen responded to a complaint about a mallard being shot along a local condominium complex in Macomb County. CO Deppen responded to the scene and found a dead mallard directly behind the subject’s residence and a pellet rifle laying in plain view. CO Deppen attempted to make contact, but the subject had left the area. The next day CO Deppen contacted the subject and obtained a confession of sorts. The subject claimed he shot in the direction of the mallard in hopes to scare it but had no intent of hitting or killing it. The subject claimed, “The mallard must have jumped in front of the bullet at the exact moment I fired.” CO Deppen had the subject voluntarily write and sign a statement to officer form. Multiple charges are being sought through the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Joseph Deppen and David Schaumburger conducted a surveillance operation on a charter operation this week. It was found the charter took twice the daily limit. Charges are being sought through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Raymond Gardner received a complaint from the park rangers at the Metamora Hadley Recreation Area about a subject removing trees from state land. The park rangers located the subject driving on Sands Road after receiving the complaint. They then followed the subject back to his residence and contacted CO Gardner for assistance. CO Gardner met with the park rangers and they showed him the area on Sands Road in the Ortonville Recreation Area where the trees were being taken from. CO Gardner then returned to the subject’s address and contacted him. During the interview, the subject admitted to removing trees from state land, but denied cutting the trees down. The subject told CO Gardner that the road commission was out cutting down the trees a few days prior. CO Gardner told the subject that he needed to return the trees to state land and that he would be submitting a report to the Lapeer Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Raymond Gardner received a complaint about an osprey that was shot and found alive on the road in Lapeer County. The person who found it brought it to a wildlife rehabber in Macomb County. CO Gardner contacted the rehabber to review the x-rays and take pictures of the osprey. CO Gardner also received contact information for the person who found the osprey. The investigation is ongoing.

CO Robert Watson was patrolling a local launch and contacted a group of men returning from fishing. The three men claimed to have caught their limit of walleye.

CO Watson counted their fish and discovered they were over their limit by one fish. The men were also unable to produce a throwable flotation device. The owner of the boat was issued a citation for failing to provide a throwable PFD, and the anglers were warned for exceeding their daily limit.

CO Ben Lasher and Sgt. Todd Szyska checked multiple out-of-state bass boats in Muscamoot Bay targeting small mouth bass. One vessel that was contacted had an out-of-state Illinois resident aboard fishing. When asked to check his fishing license, he replied he did not have it on him but was willing to give CO Lasher his information. Upon running the subject through Dispatch and the Retail Sales System, it was determined the Illinois resident had not purchased a fishing license this year in Michigan. When asked why, the angler commented that he was just lazy and did not get around to it. A citation was issued to the non-resident for fishing without a license and, upon receipt of his citation, the subject held up his smart phone showing that he had purchased the proper license while his citation was being written out.

While on patrol in the North Channel assessing the high-water levels and any other possible damage to property COs Lasher and Sgt. Szyska observed a 60-foot cabin cruiser making a huge wake very close to docks and the shoreline. Upon getting behind the vessel, a range finder reading was obtained showing the vessel was operating only half the distance needed away from shore/docks to be operating at full steam. The COs initiated a stop of the vessel, and talked with the captain, who was unaware he was doing anything wrong. When CO Lasher explained the rules, the captain asked how far away he was from shore now. CO Lasher took another reading and explained the distances away and that the captain needed to move to the center of the channel to be operating at full speed casting a wake. The captain was educated on the high-water issues and damages that can occur from wake. A citation was issued for breaking the local watercraft regulation of operating less than 600 feet from the shore/dock for the length of the vessel.

CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when a RAP complaint was received about an individual who was recreationally trespassing to go fishing. The caller stated that on posted vacant land, a man was fishing without permission, and was using too many lines.

CO Silorey responded to the location and observed the subject still on the property.

CO Silorey contacted the subject and immediately noticed that the man had four fishing poles in the water. When questioned about the fishing poles, the subject stated, “Isn’t four the limit?” CO Silorey also questioned the subject on whether he had permission or not to be on the property from the landowner. The subject stated that he had permission and that the landowner owned the property he was on and the property on the other side of the road. CO Silorey made a quick phone call to the phone number posted on the “For Sale” sign near the road. After speaking with the landowner, it was found that the subject was not being truthful. CO Silorey issued the subject a citation for fishing with too many lines, gave a warning for recreational trespass and had the subject leave the property.

BELLE ISLE

While patrolling Belle Isle Park, CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a person assaulting a female. The dispatcher explained the woman had fled into a restroom and locked herself in, and the suspect was pounding on the door attempting to get in. It was also reported the man possibly had a gun in his vehicle. Once on scene, COs Strawn and William Haskin quickly located and detained the man and investigated the incident. CO Strawn determined the man had committed a domestic assault. He was arrested and lodged at the Detroit Detention Center.

While patrolling Belle Isle Park, COs Strawn and Haskin observed an MSP trooper searching a subject on a traffic stop. COs Strawn and Haskin stopped to assist and determined one of the subjects was possibly in the country illegally. CO Strawn contacted a border patrol agent and requested they come to the scene. Once on scene, the agent was able to confirm CO Haskin’s information and discovered the subject was ordered to leave the country over a year ago. The subject was turned over to the border patrol agent and was taken into custody for the federal immigration violations.

CO Quincy Gowenlock was at the end of his shift on Belle Isle and was enroute to refuel his patrol vehicle. While traveling through Detroit to the gas station, a subject screamed and then ran out into traffic after the CO. The CO heard the scream and saw the subject in his rearview mirror running in the middle of the street and was almost struck by several vehicles. The CO activated his emergency lights and turned around. Upon contact, the subject said he had just been stabbed and someone had stolen his dog. The subject had several lacerations to his body and one to the face. Additional units were called along with a rescue unit. The area was searched for the suspect and the case was later turned over to the Detroit Police Department.