Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Cody Smith patrolled the Sturgeon River Sloughs for the opening morning of goose and early teal season. Approximately 50 hunters took to the area in search of both teal and geese. Upon checking the multiple hunting parties, CO Smith wrote citations for hunting waterfowl without a waterfowl license as well as hunting waterfowl with no federal duck stamp. Overall, the hunters harvested a fair amount of geese and both blue and green-winged teal.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when a call came across the radio of an individual fleeing on foot from a trooper in a field. CO Smith responded with L’Anse, Baraga, tribal, and additional troopers to the scene and helped establish a perimeter as the calling officer and tribal K9 handler tracked the individual through the field. Shortly after entering the field, the individual turned himself in and was arrested for outstanding warrants.
CO Josh Boudreaux assisted the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) and the US Coast Guard (USCG) with marijuana enforcement flights in Marquette County. CO Boudreaux was paired up with officers from other areas of the UP to assist with navigation to marijuana grow sites where UPSET officers checked compliance. Multiple plants were seized throughout the day.
CO Josh Boudreaux and Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman were patrolling Deer Lake for waterfowl hunters when they heard shooting near their location. COs located vehicles parked alongside the lake and began scanning the shoreline for hunters. After locating the hunters, the COs observed a female in the group shoot a Canada goose. When the group was contacted by the officers, the first thing that was said was, “She wasn’t hunting.” Further checking revealed that two of the three did not have personal flotation devices (PFDs), one of the males did not have a federal duck stamp, and the female did not have any of the required hunting licenses. Her excuse was, “Because the gas station wasn’t open when we left to hunt.” Two of the three received a citation for hunting waterfowl without a federal duck stamp and the young woman’s goose was seized.
CO Dave Miller assisted MSP and the Baraga County Sheriff’s Department searching for an individual who fled on foot during a traffic stop. The individual spent approximately seven hours in a very thick swamp before he was located and apprehended by CO Miller, Patrolman Daniel Perrault, and Deputy Josh Barnett.
CO John Kamps was on patrol when he was flagged down by a passing vehicle. The individual let CO Kamps know that there was a vehicle stuck on the railroad tracks right up the road. On scene, the CO found an individual with his Jeep stuck right next to the railroad tracks. Dispatch was notified of the situation and they were able to stop any incoming train traffic until the vehicle was safely removed by a passerby. A citation was issued for railroad trespass.
CO Doug Hermanson responded to a complaint of a wounded eagle in Houghton County. The bird was unable to fly but wasn’t injured. After removing the fishing line it was entangled in, the animal was released unharmed.
COs Byron Parks and Jenni Hanson attended the “Pop with a Cop” event in downtown Ontonagon as part of their Labor Day weekend festival. The officers were able to interact with local community members, answer questions, and ultimately have conversations with those who stopped by. The Michigan State Police (MSP), US Forest Service (USFS), Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department, and Emergency Management Office also attended the event.
COs Byron Parks and Zach Painter received a call from dispatch regarding a subject with an apparent broken collar bone from crashing his dirt bike. The officers drove to the area and found the friend of the injured subject with whom he had been riding. He explained to the officers that he left his friend to go and find service to call 911 but ran out of gas. The officers worked with the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department and the friend, who called 911, to locate the injured subject. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was able to arrive on scene and transport the injured subject.
CO Jenni Hanson was one of the only units available when a medical call was dispatched regarding a woman who tumbled down the bluffs at Agate Falls. CO Hanson, along with USFS Officer Josh Lopac and off-duty Ontonagon County Undersheriff Bill Witt, helped escort the woman up the bluff and out to the ambulance. She sustained a head injury and a few minor scrapes.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin followed up on a complaint of sandhill cranes being shot. The COs interviewed multiple witnesses and developed two suspects. The first suspect was interviewed, who confessed to shooting a crane with his rifle and then finishing off a wounded crane with his pistol. Both firearms were seized and two dead sandhill cranes were recovered from a nearby location where the suspects hid the birds. The second suspect confessed to shooting 30 rounds from an AK-47 style weapon into a flock of Sandhill cranes but wasn’t sure how many birds he hit. The weapon was seized, and a report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for charges of the taking of a protected species.
CO Michael Evink assisted with locating and recovering a lost elderly hiker in the Seney Wildlife Refuge. The hiker had left the trail and become lost and tired. CO Evink’s knowledge of the area assisted MSP troopers locating the hiker.
CO Mark Zitnik was subpoenaed to a preliminary trial at the Alger County Court House where a subject was issued a citation for careless operation and a warrant was issued for fleeing and eluding. The subject pled guilty to the one-year misdemeanor, resisting, and obstructing. The individual also had to pay over $1,000 in fines, serve 12-months’ probation, 96 hours of community service, and had to write an apology letter to CO Zitnik.
CO Robert Freeborn, along with assistance from CO Jacob Griffin were able to track down the subject who jumped into the Big Springs at Palms Brook State Park and swam in the spring that is closed to swimming. The subject admitted to the incident and stated he didn’t know he couldn’t swim there. A citation was issued.
While patrolling after dark, CO Tim Rosochacki encountered an elderly couple on a rural forest road outside of their vehicle with their hazard lights on. The couple had blown a tire while looking for elk in the Pigeon River County. CO Rosochacki quickly changed their tire and got the grateful couple on their way.
CO Tim Rosochacki was the first on scene to a reported breaking and entering in Otsego County. Upon arrival, the homeowner had the young male sitting on the front porch. CO Rosochacki assisted the MSP with their investigation upon their arrival.
While patrolling after dark during the early elk season, COs Tim Rosochacki, Jon Sheppard, and Sgt. Mark DePew responded to a complaint of a lost individual in the Green Timbers area of Otsego County. CO Rosochacki located the subject within 30 minutes of arriving on scene utilizing cell phone GPS technology to narrow down the search area. The subject was in good spirits and was happy to get a ride back to his waiting son.
CO Jessie Curtis, along with MSP troopers, Alpena County Sheriff’s deputies, Presque Isle County deputies, and Alpena Township Fire Department responded to a report of a drowning on Long Lake in northern Alpena County. An elderly male subject had fallen out of his pontoon boat and was discovered in the water by a neighbor. Revival efforts were unsuccessful, and the subject passed away.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, and Jessie Curtis, along with other area law enforcement participated in a Tip-a-Cop event at the Alpena Applebee’s. The COs and officers sold raffle tickets, t-shirts, and took donations to benefit the Torch Run and Special Olympics. The event was a huge success with over $1,500 being raised.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, Chuck McPherson, and Jessie Curtis responded to a complaint of a barricaded gunman who was wanted for domestic assault and had broken into a few of the nearby cabins just north of Atlanta. The subject was ordered out and arrested without incident. The investigation is ongoing by the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Jessie Curtis was on patrol in Alpena County when she observed an ORV traveling at a high rate of speed on the side of the roadway. CO Curtis attempted to catch up to the ORV as it was passing cars and gaining distance. CO Curtis was able to initiate a traffic stop on the ORV as it turned off onto a side road. A check with dispatch confirmed the operator had a suspended driver’s license and had never transferred the ORV into his name during the six months he had owned it. The operator was also a non-compliant sex offender. The subject was arrested and lodged in Alpena County J ail for driving while license suspended and given a ticket for failing to transfer the title on his ORV. Charges are being filed for being a non-compliant sex offender.
CO Sidney Collins was working an elk shift during the first hunt period. CO Collins was checking a kill-site later in the afternoon when a hunter mentioned another bull being shot in the Lewiston area that morning. CO Collins gained more information and checked with the check station to see if there was a report of a bull being shot that morning; there was not. CO Collins patrolled the area to locate the hunter. After locating several hunters and questioning them, CO Collins was able to figure out who shot at the bull and that the rumors were true. CO Collins questioned the hunter at the shooting site and confirmed the hunter had shot at and hit the bull three times. The hunter and his numerous guides attempted to look for the animal, but with no success. Neither the hunter nor any of his guides made any attempts to report the wounded animal as required by law. The hunter was issued a ticket for failing to report a wounded animal to the check station.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz located two lost hikers in a remote area without cell service in Montmorency County after dark. The subjects had gotten turned around and were unable to find their way out of the woods. The hikers were brought to Vienna where a family member from Wolverine picked them up.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz received a complaint about geese that may have been shot out of season in a residential area. CO Liestenfeltz was able to locate evidence and conducted multiple interviews. After interviewing the suspect, CO Liestenfeltz was able to gain a confession of one goose being killed. Charges were submitted and are currently pending with the Presque Isle County Prosecutor.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a 911 call in Alpena County and assisted the MSP with a female subject who was suicidal. When officers arrived on scene, the subject exited her residence with a rifle. The female subject then entered her vehicle and left her residence driving west on M-32. She then pulled into an unknown residence still holding the rifle inside the vehicle. After a short while, the female continued to drive. All law enforcement vehicles followed the vehicle for approximately five minutes before they were able to box her in and get her vehicle stopped in the middle of the roadway. The female was taken into custody with no further issues.
CO Jon Sklba received a complaint that a subject had dumped tires in Long Lake in Alpena County. The subject had taken tires out onto the lake with his pontoon and discarded the tires, sinking them to the bottom of the lake. CO Sklba was able to respond to the area and locate where the subject came from. CO Sklba contacted the property owner at a later date to inquire about the tire disposal. The property owner admitted to discarding the tires in the lake and stated that he had done so for years. The subject stated that he was building a fish shelter, which he knew he needed a permit for, and he admitted to not having a permit. Charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office.
COs William Haskin and Troy Ludwig were patrolling the Betsie River in Benzie County and received complaints of people fishing within the 100-foot mark of the lamprey control area. The COs each responded and patrolled the river, citing several people for fishing within the 100-foot mark and retaining fish not hooked in the mouth.
COs William Kinney and Patrick McManus were patrolling the Betsie River near the Homestead Dam in Benzie County. The COs observed an angler illegally fishing within 100 feet of the dam. Upon contact, it was discovered the angler had multiple warrants out for his arrest. The individual was taken to jail for the warrants and issued a ticket for illegally fishing within 100 feet of the dam.
Sgt. Dan Bigger and CO Amanda Lake conducted a patrol along the Betsie River during the first busy weekend of the salmon runs. After watching two individuals attempting to snag fish for several minutes, CO Lake contacted the anglers and issued citations for attempting to take fish illegally. She also checked for prior DNR convictions on the individuals and found that one of the subjects had two additional fishing violations from 2018. As a result, the subject was taken into custody and lodged in the Benzie County Jail for attempting to take fish illegally as well as fishing without a license. Throughout the rest of the patrol, hundreds of contacts were made, and dozens of citations were issued for recreation trespass and other violations.
COs Patrick McManus and Justin Vanderlinde were partnered up on several patrols of the Betsie River near the Homestead Dam. Besides general fishing rules, regulations and laws, the COs focused their patrols toward ongoing public land use order issues, including camping at the access site, parking in non-designated parking areas, engaging in loud and abusive behavior, recreation passport compliance, and recreational trespass, just to name a few. Together the COs issued over 50 citations and 80 verbal warnings on those land-use orders alone in one weekend.
CO Justin Vanderlinde watched an angler land a salmon that was hooked in the tail. The angler removed the hook from the tail, inserted it into the mouth of the fish and then took the fish to shore where he proudly put the fish on a stringer. The angler was cited for retaining a foul hooked fish.
While working an ongoing trespass complaint along the Betsie River, CO Justin Vanderlinde contacted an angler who had decided to disregard the “NO TRESPASSING” signs. During the contact, the angler was concerned and disappointed that there was nothing at the property line telling him that he was leaving state land. The angler then stated that he would not have trespassed if there was something there warning him of the issue, CO Vanderlinde responded, “Like the sign?” The angler was cited for the violation.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed several subjects trespassing on private property to go fishing at a location in which the property owners have asked for prosecution of trespassers. CO Killingbeck contacted the two subjects who admitted to seeing a long row of no trespassing signs. The subjects told CO Killingbeck that they had been fishing this spot for years and the no trespassing signs “have always been around.” The subjects were educated and cited for Recreational Trespass.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Robert Meyers of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department were on ORV patrol together. The officers were near a campground in Luther where they could hear loud music being played. The officers drove through the campground where they observed two subjects on an ORV with no helmets or eye protection, and riding double on an ORV only designed for one person. The subjects were stopped and found to be coming from the camp that had loud music playing. The subjects were cited for no helmets and asked to turn the music down. The subjects agreed. A short time later, while sitting in the same area, the officers suddenly heard the music get louder again with loud, vulgar music being played. CO Killingbeck, after giving the camp an extended amount of time to turn the music down, could hear campers in the park yelling for the music to be turned down. CO Killingbeck contacted the group of campers and it was explained that the music was too loud. The subjects complained that they were just up for the weekend to have fun. CO Killingbeck educated the subjects on rules in the park. A citation was issued for the loud music.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to a report of an ORV crash where a subject had rolled his ORV. CO Killingbeck and a deputy were the first to arrive on scene and found that a subject had failed to negotiate a curve and was ejected from the quad he was driving. The subject was in significant pain. CO Killingbeck assisted in first aid and alerted the responded EMS unit to a serious injury. The subject was transported via helicopter to a down state trauma center for care of his injuries.
District 4, Area 3 COs, with the assistance of District 7 COs, the Newaygo County Sheriff Department, and MSP, conducted a group marine patrol to address issues with boaters attending the annual Hot Boat event. Several citations were issued for marine violations including failure to provide enough numbers of PFDs and operate a vessel with expired registration. CO Ben Shively conducted Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) measurements of vessels traveling in excess of the 55-mph limit. Patrol vessels were staged upstream and downstream of CO Shively, and the patrol stopped the speeding vessels. Three citations were issued for vessels that were traveling at 67, 65, and 64 mph in violation of the state law of 55 mph on an inland body of water.
While assisting a vessel with navigation lighting issues, a personal watercraft (PWC) was observed operating after sunset. Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen followed the PWC to the dock with emergency lights activated. CO Jeff Ginn contacted the operator and advised her of the violation. It was determined through field sobriety testing that the female subject was intoxicated beyond the legal limits. The female operator was arrested, the PWC was returned to the owner, and the female subject was transported to the Newaygo County Jail for boating under the influence of alcohol.
CO Mike Wells was involved in a group patrol on the Benzie River. A private landowner along the river has had several issues with subjects trespassing on his property. CO Wells and CO William Kinney issued seven citations in less than an hour for recreational trespass. All subjects admitted to seeing the “no trespassing,” but all walked right by them.
CO Josh Reed assisted the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office with a suicidal female that had taken a bottle of prescription medication. The vehicle was in a secluded cemetery surrounded by a very thick wooded area. CO Reed assisted the K9 unit on a track and, after approximately six hours of searching by several people, she was located and turned over to EMS.
CO Tim Barboza assisted the Evart Police Department with a domestic assault involving a large crowd of people. While clearing the scene, CO Barboza and the Evart K9 officer witnessed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed. CO Barboza located the vehicle sitting in front of a house down the street with the driver still inside and pulled up behind the car and noticed there was no license plate. The driver could not explain where he had gotten the vehicle or why he had hot-wired the car to start it. The driver had a bag with marijuana and a rolled joint behind his ear. The K9 officer arrested the driver and, upon an inventory search of the vehicle, the officers discovered methamphetamine and needles inside the car.
While on patrol, CO Tim Barboza heard a call about a runaway girl that was walking down the road and jumping in front of cars. CO Barboza was less than a mile away from the area and was able to locate the runaway in the roadway. CO Barboza followed her down to a stream which the female was attempting to jump into. CO Barboza was able to wade through and detain her until another officer was able to arrive and assist in escorting her back to the Muskegon River Youth Home.
CO James Garrett and Sgt. Bobbi Lively were on marine patrol in Oscoda County for the opening day of early goose and teal season. The COs were checking an angler with an undersized pike when they heard a gunshot a short distance behind them from shore. Both COs turned to see a hen mallard flying. Shortly after, a second shot followed, and the COs observed the hen mallard fall from the sky and land in the water. They quickly motored over to the location where the duck had fallen and contacted two waterfowl hunters. The COs asked who the lucky hunter was, to which one replied, “ME!” The hunter stated he had just shot a goose. CO Garrett informed the hunter he shot a mallard, which was not in season until October 5. The COs also determined the hunters did not have the required plugs in their firearms. One hunter was cited for taking waterfowl out of season and possessing an unplugged shotgun. The other hunter was cited for possessing an unplugged shotgun.
CO James Garrett and Sgt. Bobbi Lively were on marine patrol in Oscoda County when they located a group of early goose and teal hunters. The COs heard shots and observed the hunters’ dog swimming to retrieve a duck. The COs used binoculars to find the duck in the water, which they determined was a wood duck. They contacted the hunters and, during the interview, the hunter stated he thought it was a blue-winged teal. The hunter was cited for taking a wood duck out of season.
CO Phil Hudson recently sat in wait on a secluded piece of state land in Arenac County for “party goers” to show up. Over the summer, numerous complaints had been received referencing large parties on state land that resulted in large amounts of litter, underage drinking, and excessively large bonfires. Well into the night, his vigil paid off and a caravan of over 50 subjects rolled in and began to start fires and party. After careful observation, CO Hudson made the call to other local agencies that were waiting to assist. The Arenac County Sheriff’s Department and MSP rolled in and assisted with gathering the subjects before they could scatter into the woods. Numerous tickets were issued for underage drinking, burning illegal materials, and littering on state land. In addition, CO Hudson and the assisting law enforcement officers held flashlights for the subjects as they went around and picked up four truckloads of trash and litter.
COs Josh Wright and Mark Papineau conducted a speed enforcement patrol on the designated ORV trail in southern Roscommon County using their recently acquired radar units. Several contacts were made on the trail along with one citation being issued for a speed violation. Numerous ORV operators commented that they were glad to see the speed enforcement efforts and further added they were long overdue. Even the operator cited for his speed violation admitted that more speed enforcement needed to occur on the trails.
CO Chad Foerster assisted at the Crump Sportsman Club for a Hunter Safety Field Day. Approximately 45 students were in attendance.
COs Dan Robinson and Josh Russell were working Montcalm County when a report of a personal injury (PI) accident came out. The car was reportedly overturned. The COs were near the area and arrived first on scene. The COs found a badly damaged car on its top and a driver who had visible injuries. He was assessed by the COs prior to EMS arriving on scene and taking over care. The driver also appeared to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. The accident and possible operating while intoxicated (OWI) was handled by the MSP units who arrived on scene and were able to follow the ambulance to the hospital in Grand Rapids.
CO Dan Robinson had received complaints of a four-wheeler traveling at high speeds with two riders who were not wearing helmets; the complaints came in over the course of several days. CO Robinson and his ride-along watched the area one afternoon and eventually witnessed the suspect machine traveling on the roadway just as the complainants had stated. A stop was conducted, and the riders turned out to be minors who were riding unsupervised, without helmets, riding with more than the machine was designed for, and neither of the riders had taken an ORV course as required. The owner of the machine was located and written a citation for allowing a minor to operate an ORV unsupervised. Several warnings were also issued to the minors who were driving.
COs from District 6 participated in a Hunter Education course in northeastern Montcalm County. The course was taught by the COs throughout the two days, which included a field day portion on the range. The students were able to shoot .22 rifles, archery equipment, shotguns, and learn about tree stand safety and tracking as part of their field day activities. In all, six COs assisted with the class as well as one volunteer instructor to make the weekend go smoothly.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer were on patrol and observing some waterfowl hunters on a lake. The COs contacted the hunters at the boat launch. Further investigation revealed one of the hunters did not have a state waterfowl license. After speaking with that hunter, it turns out he had not taken the required hunter safety class either. A citation was written for the hunter safety violation.
CO Matt Page and Sgt. Steve Mooney worked the early goose opener and checked several hunters. During the patrol the COs contacted a group goose hunting and one subject, when asked for a license, told the COs his wallet was in the truck but that he “definitely bought a license.” A further check showed that the individual did not purchase a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO BJ Goulette and Sgt. Jeff Rabbers patrolled the Grand Haven State Game Area (SGA) on the opening day of the early teal season. There were many groups hunting in the game area that morning, but the officers keyed in on an area where shots were heard before legal shooting hours. After observing the hunting parties in the area, a subject was issued a citation for shooting a wood duck out of season likely because it was shot before the legal shooting hours for teal. This situation shows the importance of waiting for the additional daylight to be able to correctly identify the birds that are being targeted to prevent mistakes.
While checking area lakes in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg observed a subject operating a PWC without a PFD and without the safety lanyard attached. Contact was made with the individual and a citation was issued for the violation.
In Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked the Portland SGA for angling and ORV activity. While there, CO Beavers located a tent in one of the parking lots. It appeared that people were camping during a prohibited time. CO Beavers checked the area, but no one was located. The camp appeared clean and CO Beavers checked the wooded area around the camp and did not locate any garbage. It did appear the campers may be homeless as there were many household items such as a fan. CO Beavers returned the next day and contacted a female subject. He informed her that they could not camp in the state game area from May 15 to September 10. CO Beavers told her they had 24 hours to vacate the camp. He obtained her information and told her where she could camp this time of year. CO Beavers checked the area during a future patrol and noticed that they had thrown the fan and a large garbage bag in the woods before leaving. CO Beavers then went to the campground at the Ionia State Recreation Area and located the campers. CO Beavers contacted the female and explained that he found the garbage they left behind. At that time the female subject stated that they intended to return to pick it up. CO Beavers told the subject he did not believe this as it has been a week since they left. CO Beavers cited the subject for littering and instructed the campers they need to return to the camp and clean up their trash.
CO Jackie Miskovich, Cpl. Ivan Perez, and Cpl. Ryan Rademacher were on patrol on Croton Pond during Hot Boat when CO Ben Shively radioed them that there was a boat about to pass our location that was going 67 mph. After following the vessel and contacting the individuals, it was found that they knew they were only allowed to be going 55 mph in a vessel, and they were not paying attention to how fast they had been going. A citation was issued for exceeding the 55-mph speed limit on vessels.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint regarding the possession of multiple protected turtle species. The turtles in possession were identified as two Spotted turtles, a Blanding turtle, and a Wood turtle. An interview was conducted by CO Cullen, and a confession was obtained. The individual admitted to having the turtles as eggs and keeping them for multiple years at his residence. The turtles were confiscated and taken to a licensed turtle rehabilitator for further examination. Charges are being sought for the possession of the threatened and protected turtle species through the Muskegon County Prosecutor.
CO Anna Cullen was participating in a back-road ORV patrol when she noticed three moving vehicles in the distance. CO Cullen sped up to make contact and saw three ORVs on the roadway, a three-wheeler, a quad, and a dirt bike. Due to the Muskegon County ORV regulations on county roads, she initiated a stop on the ORVs. Once the emergency lights were activated, the three-wheeler avoided contact by turning into a nearby driveway. Contact was made with the riders of the quad and dirt bike. Through further investigation, it was found that none of the ORVs were licensed, and all were observed operating illegally on a roadway. The rider of the three-wheeler was located, and it was determined that his ORV did not have working headlights or taillights, along with the other violations present. All three individuals returned with multiple Officer Safety Cautions (OFCs). The rider of the three-wheeler returned with an active warrant out of Muskegon County. Citations were issued.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in Riverside Park in Kent County where he witnessed two individuals fishing without licenses. During a brief investigation, CO Varriale found a loaded pistol in the vehicle. The individual did not have a Concealed Pistol License. The individual was cited for the violation.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County where he witnessed an individual shooting a semi-automatic rifle into a small dirt mound. It was after dark and there was an illegal campsite set up beyond the dirt mound. CO Varriale showed the individual what he was shooting at and the safety concerns with it. The individual was cited for shooting after sunset.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg were on patrol in the Rogue River SGA where they witnessed an individual taking stones from a farm field. The COs made contact and discovered the individual did not have permission from the farmer to take rocks from private property. Upon further investigation, it was discovered the individual had several warrants. Kent County Sheriff’s Department was contacted, and the individual was taken into custody.
COs Andrew Monnich, Eric Smither, Brandon Hartleben, Dan Prince, and Sgt. Jason Smith worked a waterfowl complaint for the early goose opener in Lenawee County. The COs were able to contact three hunters who were hunting over a baited pond. It was also determined that two of the hunters did not have waterfowl stamps or hunting licenses. Charges are being sought with the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Pete Purdy, John Byars, and Katie Stawara conducted an ORV patrol at Island Lake Recreation Area. The COs contacted three men who were metal detecting in an historical area closed to metal detecting. In addition, they trespassed on railroad tracks to access the area and were in possession of alcohol which is banned in the recreation area. They were each issued citations for possession of alcohol in a state park and were warned on the other violations.
CO Todd Thorn found a truck with a boat trailer parked at the Gale Road state boat launch and sat for a while to see if the boat would arrive. CO Thorn then left and returned a little while later. Upon return, the boaters were located and were operating an unregistered vessel. When contacted, the operator said that they were just testing the motor and had only been out five minutes. CO Thorn questioned the man, who then admitted to having been on the water for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, the passenger onboard was found to have a child support warrant with a $21,000 bond, and an unserved Personal Protective Order. A citation was issued to the operator.
CO Kris Kiel was on foot patrol at Wetzel Recreation Area working waterfowl hunters on the goose/teal opener. CO Kiel was watching two waterfowl hunters on a pond when one of the subjects shot at ducks 21 minutes before legal shooting hours. CO Kiel asked CO Brad Silorey to come over and help watch the hunters from another angle. While CO Silorey was on his way, CO Kiel watched the two hunters take a mallard. After CO Silorey arrived, one of the hunters took a wood duck. The COs waited until the hunters exited the pond. On their way out, the COs observed one subject toss the two ducks into the cattails. When the CO contacted the subjects, CO Silorey retrieved the duck carcasses while CO Kiel found the duck breasts hidden in a beef jerky bag. Citations were written for taking ducks during the closed season and hunting waterfowl before hours. Warnings were given for no federal waterfowl stamp and no fully feathered wing attached.
COs Brad Silorey, Joe Deppen, and Kris Kiel were on patrol working ORV activity on the border of St. Clair and Macomb County. While sitting at a crossroad, the COs could hear an ORV approaching them very quickly. CO Silorey threw on his helmet and jumped on his ORV, just as the rider flew by at a very high rate of speed. CO Silorey began following the individual attempting to catch up. After approximately three miles, CO Silorey finally was able to catch up to the careless ORV rider because he took a turn at a high rate of speed and ran off the road. CO Silorey conducted the stop. CO Silorey was able to address the violations with the suspect, which were as follows: operating at a greater than reasonable speed, approximately 60 mph, failing to operate ORV on the extreme right side of road, and careless operation. The subject was cited for careless operation ORV and failing to operate ORV to extreme right of road.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking goose hunters in Macomb County, when he noticed one hunter unload his firearm and leave it in the blind as he exited. CO Deppen checked licenses and verified the geese that were shot. CO Deppen started checking firearms and the first two were plugged properly. The third hunter said, “I only keep three in there.” CO Deppen checked his firearm and found that it did not have a plug. The hunter was given a citation for hunting waterfowl with an unplugged firearm.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking hunters coming into a local launch in Macomb County. CO Deppen looked toward the point and noticed two anglers fishing in a prohibited area. CO Deppen contacted the anglers who admitted to stepping over the no trespassing sign. The anglers said they thought it was okay to fish in the area if the signs were knocked down. One angler was given a verbal warning for fishing without a license, and but both anglers were cited for enter, use, and occupy when posted against.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking waterfowl hunters in Macomb County when he noticed two sandhill cranes flying overhead. The cranes disappeared behind a pile of reeds and CO Deppen heard multiple shots. CO Deppen made the scene to see one bird fall from the sky but saw both cranes fly away unharmed. CO Deppen saw two hunters emerge from the reeds and started searching for the waterfowl they shot. The hunters said they saw a Canada goose flying with the group of cranes and shot at it. The hunters found the goose a short time later. During a check of their equipment, CO Deppen noticed one hunter did not have a federal duck stamp in his possession, but assured CO Deppen he had purchased one. After a verification that the hunter did not purchase the federal stamp, CO Deppen issued him a citation for hunting waterfowl without a federal stamp.
CO Joseph Deppen was heading south after conducting a hunter safety field day when a report came over the radio of multiple shots fired in a field and multiple rounds hitting houses in the area. CO Deppen responded and met Macomb County deputies at a farm field west of the location of shots fired. CO Deppen and Macomb County deputies heard multiple shots from behind a barn and found three subjects rapidly firing weapons. The subjects were ordered to stop firing and drop the firearms. CO Deppen secured three pistols in his vehicle and the subjects were questioned about their shooting and backstop. The backstop was nothing more than a piece of wooden pallet. CO Deppen and deputies responded to the houses east of the shots fired location and recovered two bullets from two separate buildings more than a quarter mile away. The subjects were arrested by Macomb County Sheriff’s Department for reckless discharge of a firearm and the firearms were taken for comparison to the bullets found at the scene.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint about a group of waterfowl hunters that killed a mallard duck. CO Gardner was able to locate and contact the hunters. When asked, the group told CO Gardner that they had two green wing teal and five Canada geese. CO Gardner then asked if they shot any mallard ducks and was told no. While checking the hunters’ shotguns, CO Gardner found that one of the shotguns was unplugged. The hunter stated he didn’t realize his gun needed one. CO Gardner issued the hunter a ticket for using an unplugged shotgun.
CO Jaime Salisbury was patrolling through the Lapeer SGA when a suicidal subject call came across the radio. CO Salisbury was only a few miles away, so he responded to the call. When CO Salisbury arrived, he was first on scene and found a man attempting to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a woman lying on the ground. CO Salisbury took over CPR and attached his automated external defibrillator to the woman, after performing CPR for several minutes before paramedics arrived and took over the scene. Unfortunately, the CPR attempts were not successful, and the woman was pronounced dead on the scene.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol checking for waterfowl hunting activity when he observed a small group of people fishing a canal behind a local business. CO Silorey pulled in and contacted the first two anglers that were closest to him. They stated that the bite was slow, and they only had one bluegill. CO Silorey completed his check and walked over to the next angler. After asking how the fishing was going, the angler stated that he had caught a “few” bluegills. The angler then opened his cooler, which was filled with fish and stated that he had 26 fish but claimed that one was a shad. CO Silorey told the angler that he was going to have to count his fish. The angler then started to pull the fish out and placing them on the ground. After removing most of the fish in the cooler, CO Silorey noticed the angler was attempting to conceal another fish in the cooler with several pan fish. CO Silorey asked the angler to take a step back and then reached in the cooler and removed an 11-inch largemouth bass. The subject immediately stated, “Yeah, that’s a little short.” The subject was in possession of 28 pan fish, three over the daily possession limit, and one undersized largemouth bass. The angler was cited for both the over limit and undersized fish.
CO Nick Ingersoll was conducting maintenance on his vessel at Anglers Marina when two anglers asked him the legal-size limit for bluegill and bass. CO Ingersoll advised them of the size limit and the anglers stated, “Good, we have a massive bass; it is the only one we caught.” CO Ingersoll said he could measure it for them, and it was determined to be 15 inches. CO Ingersoll was putting the fish back in the angler’s bucket and observed an undersized bass covered in the bottom of the bucket. CO Ingersoll asked the anglers why they stated they only had one bass when they had two in their bucket. The anglers stated that once they knew the size limit was 14 inches, they thought that one was undersized and did not want to get caught. CO Ingersoll measured the largemouth bass, and it was determined to be 11 inches. One of the two anglers confessed to keeping both bass, and stated he just wanted to try them. CO Ingersoll issued the angler a citation for possessing undersized largemouth bass.
CO Nick Ingersoll contacted four hunters hunting behind a residence who had shot two geese earlier in the morning. While checking the hunter’s equipment, it was determined that one of the hunters had forgotten to plug his shotgun before going out on the opener. CO Ingersoll ran the individual for priors and the hunter had a prior violation for possessing a firearm capable of holding more than three shells. CO Ingersoll issued the hunter a citation for hunting with a firearm capable of holding more than three shells.
CO Keven Luther received a hunter harassment complaint via telephone from a waterfowl hunter within a state game area. While investigating the complaint with CO Brandon Vacek, he contacted a hunter that had toxic shot loaded in his shotgun. CO Luther educated and cited the individual on scene. CO Luther then doubled up with Area 1 Sgt. Damon Owens. While on their waterfowl patrol, the two officers stopped in at Delray boat launch on Detroit’s southwest side to check a few anglers. CO Luther contacted an individual fishing without a valid 2019 fishing license. While investigating the license violation CO Luther was informed that this individual had a DNR warrant for the same offense. CO Luther confirmed the warrant and lodged him at the Detroit Detention Center.
COs Brandon Vacek, Nick Ingersoll, and Sgt. Damon Owens were checking waterfowl hunters in Allens Cove Marsh when they contacted two hunters who were having a slow morning. The COs conducted a check of the hunter’s hunting equipment and the vessel’s equipment when they found that the vessel did not have any PFDs on board. The operator stated that they did not think they needed PFDs due to the rowboat not having a motor. The COs advised him that they still needed to have PFDs or Type IV throwables on board. The COs issued the individual a citation for not having any PFDs on board his vessel.
Following up on information passed on by CO Dave Schaumburger, CO Dan Walzak contacted an angler along the Detroit River who claimed to have some luck. Checking the fish on the angler’s stringer, CO Walzak observed that the angler had two short smallmouth bass. CO Walzak asked the angler if he had measured the fish and the angler stated that he had not. When asked if he knew how long the bass were supposed to be, the angler stated that he did not know. Through further conversation, CO Walzak learned that the angler did not pick up a fishing guide but knew that the guide provided the regulations regarding size limits. CO Walzak seized the two bass and issued a citation to the angler for possession of undersized fish.
CO Tom Peterson responded to a domestic dispute at a gas station in Oakland County. CO Peterson was first on scene. The CO identified the parties gaining information that one of the individuals involved was suffering from bipolar disorder and had been off his medication for at least seven days. The individual was having an episode and wanted to be admitted to the hospital for psychiatric treatment. The individual was cleared and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment by EMS.
CO Tom Peterson was the first officer on scene to a truck fire that endangered a nearby barn and other heavy-duty equipment. The CO determined no one was in the vehicle or the nearby structures. CO Peterson secured the scene until the fire department arrived to extinguish the fire.
CO Luke Robare was patrolling home from his shift on Belle Isle when he observed a vehicle in front of him exhibiting signs that the driver might be intoxicated. CO Robare followed the vehicle for several miles and observed the vehicle commit a moving violation. CO Robare initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and when the driver rolled down the window, CO Robare was able to smell the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. CO Robare administered Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) on the driver; the results verified that driver was intoxicated. CO Robare arrested the individual and lodged him at the Genesee County Jail.
COs Charlie Jones and Kyle Publiski observed a vehicle doing a burnout in an intersection on Belle Isle Park in the city of Detroit. A traffic stop was conducted for the careless driving offense. The driver of the vehicle was found to not have insurance on the vehicle. A citation was issued for the violations.
CO Ethan Gainforth and Sgt. Scott Brown patrolled Belle Isle Park over the holiday weekend. As the COs were making their rounds to close the island at 10:30 p.m., they saw a vehicle traveling towards them on a one-way street. The COs stopped the vehicle and it was apparent that the driver was highly intoxicated. After conducting sobriety tests, the driver was arrested and lodged for OWI at the Detroit Detention Center.