Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Cody Smith assisted with a search and recovery of a subject who had gone cliff jumping at Canyon Falls in Baraga County. The individual had jumped off the falls around 8:00 p.m. and was unable to get out of the river due to the high current from recent rains. The search party was called off after searching into the night. The following day CO Smith showed up on scene with an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) while the Michigan State Police (MSP) Dive Team gathered. While waiting for the dive team an MSP helicopter, “Trooper 3,” was able to locate the body of the missing person in the river downstream. CO Smith and a Baraga County sheriff’s deputy led the dive team by ORV to the nearest location so they could recover the body across the river.
COs Cody Smith and Josh Boudreaux received word, late in the day, that there were lost hikers in Craig Lake State Park, which is a remote 8,400-acre tract of roadless land, located in Baraga County. While en-route, word was received that they had been located and were stranded on the far shore of Clair Lake. They responded and with the assistance of park rangers, an MSP trooper, and a couple who were staying at their cabin on a nearby island, they were able to hike a canoe in via a portage trail and then canoe across the lake to retrieve the 79 and 59-year old couple.
COs Josh Boudreaux and Cody Smith patrolled Wetmore Landing, Little Presque Isle, and Hidden Beach in Marquette County for state land use violations. COs encountered a group camped at Hidden Beach and observed them as they sat around a bonfire drinking beers and passing marijuana back and forth amongst themselves. COs crept up behind the unsuspecting campers who were overheard asking one another, “Do you think the DNR even patrols out here?”, to which another replied, “No, it’s probably too much work to get out of here at this time of night.” Moments later they had their answer as the COs stood up from behind them and introduced themselves. The fire was extinguished using all the remaining alcohol in their possession and due to their level of intoxication, they were advised to leave first thing in the morning and pack out all their garbage with them. Citations were issued for having a fire and possessing glass containers in a prohibited area.
CO Josh Boudreaux was contacted by local state park rangers after they located rubber gloves and melted bottles containing a white substance believed to be drug paraphernalia. CO Boudreaux worked with the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) to facilitate the removal of the suspected methamphetamine manufacturing site on state land in Marquette County.
CO John Kamps completed an investigation for cutting down timber on state land. A trail was cut through a section of state land that led to a camper that had recently been pulled onto private property. Contact was made with the suspect and the CO obtained a confession for cutting down the trees on state land. The suspect had no other way to access his chunk of private land that was on the opposite side of a river from his house. A citation was issued for removing trees/shrubs on state land.
After finishing up on an ORV patrol, CO Anna Viau received a call from Iron County Central Dispatch of a motorcyclist lost in the woods in a rural part of northern Iron County. The individual’s motorcycle was also stuck at the edge of a stream. Dispatch was able to provide CO Viau with GPS coordinates of the lost individual’s approximate location. CO Viau was familiar with the general area and, with the assistance of an Iron County sheriff’s deputy, was able to find the individual and his motorcycle at the end of a barely used two-track, at the edge of a stream. The individual was in good condition and was provided water and bugspray, as the mosquitos had feasted on him while he waited for rescue. When asked how he ended up in that predicament, the man explained that he had trusted his Global Positioning System (GPS) too much. The officers and the man were able to get the motorcycle turned around and the man was followed by the officers for 45 minutes back to a paved road to continue his way.
After receiving a complaint of hunting at a nearby trailer park, CO Ariel Corr went to contact the assistant manager and maintenance manager. During the interview, CO Corr learned that a resident within the park had been told on multiple occasions that he was not allowed to hunt on the grounds of the property. Both contacts had witnessed the subject carrying around a pellet gun and had video proof of him with it near the office. The manager stated that, on multiple occasions, they had found dead crows and other birds and rabbits on the property that he had shot and left. After getting all the details of what had happened, CO Corr then went to contact the subject. After knocking a few times and not getting an answer, CO Corr went to check another door. At this time, CO Corr rounded the corner just in time to see the subject attempting to shoot a baby rabbit. CO Corr announced her presence and the subject was startled and attempted to hide the pellet gun. He admitted to being caught red handed. A citation was issued for attempting to take game out of season.
CO Anna Viau, along with several other COs, attended the Hunter Education Volunteer Instructor Academy. There were 60 students in attendance, 18 of which were COs. Many topics were covered, including hunter education teaching methods, student learning styles, and accommodating students with special needs. This academy also allowed COs and volunteer hunter education instructors to get to know each other and learn from each other’s experiences.
CO Michael Evink conducted a boat patrol on Big Bay de Noc. While heading back to the launch, CO Evink heard CO Chris Lynch asking for assistance in Nahma. CO Evink took his patrol boat to the access site in Nahma, docked it, and walked the few blocks into Nahma to assist CO Lynch, who was arresting an individual for driving on a suspended license. CO Evink then returned to his boat and continued the patrol to where he began.
COs Robert Freeborn and Breanna Reed contacted a kayaker that CO Freeborn had given a warning to for no Personal Floatation Device (PFD) from the previous day on the same lake. CO Freeborn asked the subject if he remembered his PFD today. The kayaker looked at CO Freeborn with a blank look and stated, “Well you got me, no I do not.” CO Freeborn issued the kayaker a citation for no PFD. During the same contact, CO Reed checked the kayaker’s friend who had been fishing. It was determined that he had not purchased a fishing license. He was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
COs Steve Butzin and Breanna Reed served a warrant on an individual in Escanaba. The warrant was from an investigation CO Butzin conducted into the illegal taking of a six-point buck without a license in Menominee County.
CO Cole VanOosten and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk were working marine patrol on the Tahquamenon River when they observed a group of four people fishing. When asked how old one of the younger anglers was, the officers overheard another individual in the group whisper, “16” to the person being questioned. The young man stated that he was 16 years old and provided a birthday that corresponded to being seventeen. After checking his name and birthday through dispatch, it was determined that the young man was 18 years old and had provided a false age and birthday to the officers. A citation was issued to the man for fishing without a license.
CO Calvin Smith and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk were patrolling the St. Mary’s River, when they came across a stranded Personal Watercraft (PWC). The PWC operator had lost his tether and the machine would not start. The COs were able to assist the individual back to his residence on the water. The COs were met by family members of the operator and were very grateful for the assistance.
CO Calvin Smith attended an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) blitz with the Chippewa Conservation District at the Aune Osborn boat launch on the St. Mary’s River. The blitz educated the boating community on clean, drain, and dry initiative to help stop the spreading of AIS.
CO Justin Vinson assisted the Luce County Sheriff’s Department, and Luce County Fire and Rescue in locating a drowning victim near the Dollarville Dam on the Tahquamenon River. A group of individuals had been jumping off the dam into the river in the middle of the night when the accident occurred. After a nine-hour search, the victim was located and recovered.
Sergeant (Sgt.) William Webster and CO Andrea Erratt patrolled Clam and Torch Lakes and Torch River on the 4th of July. They assisted with the arrest of a drunk and disorderly subject who was fighting on the sandbar. The subject was transported to shore where he was taken to jail.
COs Ethen Mapes and Chad Baldwin were patrolling Walloon Lake in Charlevoix County when they stopped a boat operating after sunset without navigation lights. CO Mapes was talking with the driver of the boat when he smelled the odor of alcohol. CO Mapes administered a Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) on the driver of the boat and after a preliminary breath test (PBT), the driver of the boat was arrested for Boating Under the Influence (BUI.)
COs Chad Baldwin and Ethen Mapes were patrolling Lake Charlevoix during the busy 4th of July. The COs noticed a small motorized raft on the lake without registration and approached the raft to get a closer look. While approaching the raft, the operator attempted to drop a can of beer into the water, but his attempt was immediately addressed by CO Baldwin. After speaking with the operator, he was towed to shore and was found to be operating his raft under the influence of alcohol. The suspect was arrested for BUI and lodged in the Charlevoix County jail.
COs Chad Baldwin and Ethen Mapes conducted a marine patrol on Walloon Lake. From a distance, the COs noticed a tri-toon towing an individual on a tube that did not appear to have a second person onboard observing the towed individual. The COs watched the tri-toon and observed the operator making several hard turns and “donuts” close to the shoreline that was lined with docks. The COs conducted a stop and found there was no observer on the boat. The operator was ticketed for the violation and then the COs explained the law to the operator who stated he was unaware it was illegal.
CO Tim Rosochacki and Sgt. Mark DePew were working the 4th of July fireworks at Straits State Harbor in Mackinac City when a call came in about a boat that was smoking and taking on water underneath the Mackinac Bridge. Fortunately, at all major harbors around the state, the DNR Law Enforcement Division has strategically placed a large patrol vessel for just these types of emergencies. It was discovered that the boat was dangerously overheating and could not be restarted. The boat and its six occupants, including two toddlers, were safely towed back to the harbor. In addition, Corporal Craig Milkowski happened to be at the fireworks in an off-duty status and assisted the officers responding to the scene of the fire.
While on patrol, CO Tim Rosochacki observed a PWC operating too close to anchored boats on a busy sandbar on Mullett Lake in Cheboygan County. Upon making contact, CO Rosochacki detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver. SFSTs were performed, and the operator was arrested for BUI. The passenger was determined not to be drinking and took possession of the PWC. The Cheboygan County Prosecutor is reviewing the case.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were on marine patrol in Montmorency County when they noticed a group of boaters who appeared to be highly intoxicated at a boat launch. COs Collins and Liestenfeltz observed several violations as the subjects left the launch and initiated a traffic stop. After SFSTs were conducted, the driver was arrested for BUI.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were on their way to the Montmorency County jail after a BUI arrest when they witnessed an ORV driving in the roadway. CO Collins initiated a traffic stop and, while contacting the driver, CO Collins noticed the driver had a strong odor of alcohol. The driver was given a SFST and a PBT and was found to be operating while intoxicated (OWI.) The subject was arrested and taken to the Montmorency County jail for OWI.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a single ORV accident in Montmorency Township in northern Montmorency County. The ORV had left the roadway and struck a tree causing significant damage to the ORV. Upon speaking with the subject in the back of the ambulance, it was determined very quickly that the subject appeared to be under the influence. The medical staff stated the subject must be transported to the hospital for unknown, minor injuries. The subject was transported to the Otsego County Hospital. CO Liestenfeltz obtained a search warrant for the subject’s blood and is requesting OWI charges with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Vienna Township in Montmorency County when he noticed a car sitting on the side of a back road with the back window smashed out and a front tire missing. Upon contacting the vehicle, he saw two subjects sitting inside. They stated that they had received a flat tire the night before, got lost, and slept in the vehicle overnight. The vehicle had an expired license plate and no insurance. The individual that admitted to driving the vehicle the night before did not have a valid driver’s license. After checking to make sure the vehicle was not stolen, it was determined that the passenger had a statewide warrant out of Jackson County. CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody and transported her to the Montmorency County jail.
CO Sidney Collins received a complaint about a bear in a chicken and duck coop on private property in Montmorency County. The bear was looking for leftover food. CO Collins was able to coax the bear down from the tree and push it off into the woods.
CO Sidney Collins assisted the Montmorency County deputies in a search for a lost elderly couple. The older couple got their vehicle stuck in an unknown area on state land with poor cell phone coverage. CO Collins was able to locate them in a remote area after several hours of searching. The couple were found unharmed.
Sgt. Dan Bigger, along with COs Justin Vanderlinde and William Kinney, assisted in a multi-jurisdictional saturation patrol of the Platte River. National Park Service, MSP, and Benzie County Sheriff’s Department teamed up with the COs to provide checks along numerous locations on the river. Focus was on marine safety overall. Sgt. Bigger and COs Vanderlinde, and Kinney completed the day-long patrol with 19 citations issued for PFD violations, 21 warnings for other violations, and contacted 515 people on the river during this time. Numerous comments were made showing appreciation for the presence of the officers and the enforcement efforts.
COs Patrick McManus, Amanda Lake and Rebecca Hubers patrolled several lakes throughout Leelanau County over the 4th of July “Operation Dry Water” weekend. The COs contacted numerous individuals on and around several inland lakes, as well as Lake Michigan. Although most of the people contacted were safely having fun on the water, there were still a fair number of citations and verbal warnings issued related to marine safety, fishing, and public access regulations. The citations included failure to provide PFDs, unregistered watercraft, failure to transfer watercraft registration, fishing without a fishing license, park in non-designated parking areas, store/leave property at public access site more than 24 hours, just to name a few. The COs also assisted the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department with both on land and over-water “general criminal” scenes, including multiple vehicle crashes, operating while intoxicated drivers, directing traffic for local events, and emergency medical calls.
COs Ryan Andrews and Josiah Killingbeck responded to a 911 emergency call of a group of tubers stranded and lost along the Pine River. The group consisted of two adults, a young teenager, and two children as young as four years old. Reports stated that some of their tubes had popped and they were stranded on a small sandbar with barely enough signal on their mobile phone to call 911. The two COs were assisted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Luther Fire and Rescue, and Norman Township Fire and Rescue Department. An MSP air unit was also called but later called off when the tubers were located. After searching in very rugged and heavily vegetated terrain for several hours after dark, COs Killingbeck and Andrews and Mark Killingbeck with the Luther Fire Rescue Department, located the lost family. Shortly after finding them, the Norman Township’s hovercraft arrived and was able to transport the two youngest children to safety. Due to mechanical problems, the hovercraft was not able to return upriver to transport the others. At that time, no other option was available except to have the tubers cross over to the other side of the river. The remaining family members took turns sitting in one of the remaining tubes and pulled across the river. Once on the same side of the river, the group was faced with a long walk out through even more rugged terrain, dense vegetation, and deep swamps. Since the group had been tubing, they were without footwear. During the extraction, the group was also assisted by COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski who arrived with water and some footwear and helped to guide the group to safety.
While patrolling a local lake in Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski overheard a call come out about of an unresponsive subject being pulled from another lake close by. CO Publiski loaded his boat up and headed to the other lake. CO Publiski arrived on scene and hooked up his automated external defibrillator and began doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation with another first responder and a retired MSP trooper. Unfortunately, the subject was pronounced dead after about 30 minutes of trying to revive him from suspected drowning.
CO Ben Shively responded to a complaint of a “mud bog” being held on Consumers Power property in Oceana County. Approximately 30 trucks were at a neighboring property and had made a road onto the Consumers’ property. CO Shively and an Oceana County deputy responded to the area and were able to contact five vehicles on the property; two of which were buried to the frame in the mud. Citations were issued for ORV trespass and all vehicles were removed from the property.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling in Oceana County when he observed an ORV operating on the paved roadway with no helmet and in excess of the 25-mph speed limit. CO Shively conducted a traffic stop on the ORV and found that he had stopped the same subject three months earlier for the same offenses. The subject was cited for no helmet and no ORV license and issued a verbal warning for speed.
COs Chuck McPherson and John Huspen assisted a stranded pontoon boat on Houghton Lake during a thunderstorm on the 4th of July. The pontoon boat had run out of gas and was being towed by another vessel as the storm was getting worse. The towing vessel left the out of gas pontoon as the COs approached. The waves were reaching four to five feet in height and the wind was uprooting and shearing off tops of trees. One of the subjects from the stranded pontoon had entered the water. The COs advised the subject to get back on the boat and for all subjects to put PFDs on and drop an anchor. The CO’s boat almost capsized a couple of times and was getting swamped by the waves. The COs received help from nearby homeowners to secure their boat until the wind calmed and they were able to secure broken equipment on their boat from the winds. COs McPherson and Huspen were able to get to the stranded pontoon boat in the heavy rain and calmer winds. All seven people on the stranded pontoon boat were taken to shore. No one was hurt.
CO Charlie Jones was on patrol in Kalkaska County, Boardman Township when dispatch called out for a Property Damage Accident (PDA). CO Jones checked the area for the PDA with no success. A few moments later, CO Jones observed a vehicle matching the description. The vehicle was heading southbound on Puffer Road. Upon contact, CO Jones observed a male driver and a juvenile passenger. Sobrieties were conducted on the driver and it was determined that the subject was highly intoxicated. The driver was taken into custody for OWI and transported to the Kalkaska County jail. The juvenile was picked up by her legal guardian without injuries.
COs Ben McAteer and Matt Zultak conducted a marine patrol in Roscommon County for “Operation Dry Water.” “Operation Dry Water” is a multi-state enforcement effort to promote safe boating practices with a strong focus on boaters operating under the influence of alcohol. During the patrol, a vessel was observed operating with an expired registration decal. Upon contacting the boat, CO McAteer observed several empty beer cans and all the occupants looked to be under the legal drinking age. After gathering information, COs McAteer and Zultak determined that all the occupants were, in fact, under the legal drinking age and the vessel operator was almost double the legal limit to operate a vessel. Enforcement action was taken for BUI.
CO Ben McAteer contacted a boat coming ashore off Lake Margrethe in Crawford County. After talking with the boat operator and checking several nice bluegills, CO McAteer began to detect the operator was intoxicated. After running the operator through sobriety tasks, CO McAteer determined that the operator was well above the legal limit to operate a vessel. Enforcement action was taken for BUI.
While at the Crawford County Jail completing a BUI arrest, CO Ben McAteer heard several Be On the Lookout (BOL) calls for a possible drunk driver. CO McAteer exited the jail to locate the driver. CO McAteer located tracks of a vehicle that were all over the dirt road and several trees that had been recently damaged. After following the tracks, the vehicle was located with a flat tire and high centered on a large grass berm. The suspected operator was located approximately 50 yards from the vehicle in the tree line. The individual was barely able to stand or formulate a sentence when contacted by CO McAteer. The case is pending prosecution review.
While patrolling for marine activity, COs Brad Bellville and Kyle Bader took a complaint from Ogemaw County Dispatch of an intoxicated man trying to load his boat at a boat launch. The man left before the COs could make it to the boat launch, so they went toward the residence associated with the license plate given in the complaint. They observed a vehicle turn into the driveway at the residence that matched the description with a trailer attached but no boat on the trailer. The COs went toward the launch to speak to the witness and, on the way, located a speedboat upside down on the shoulder of the road. In his intoxicated state, the man neglected to strap the boat down. He then drove a few feet off the road and hit a culvert, which caused the boat to be tossed from his trailer. Charges are being sought through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Kyle Bader contacted a subject operating an ORV without a helmet in Ogemaw County. During the contact, CO Bader suspected the subject might have been drinking alcohol just prior to riding. CO Bader asked the subject to complete some sobriety tasks, and halfway through, the subject stated, “That’s enough, I’m just wasting your time.” He was arrested for operating an ORV while intoxicated.
CO Casey Pullum contacted a boater for obstructed MC numbers in Oscoda County. He observed an open bottle of alcohol next to the driver. Sobriety tasks were performed on the water, which the subject failed. CO Pullum took the subject to shore and conducted additional SFSTs and determined the subject to be operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. The subject was arrested and lodged at the Oscoda County jail.
CO Casey Pullum contacted a subject operating an ORV without a helmet on a county road. CO Pullum detected an odor of intoxicants while talking with the driver. CO Pullum conducted sobriety evaluations and determined the driver to be operating an ORV under the influence of alcohol. The subject was arrested and lodged at the Oscoda County jail.
COs Joshua Wright, Ethan Gainforth, and Intern Austin Maxey responded to an injured PWC operator on Eight Point Lake in Clare County. The rider hit a large wake and was thrown from the PWC, injuring the operator. The COs assisted emergency medical personnel with unloading the patient from a bystander’s pontoon boat into the ambulance. After some investigation, the COs determined that drugs and alcohol were not contributing factors. No other violations were present.
CO Joshua Wright was on marine patrol near Caseville when he noticed a Personal Watercraft (PWC) that appeared to be having difficulty. CO Wright contacted the operator of the PWC and found out the machine was disabled, and he was waiting for a tow. The PWC displayed registration numbers that were incorrect, and that the operator was only 14 years old and had not taken a marine safety class. The owner of the PWC was located and he was issued a citation for allowing the juvenile to operate the PWC.
While patrolling around Littlefield Lake in Isabella County during the early morning hours, CO Joshua Wright observed a group of people riding in a golf cart at the boat launch. There were three on the front seat, three on the back seat, and one on the roof. CO Wright stopped the partiers and performed SFSTs on the driver. The driver failed the tests and was arrested for operating an ORV under the influence of alcohol.
During a marine patrol on a small inland lake in Montcalm County, COs Mike Haas and Josh Russell observed a subject towing a small child behind his PWC. The subject was operating across the lake without a required observer and the COs also noted that the young child was not wearing an appropriate PFD. While speaking with the subject, the COs witnessed another PWC operator without a PFD. The COs issued citations to both parties to address the marine safety violations.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were traveling on M-20 in Isabella County when a fifth-wheel trailer traveling the other direction appeared to be dragging something. The COs noticed that the trailer had a bike rack that was dragging behind the trailer as well as several bikes. The COs turned the patrol truck around and got behind the trailer which was now sending bike parts into traffic. The driver was unaware what was happening. After getting the vehicle stopped the driver indicated that they were missing one of the bikes, and the remaining bikes were badly damaged. The COs stayed with the driver and his family until they could get the bikes secured and on their way.
CO Jay Person assisted the Midland City Police Department on a complaint of a subject that was baiting in seagulls and shooting them in the road. A neighbor to the complainant called 911 after they witnessed the suspect put out bait and then shoot a seagull in the road. Officers from the Midland Police Department responded and found an injured bird in the roadway. Upon contact with the suspect, who denied any involvement, a consent search was done of the apartment and a pellet gun was recovered from the ceiling of a closet in the residence. Between the CO and the city officers, warrants are being sought through the prosecutor’s office for city violation of discharge of a firearm in the city limits and taking a protected bird.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling a lake in Allegan County targeting intoxicated boaters. The CO launched his patrol vessel and shortly after observed a vessel operating with an expired registration. The CO stopped the vessel and noticed signs of intoxication. The CO conducted SFSTs on the vessel operator and discovered he was intoxicated. The operator was arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated and lodged at the Allegan County jail.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County when he stopped to check an angler fishing a quiet cove. The angler showed the CO his live well which contained 12 channel catfish and two softshell turtles. The CO explained the limit of ten channel catfish to the angler as well as the season dates and possession limits for softshell turtles. The CO also asked the angler to show him a PFD, a fire extinguisher, and a throwable PFD. The angler was unable to provide an operable fire extinguisher or a throwable PFD. A citation was issued.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling a lake in Allegan County when he observed a PWC being operated with a passenger not wearing a PFD as required by law. The CO stopped the PWC and discovered the youth operator did not have boater safety certification. Additionally, the passenger that was not wearing a PFD had a warrant out of another agency in Michigan. The CO was advised by the agency holding the warrant to advise the subject and release him. A citation was issued for failing to wear a PFD and the two were educated on the requirements for operating a PWC.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Muskegon Lake channel when she observed an individual who was fishing on the pier. She contacted the individual and observed a smallmouth bass in the bucket next to him. The individual advised he had caught the fish and the fish was measured and was found to be approximately twelve inches long. A citation was issued for the possession of the short smallmouth bass.
COs Justin Ulberg and Casey Varriale performed a marine patrol on inland lakes in Kent County. Numerous contacts were made with boaters. Several verbal warnings were issued for failing to display registration and improper PFDs. COs Ulberg and Varriale issued a citation to one boater who did not have a valid registration and did not have any PFDs on board the vessel.
COs Casey Varriale and Jackie Miskovich were on patrol on Mona Lake in Muskegon County when they stopped a vessel for not having a current registration. The operator of the boat had an empty beer bottle in the cup holder and, when asked how many beers he drank, he stated none because he was 20 years old. CO Varriale asked the subject again how much he had to drink, and he stated four beers earlier in the day. A short investigation revealed the operator was not intoxicated, but he was cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
COs Casey Varriale, Jackie Miskovich, and Justin Ulberg were on patrol on Wabasis Lake in Kent County when they witnessed a jet ski hit another jet ski while going at a high rate of speed. The operator that initiated the collision fell off the jet ski and struggled to get back on. Instead of helping the struggling operator, the other operator drove circles around him and sprayed him with water. Contact was made and citations were issued to both operators for endangering life and property.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer were on marine patrol when they noticed a jet ski pulling a tuber without an observer as required by law. The COs contacted the operator. Further investigation revealed an adult on the tube without a proper PFD as well as the jet ski not being registered since 2004. Citations were issued.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer conducted a marine patrol upon the St. Joseph River, Berrien County. While on patrol approximately 45 minutes after sunset, the COs located a vessel being operated without any navigation lights. The vessel lost power in their primary motor and were using a trolling motor to attempt to go back upstream to the boat launch. The trolling motor did not have enough power to go upstream so they were planning on floating downstream multiple miles towards the next closest launch. Due to the safety issues at hand, the COs assisted in getting the vessel back to the boat launch. A citation was issued for failure to exhibit navigation lights.
CO Kyle McQueer was patrolling Lockport Township, St. Joseph County, when he observed four individuals fishing along the bank of the St. Joseph River. After contacting the individuals, it was determined one was fishing without a license and another individual was possessing an undersized smallmouth bass. A citation was issued to the individual fishing without a license and another citation was issued to the individual for possessing an undersized bass.
COs Brandon Hartleben and Andy Monnich worked marine patrol on Devil’s Lake to provide on-the-water support for the annual fireworks. COs Hartleben and Monnich were patrolling prior to the fireworks when they observed a PWC being operated by an individual with an improperly secured PFD. The COs observed the PWC do several donuts before dumping both the operator and passenger. The COs contacted the subjects as they were re-boarding the PWC. Upon making contact, it was discovered that the operator had been arrested by CO Monnich the year prior for BUI, and that he still had a warrant out for that charge. The passenger, who was underage, was found to be a Minor In Possession (MIP). The operator was taken into custody and lodged on the warrant, and the passenger was issued a citation for MIP.
COs Pete Purdy and Katie Stawara were on boat patrol on the Portage Chain of Lakes when they were contacted by an individual who advised that her 15-year-old son went kayaking on the chain of lakes but hadn’t been heard from in three hours. She advised that she had called his cell phone several times; however; there was no answer. The COs immediately began to search the area. They were assisted by Sgts. Jason Smith and Richard Nickols along with COs Todd Thorn and Michael Drexler. Washtenaw County, Livingston County, and Hamburg Township patrol boats also assisted with the search. Hamburg Township Police Department road patrol, Hamburg Township Fire Department, and Livingston County EMS began searching from the shoreline. The Livingston County dive team was also activated in case there was a drowning. After about an hour of searching, it was discovered that the teenager was at a friend’s house ignoring his mother’s calls.
CO Pete Purdy was first on scene for a rural mail carrier that was run off the road and into a ditch. CO Purdy checked the mail carrier for any injuries and put out a BOL for the suspect vehicle. CO Purdy also blocked the road while the vehicle was pulled out of the ditch. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no vehicle damages. To date the suspect has not been identified.
COs Nick Wellman, Chris Reynolds, and Ed Rice were patrolling Marble Lake for “Operation Dry Water” and made a stop on a vessel that had turned his lights off while underway through a channel. CO Wellman contacted the driver of the vessel and immediately smelled alcohol on him and noticed beer cans throughout the boat. The man was taken to shore for sobriety tests. The subject agreed to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) test and blew a 0.128. The man was arrested for BUI and lodged in the Branch County jail.
COs Nick Wellman and Chris Reynolds were on an “Operation Dry Water” patrol on Coldwater Lake when CO Wellman noticed a pontoon boat operating in a careless manner. A stop was conducted on the vessel and CO Wellman immediately smelled alcohol coming from the driver of the boat. COs Wellman and Reynolds took the man to the public launch to do sobriety tests. Upon completion of those tests, a Personal Breathalyzer Test (PBT) was administered and the operator blew a 0.266. The man was arrested for BUI and lodged in the Branch County jail.
CO Nick Wellman received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a man that chased geese out of his yard on Coldwater Lake and then shot one and killed it. The goose was floating in the water in front of the house. CO Wellman knew there was a Branch County marine deputy on the lake and contacted him to retrieve the goose. The deputy was able to locate the goose and bring it to CO Wellman later that evening. CO Wellman and CO James Nason went the next day and contacted the suspect. They received a full confession on the killing of the goose. CO Wellman is submitting a report to the prosecutor’s office requesting charges.
CO Nick Wellman was in southern Branch County when he was sent to an ORV accident on private property. He responded and was told the injury was very minor. Upon examining the laceration, CO Wellman could clearly see the skull of the patient and notified EMS to step up their response. CO Wellman provided medical care until EMS arrived and took over. The patient was taken to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for treatment.
COs Jim Nason, Nick Wellman, Jeff Goss, Chris Reynolds, and Ed Rice conducted a group marine patrol on the southern chain of lakes in Branch County over the holiday weekend. During their patrol, they witnessed a vessel around 11 p.m. that did not have an anchor light visible. When the COs approached the vessel, the operator turned toward the COs and nearly caused a collision. Upon contacting the operator, the COs noticed the man slurring his speech and the smell of intoxicants coming from the man’s breath. The subject stated that he had “maybe four beers” but hadn’t had a beer in the last two hours. The COs took him to shore and conducted sobriety tests and a PBT. The results showed a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.158. He was arrested for BUI and was lodged in the Branch County jail.
While patrolling Lake Ovid, CO Larn R. Strawn observed two teenage swimmers clinging to inflatable tanning rafts in the middle of the lake. CO Strawn contacted the swimmers and discovered they had been lazily drifting but the wind picked up and they were blown out into the lake. The swimmers were not strong enough to swim back to the beach. CO Strawn provided both swimmers with a PFD and towed them safely back to the beach area.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Richard Nickols and COs Todd Thorn and Katie Stawara were patrolling the Portage Lake chain when three occupants on a small motorboat were observed being unsafe and appearing intoxicated. Contact was made and it was found that the driver was twice the legal blood alcohol limit. The driver was arrested and lodged at the Livingston County jail.
CO Todd Thorn was patrolling on Lake Lansing when he observed individuals drinking on an anchored motorboat. CO Thorn continued to observe as the operator drove the boat at a high rate of speed with one of the occupants sitting on the side of the bow. A stop was made, and an investigation revealed that the driver was intoxicated. A search warrant was obtained, and a legal blood draw conducted as the driver refused a PBT and chemical breath test. The subject was lodged at the Ingham County jail. Blood test results came back at .011 BAC.
COs Shannon Kritz and Robert Slick were on marine patrol when they observed a jet ski operate within 100 feet of a stationary pontoon boat that had people swimming in front of it. The operator of the pontoon motioned for the jet ski to move away. The jet ski proceeded to drive circles around the pontoon at a high rate of speed multiple times well within a 100-foot distance. The officers contacted the jet ski operator. Through their investigation, they found the operator of the jet ski was under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and lodged in the county jail.
COs Katie Stawara, Todd Thorn, and Sgt. Richard Nickols were patrolling Base Line Lake when they observed a vessel struggling to get passengers from the water into the boat. Unsuccessful at their attempt, the vessel operator proceeded to drag a swimmer through heavy boat traffic. Contact with the vessel resulted in the operator being under the influence of alcohol. SFSTs were conducted and a PBT administered, resulting in a 0.16 BAC. The operator was arrested for BUI and lodged at the Livingston County jail.
CO Katie Stawara received a complaint of a wallet found in the woods on the complainant’s property. The complainant informed her the suspect hunts the property adjacent to his and was known to have trespassed in the past. CO Stawara recovered the weathered wallet to find his hunt/fish combo license was there, but his spring turkey license was missing. An interview was conducted, and a confession obtained. The suspect admitted to shooting a turkey in May and tracking it onto the complainant’s property to retrieve it. He figured he must have lost his wallet when he stopped to use the bathroom. The turkey parts were seized from the suspect and a complaint warrant is being submitted for recreational trespassing.
COs Nick Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek were working the 4th of July holiday on Lake Erie when they contacted two kayakers. The COs could only see that one of the two kayakers had a PFD in their possession. The other kayaker advised the COs that she did not have one and thought it was not needed. The COs educated the kayaker on the importance of not only having a PFD, but also wearing it when you are in rough waters. The kayaker was issued a citation for no PFD on board.
CO Nick Ingersoll was on his way to his residence in Monroe County, when he received a call that there was a multi-vehicle accident in the southeast portion of the county with one individual who had been ejected from their vehicle. CO Ingersoll was able to respond and was first on scene. When CO Ingersoll arrived on scene, there was one individual who was laying on the roadway who had broken his arm and had some minor lacerations to his head. The Monroe County Ambulance and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene shortly after and were able to assist with the other vehicle who had a total of six injured individuals. Monroe County Ambulance was able to transport the male who was ejected and later it was determined that the male may have been intoxicated and suffered no other serious injuries. The accident was investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. CO Ingersoll along with Erie Township Police Department assisted with medical and directing traffic until all lanes were back open.
CO Nick Ingersoll was checking anglers at Halfway Creek and Summit Street in Erie Township when he contacted one angler pulling a fish from his cooler and threw it back. CO Ingersoll attempted to stop the angler before he disposed of the fish without success. CO Ingersoll asked the angler why he had just thrown that fish back, and he advised that he heard the size limit of the fish was 12 inches. CO Ingersoll asked to see the other fish that the angler had in his possession, and it was determined that the angler had a total of 13 channel catfish not including the one he had thrown back. CO Ingersoll advised the angler of the possession limit of channel catfish, and advised he was three over the limit. The individual was cited for possession of over limit of channel catfish.
CO Nick Ingersoll was checking for activity on Roberts Road next to Pointe Mouillee State Game Area when he noticed tracks leading off the road into the game area. CO Ingersoll also noticed an individual walking back to a vehicle with a shovel. CO Ingersoll then observed a vehicle that was stuck in the mud, about 100 feet off the road. CO Ingersoll asked the driver what he was doing, and the driver said he was just trying to turn around and got stuck. CO Ingersoll advised the driver that he was not supposed to be back there and asked why he had the shovel. The driver stated he had been stuck for about 20 minutes and tried digging himself out. CO Ingersoll advised the driver that he could get a wrecker out for him, and he would have to pay the wrecker for the pull out. CO Ingersoll called a wrecker and advised the driver that he was in an area not designated for ORV/vehicle use. He also advised the driver that he was not supposed to be back there, and even though the gate had been ripped down there were signs stating no entry. CO Ingersoll issued the driver a citation for Parking in a Non-Designated Area and warned him for operating in a closed area. The vehicle was removed by Star Towing without incident.
COs Brandon Vacek and Nick Ingersoll were conducting a marine patrol in Monroe County on Lake Erie during the 4th of July holiday. The COs observed a PWC operating at unsafe speeds around swimmers and anchored vessels near shore. The COs conducted a stop of the PWC and, upon further inspection, determined the owner had failed to display the registration numbers required on the vessel for several years. The subject was issued a citation for failure to display registration numbers on the PWC and given two warnings for exceeding slow/no wake within 100 feet of an anchored vessel and exceeding slow/no wake less than 100 feet from a shore in three feet or less of water. The COs gave the subject instruction on how to properly display his registration numbers before they departed.
COs Brandon Vacek, Nick Ingersoll, and Keven Luther worked the 3rd of July fireworks detail at Sterling State Park (SP). Along with MSP and Monroe Police Department, the COs provided law enforcement support to parks division for the thousands of visitors to Sterling SP for the fireworks show. COs Vacek, Ingersoll, and Luther also assisted with two missing children, two first aid calls, and an assault in progress.
COs Tom Peterson and Luke Robare conducted a group marine patrol of Lake Fenton in Genesee County. The patrol produced the issuing of a citation to an individual for operating a PWC after sunset. The COs also conducted a stop on an individual without navigation lights on after dark. The individual was showing signs of being intoxicated and, after conducting SFSTs and a PBT, it was determined the individual was in fact operating under the influence and was arrested for BUI. The individual was lodged at Genesee County jail.
COs Tom Peterson and Luke Robare were first on scene to a crash in the early morning hours in Genesee County. It was determined that the vehicle was suspected of being stolen and was possibly a vehicle that ran from MSP minutes prior. Upon clearing the scene, it was determined that the suspect fled on foot prior to the COs’ arrival. The COs assisted MSP K9 unit with a track that was unsuccessful in locating the suspect.
COs Luke Robare and Thomas Peterson were patrolling Lake Fenton after their fireworks display. They stopped a vessel for failing to have navigation lights. Upon contact with the vessel, COs Robare and Peterson could smell alcohol on the driver. CO Robare identified himself and explained why they stopped the vessel. The operator of the vessel showed signs of intoxication. The operator consented to SFSTs and a PBT. The results of the tests resulted in the driver being arrested and lodged at the Genesee County jail.
COs Luke Robare and Thomas Peterson were on patrol in Genesee County when they found a local delivery truck crashed in a ditch. The truck was still warm and had its lights on. CO Peterson checked the cab of the truck to find that the driver had left the area. The truck appeared to have been stolen. MSP responded to the crash and brought out a K9 unit to assist in locating the missing driver. The driver was never located, and the investigation is still ongoing.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Danielle Zubek were on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair when they had a PWC fail to give way to their patrol boat almost causing a collision. The 19-year-old male subject was stopped, and it was found he did not know the rules of the road nor had he taken boater’s safety. He was given citations for both violations.
COs Kris Kiel and Acting Sgt. Chris Knights worked a slow/no wake patrol around the St. Clair Flats. A total of eight vessels were stopped and four citations were written for slow/no wake violations.
CO Kris Kiel contacted two individuals taking turns on a dirt bike while trespassing on private lands in Macomb County. One subject was written a citation for operating an unlicensed ORV and both subjects were given warnings for ORV trespass.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking for marine activity on Lake St. Clair, when CO Deppen noticed a vessel passing him with an expired registration. CO Deppen stopped the vessel and asked if he had updated the vessel registration. The vessel owner said, “It says 19 on it.” CO Deppen explained that the vessel registration expires on March 31. The owner said, “I have auto renewed on my vessel tabs.” The owner claimed he purchased this boat seven years ago and started to work on it as a project. CO Deppen asked if it was registered in his name, and the owner said, “Yes.” CO Deppen ran the registration numbers and they came back no record. CO Deppen asked, ”Do you have all your safety equipment aboard, PFDs, fire extinguisher, and a Type IV PFD?” The owner said, “Yes, I have all that equipment, it’s underneath in the bow.” CO Deppen tied up next to the vessel and started to check for the Hull Identification Number (HIN). The owner said, “I have the title at home.” CO Deppen found a hand chiseled HIN under one of the air intakes. After running the HIN through dispatch they came back with a record that matched the vessel. The vessel’s registration expired in 2013 and it was still under the previous owner. After finding this out, CO Deppen checked all safety equipment aboard. The owner had no PFDs, no fire extinguisher, and no Type IV PFD. CO Deppen said, “Why did you lie to me about everything?” The owner said, “I should probably just go home.” The owner was given three verbal warnings regarding no safety equipment aboard. He was written a citation for fail to register his vessel within fifteen days of purchasing and operating a vessel with expired registration.
CO Joseph Deppen was heading home from marine patrol when a vehicle changed lanes abruptly almost hitting CO Deppen’ s patrol truck. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was written a citation for improper lane use and lodged on outstanding warrants.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking vehicles and trailers at a local launch for AIS in Macomb County. As CO Deppen was checking a group of outdoor enthusiasts, one vehicle backed in, placed his boat on the trailer, and left abruptly. CO Deppen noticed a large amount of aquatic plants hanging off his trailer and boat. CO Deppen followed the man out of the launch and conducted a traffic stop. CO Deppen had the angler exit the vehicle and showed him the extensive aquatic plants on his trailer. The angler was given warnings on no license in possession, no fishing license in possession, obscured license plate, burned out taillight, no vehicle registration, and no insurance. The angler was cited for failure to remove aquatic vegetation before exiting the public ramp.
COs Chris Knights, Joe Deppen, Pat Hartsig, Brad Silorey, and Jaime Salisbury conducted a group marine patrol on Lake St. Clair on the 4th of July. During the patrol, multiple slow/no wake violations were observed and cited. Towards the end of their shift, the COs observed a vessel traveling faster than slow/no wake in a slow/no wake zone. The vessel was stopped for the wake violation. During that stop, the COs were able to observe the operator and find that he had been drinking. After performing SFSTs and administering a PBT, it was determined he was too intoxicated to be driving and was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated. Charges are being sought through the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jaime Salisbury and many other District 9 COs assisted the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in serving a search warrant seeking evidence of the illegal commercialization of walleye caught in the Detroit River. During the search warrant, the subjects were also interviewed. Full confessions were obtained from the subjects and the SIU is seeking charges through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.
COs Ben Lasher and Dan Walzak worked their directed patrol for slow/no wake violations in the St Clair Flats area. One ticket was issued for a 29-foot boat violating the 600-foot rule and one ticket was issued for bow riding. The bow riding ticket was issued to a female who felt the marine safety stop was “silly” and it turned out she was pregnant and her father had told her to get down from where she was sitting on the bow (she didn’t listen to the boat operator) just before the stop was initiated. Two warnings were given to other vessels due to not being able to measure the distance from the docks accurately.
COs Raymond Gardner and Robert Watson were on the St. Clair River when they heard about a sinking vessel near Muscamoot Bay. COs Gardner and Watson responded to the call, arriving second on scene. While there, they assisted Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Tow Boat U.S. service with securing the boat occupants and keeping the boat from sinking. Both occupants on the boat were uninjured after hitting a submerged object that caused the boat to start taking on water. The boat and both occupants were then taken back to shore.
CO Nick Wellman was on a B2 shift on Belle Isle when a vehicle ran a stop sign in front of him. CO Wellman conducted a stop on the vehicle and contacted the occupants. CO Wellman could smell alcohol coming from the driver and the vehicle and conducted SFSTs on the driver. The driver showed several signs of impairment during the test and tested at a 0.136 on the PBT. The driver was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated and lodged in the Detroit Detention Center.