Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Jared Ferguson was travelling south on M-95 when he encountered a motor vehicle traveling 95 mph in a posted 55 miles per hour zone. CO Ferguson was able to stop the vehicle and contact the driver. CO Ferguson asked the driver why he continued at a high rate of speed and didn't slow down after seeing the patrol vehicle and he stated, "I didn't think you guys could stop me for speeding, so I didn't think anything of it." A citation was issued for speeding.
CO Shannon Kritz responded to a complaint of a grass fire that was spreading toward houses. CO Kritz assisted in evacuating nearby houses until the fire was under control. Once the fire was controlled, CO Kritz returned to the residence where the fire originally started. The investigation revealed that the fire was started when 2 children (10 and 11 years old) began playing with a couple of lighters they had found. CO Kritz educated the boys on fire safety and educated the family on leaving lighters laying around the house.
CO Shannon Kritz worked in conjunction with the Wisconsin game wardens to patrol an area of the Menominee River where both states were receiving numerous snagging complaints. CO Kritz contacted one angler who was observed keeping a fish after it had been snagged on top of its head. The angler explained to CO Kritz that he thought he could keep fish as long as they were caught in front of the gill plate. CO Kritz informed the angler that fish have to be retained in the mouth to be legally kept. The angler was cited for possessing a fish not retained in the mouth.
CO Jeffrey Dell completed an investigation of license fraud with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Bureau of Law Enforcement. A subject was found to be purchasing resident Michigan licenses while being a Wisconsin resident. In total, the subject defrauded the State of Michigan approximately $900 in the past five years. Charges are being sought through the local prosecutor.
CO Chris Lynch recently had a deer case adjudicated in court where the subject illegally shot an 8-point buck. The subject was sentenced five days jail, fined $450, ordered to pay $6,000 in reimbursement, loss of hunting privileges until 2027, and the crossbow forfeited. The case stemmed from a multi-agency investigation where several subjects were charged with various hunting and fishing violations.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin responded to five separate grass fires in a two-day period of time. Dry conditions and high winds have made for high fire conditions. Reasons for the fires starting varied from people burning vegetation, dumping ashes from a wood boiler, kids playing with lighters, and people having recreational campfires.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when dispatch put out a call for assistance on a "cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in progress". As the location of the incident was hard to access due to poor road conditions, the COs utilized their mapping programs and coordinated with the Masonville emergency medical services (EMS) to get on-scene as quickly as possible. The COs assisted with CPR until a pulse was regained and the subject was loaded into an ambulance for transport. During transport, the patient lost their pulse a second time, which necessitated a stop until the pulse could be regained. The ambulance then transported the subject to Marquette General Hospital for further care.
CO Steve Butzin concluded a several month investigation on an individual taking deer without licenses in Delta County. CO Butzin was following up with an individual from another illegal deer case from back in 2018 when he discovered information that another individual possibly had taken a deer without a license. After further investigation it was discovered that an individual had been taking deer without licenses since at least 1995. The suspect bragged about shooting hundreds of deer in his life. A search warrant was executed on the residence of the suspect, which uncovered approximately 50 sets of deer antler skull caps. Many of these deer were large mature bucks. Along with the antlers, other evidence was collected at the scene to corroborate the suspect's claims to have shot many deer without licenses. Several interviews and genetic testing of evidence collected all point towards the fact that this individual has taken many deer both in season and out of season without licenses. CO Butzin was assisted in this investigation by COs Chris Lynch, Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon, Mike Hammill, Andrea Dani, and Rob Freeborn as well as the Delta County Sheriff's Department and MSP. A report has been submitted to the 94th District Court of Delta County requesting the charge of taking the following deer without licenses: two 8-points in 2020, one 6-point in 2019, and one 8-point in 2018. If convicted this individual could face reimbursement to the state for $20,000, along with fines and costs of prosecution as well as loss of hunting privileges.
CO Steve Butzin served an arrest warrant on an individual from an incident which occurred in Delta County. This warrant was for taking a 6-point buck without a license in 2020. The suspect is pending arraignment.
CO Mike Olesen responded to a grass fire that got out of control and burned approximately 15 acres, including an old fallen down barn on the neighbor's property, before being put out. Warrants are being sought for the person responsible.
CO Nathan Beelman responded to two brush fire calls in Charlevoix County during a windy day when Charlevoix County was closed to burning. CO Tim Rosochacki assisted CO Beelman with investigating the first fire. The fire escaped a burn pit and burned approximately 10 acres of property, including a neighbor's property and the fence line to a township cemetery. The homeowners stated they started the fire to have a "Viking funeral" for a cat that had died earlier in the day. The fire quickly grew and burned much of the open grass field around their home. The homeowner was issued a ticket for allowing the fire to escape and given warnings for burning other household items, including mattresses and tires.
CO Nathan Beelman assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department in searching for a subject who had gotten into a fight with the female occupant of a vehicle and left her in a field. The male subject allegedly had the female's young child unrestrained in the vehicle as he left the scene. CO Beelman was the second officer on scene and began searching the area and assisted with securing the nearby hotel room they were renting. The subject was eventually found and arrested in Antrim County.
CO Nathan Beelman was contacted by a local fire department to investigate a fire that burned a neighbor's field and was stopped short of burning a pole barn and a neighboring home. CO Beelman contacted the residents of the home where the fire started and found that a subject had been burning trash, a couch, and other household waste in a dumpster. The fire escaped and burned approximately 10 acres of a field due to the high winds at the time. The subject was ticketed for a violation of open burning and given warnings for improper disposal of solid waste.
CO Chad Baldwin responded to multiple calls of brush and grass fires over a dry and windy weekend in which Charlevoix County was closed to burning and burn permits were not being issued. Several homes were evacuated due to a quickly spreading fire and in one instance approximately 8 to 10 acres were burned, including an adjacent property. No injuries or structure fires occurred, however, multiple tickets were issued for open burning of solid waste and failing to take precautions to prevent fire from escaping.
CO Adam LeClerc received a complaint of an angler fishing on a closed trout stream in Emmet County. CO LeClerc responded and found the angler at his vehicle in the parking lot next to the stream. The angler possessed a current license and stated that he was going to attempt to fish but did not yet. CO LeClerc advised the angler that this section of stream was under closure until the end of April and gave the angler a couple other options to fish that were open nearby. The angler was unaware of the closure and thanked the CO for the advice.
CO Eric Bottorff was patrolling the Pigeon River State Forest when he came upon a stranded motorist in a remote area who had attempted to contact a tow truck but could not get cellular service. The CO was able to change the flat tire and guide her back to the main road to head home.
CO Tom Oberg assisted the MSP and Otsego County Sheriff's Department in a report of a female who was abducted at gunpoint in the Lansing area and drove to the Elmira area in Otsego County. The woman stated to police that she was able to escape from the vehicle in the Elmira area while the suspect fled on foot. The woman then ran to a nearby residence which from there, they called 911. CO Oberg assisted the agencies for several hours in search of the suspected, who was armed, with no luck. Several days had passed when police stated that the subject had entirely made up the story. Investigation on the episode continues.
CO Tom Oberg worked a busy ORV weekend in Otsego County. CO Oberg focused on problematic areas that were closed to ORVs within Otsego County. Throughout the day, multiple tickets were issued to riders for operating in closed areas as well as ORV license and permit violations. Several warnings were given throughout the day as well.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz contacted multiple subjects who had small brush piles burning on days that did not permit burning. CO Liestenfeltz educated the subjects on how to check the DNR website to view the burn permit map and if permits are being issued before they burned. The fires were extinguished, and no large grass fires occurred from those instances.
COs Jon Sklba and Paul Fox contacted a subject tending an illegal out of season bear bait in Presque Isle County. The subject stated he was running the bait to train his dogs. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Jon Sklba was on patrol in Presque Isle County when he stopped a vehicle that passed multiple other vehicles at one time while speeding and running oncoming traffic off the road. The operator was unable able to provide a driver's license as he was currently suspended. A ticket was issued, and the vehicle turned over to a licensed driver at the scene.
CO Sidney Collins responded to several wildfires in one day in Montmorency County. The first fire started from a legal burn barrel. The subject called 911 immediately for help from the fire department. The DNR Forestry Division fire aircraft monitored the fire, which was quickly extinguished. When the DNR aircraft was leaving the area, the pilot viewed smoke elsewhere in the county. CO Collins responded to the fire and found another burn barrel had caught the surrounding grounds on fire. The subject did not have a legal top on the barrel. The fire spread about half an acre and the DNR fire officers were able to get it under control. CO Collins educated both parties on legally burning during burn bans and that they must be present even while having a legal burn barrel.
CO Sidney Collins responded to two different dead eagles found in Montmorency County. CO Collins investigated the area where the eagles were located. No illegal activity is suspected. CO Collins sent the eagles to the DNR Wildlife laboratory in Lansing for testing.
CO Sidney Collins responded to a wood processor on fire in Montmorency County. CO Collins assisted in finding the equipment in the woods. Fire departments were able to extinguish the machine before it spread into the woods.
CO Paul Fox responded to two separate dead eagle complaints in Presque Isle County. Each bird was collected and sent to the DNR Wildlife laboratory in Lansing for a necropsy. The investigation is pending the necropsy results. However, initial investigations appear to show the birds died from natural causes.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis noticed a truck parked near Clinton Creek where the creek ran through private property. This area has had previous complaints of trespassing along the creek. The COs walked in on foot and contacted three people, two of whom were fishing in the creek. As one of the anglers noticed the COs, he put his fishing pole down and warned the other two people. Upon contact, the subject who put his fishing pole on the ground denied fishing and all denied that they knew they were trespassing. The property is marked very well with no trespassing signs. The two subjects that were fishing received tickets for recreational trespass and one of them issued a ticket for fishing without a license. The third subject was issued a warning for trespass.
CO Amanda McCurdy was on patrol when a complaint came out through Leelanau County Central Dispatch of an elderly woman who was missing at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore dune climb. The woman had become separated from her young granddaughter who returned to the parking lot, borrowed a phone to call 911, and reported her grandmother missing. The woman was known to be asthmatic, so CO McCurdy responded along with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park rangers to locate the woman. After an extensive foot patrol, one of the rangers located the woman near the lakeshore approximately two miles away from where she became separated from her granddaughter. CO McCurdy and the ranger escorted the woman back to the parking lot where she was reunited safely with her granddaughter.
COs Richard Stowe and William Kinney supported a volunteer group of approximately 50 people on their cleanup day on state land in Grand Traverse County. The COs monitored ORV activity, answered questions, and started investigations on dump sites where evidence of ownership was found.
COs Scott MacNeill and Steve Converse received a complaint of a 'Temperamental Tom Turkey Terrorizing Tourists' in Lake County. It was reported that the turkey had been outside of their house for two days and would come after them every time they went outside. COs MacNeill and Converse patrolled to the area and spotted the turkey right outside the caller's front door, strutting around. The COs were able to catch the turkey and relocated it without incident.
While patrolling east on Croton Drive, CO Tim Barboza observed a fire spreading through the woods towards a couple residences. CO Barboza radioed dispatch, advised of the fire, and began to dig a line to stop the fire from reaching the residences. CO Barboza was assisted by the Newaygo County undersheriff in trying to control the fire. Neighbors of the surrounding houses helped in putting the fire out. CO Barboza and the undersheriff, with assistance of the neighbors, had the fire mostly contained when the fire department arrived on scene.
While on patrol, CO Tim Barboza heard dispatch put out a medical call of an individual who had the transmission from a sport utility vehicle he was working on fall on him, pinning him under the car. When CO Barboza arrived on scene, the individual was no longer pinned, and two members of the Fremont Fire Department were out with him. CO Barboza assisted the Fremont Fire Department with stabilizing the individual, who couldn't feel the left side of his body, until the ambulance arrived. CO Barboza assisted in loading the individual into the ambulance.
CO Ben Shively responded to a request from DNR fire officers to a fire that escaped control and burned three acres of the Manistee National Forest in northern Oceana County. The subject had been clearing his property while he was building a new house and had been burning stumps and brush. There were no burn permits being issued and the fires had been left unattended. The strong winds quickly spread the fire into the wood line. The subject was cited for allowing fire to escape control and warned for burning when not permitted.
CO Ben Shively assisted the Hart Fire Department in Oceana County on an illegal burn. Hart Fire had responded to the property a week and half earlier and put out a brush fire on the property. Now the same pile was on fire, with remnants of a barn added to the pile. The materials burning should have been disposed of in a landfill and the subject was cited for illegal disposal of solid waste and warned for burning during the fire ban and unattended fire.
COs Jeff Ginn and Ben Shively located and observed two anglers snagging walleye during the closed season near Croton Dam in Newaygo County. CO Ginn observed one angler snag a walleye and place it on a stringer. CO Shively moved into position on the opposite side of the river to assist with observations. Once the anglers were finished and packed up, they made their way back to the parking lot. One angler stayed in the woods with their fish, while the other angler went to get their vehicle. COs Shively and Ginn made contact with their respective suspect at the same time. CO Shively contacted the subject at the car and obtained a confession while CO Ginn contacted the suspect in the woods with the three illegally taken walleye and obtained a confession. The men were cited for taking walleye during the closed season.
CO Kyle Bader helped MSP troopers apprehend an armed suspect in Ogemaw County. The intoxicated male, a felon, was arguing with his daughter as they drove north on M-33. At some point, he got her to stop the vehicle and took her pistol out of the glove box. Then he told her he was going to come to her house and kill her and anyone that tried to follow him. While working on a plan to locate the suspect, one of the troopers said, "He's walking down the road." CO Bader, along with the MSP, located the suspect and took him into custody without injury.
COs Jeff Goss and Phil Hudson were working the Omer Sucker Festival after dark and watching as anglers were catching several fish. One group of anglers caught the COs' attention. CO Hudson watched as a man caught a fish and immediately held it close to his side and walked behind his camper with it. He returned a short while later empty handed. The COs found this suspicious because the rest of the fish the group of anglers caught were all going on the stringer along the riverbank. After watching the group for a while longer, the COs made contact. At first, the anglers would not admit to walking behind their camper with any fish. After further interviewing, the COs were led to a truck with three illegal walleye in it. Two of the anglers were cited for possessing walleye during the closed season.
CO Jeff Goss investigated a wildfire that was believed to be started by a landowner burning a brush pile. The Gladwin DNR fire unit asked CO Goss to investigate the fire due to some suspicious findings at the scene. Upon arrival at the fire, nobody could be found tending to the fire. The fire officer noticed that someone tried to create a fire break using a tractor-mounted rototiller. CO Goss interviewed witnesses and then went to talk to the landowner who was suspected of having started the fire. The landowner initially denied burning that day until CO Goss explained what he already knew based off eyewitness accounts. The man eventually confessed to starting a fire in a brush pile that ended up getting out of control. He used the rototiller on the back of his tractor to try to stop the fire. At some point, the man gave up and left the property and went home. A passer-by called 911 and reported the fire. While the fire department was putting out the fire, the landowner was seen driving by the scene and not stopping. When later asked by CO Goss why he did not stop, the landowner stated, "What was I going to do? It looked like they had it under control." Charges are being sought through the Gladwin County Prosecutor's Office for allowing a fire to spread.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted a large group of anglers spearing suckers on a creek in northern Huron County. When CO Rhodea asked to check their fishing licenses, multiple anglers advised they were under 17 years old and didn't need one. CO Rhodea then asked for their birthdates and was given multiple birthdates that did not coincide with them being under 17. In total three anglers were found to not have valid fishing licenses and were issued citations.
CO Dan Robinson was called to a trapping complaint in the City of Greenville. The caller reported that her cat had been injured by a large trap and found by the neighbors who took it to a local shelter. The caller produced the trap, which turned out to be large foot-hold trap meant for large animals. CO Robinson was able to talk to the suspect at his residence. The suspect was attempting to catch a problem groundhog and was apologetic for catching the incidental cat. CO Robinson educated the individual on allowed trapping practices for nuisance animals and not using a trap of that type in an area where incidental catches of domestic and wild animals is likely.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling northern Muskegon County for ORV activity when she observed three dirt bikes operating off the designated trail system. The dirt bikes were operating on a national forest road in the Huron Manistee National Forest. CO Cullen stopped the riders and discussed the violations that were present. The group was cited for operating in an area closed to ORV activity.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Cedar Creek trail system when she observed a group of ORVs operating in a sand pit. The pit is located off the designated trail system, on a national forest road. CO Cullen stopped the individuals and found that two were juveniles who did not have the proper eyewear and had not obtained an ORV safety certificate yet. The adult in charge was cited for allowing them to operate without the proper safety training. Warnings were issued for the misdemeanor violations.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River State Game Area (SGA) in Kent County when he witnessed a father and young son about to depart on a rabbit hunting trip. CO Varriale quickly noticed neither of the hunters had hunter orange on. CO Varriale reminded the father that they both need hunter orange on to hunt. The father stated he was not aware of the requirement for rabbit hunting and went home to retrieve an orange vest and sweater before they commenced their hunt.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint from CO Jeremy Beavers about a truck stuck in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County. CO Varriale was forwarded photos of a truck high centered on a berm in a closed area of the game area. CO Varriale learned the operator was attempting to drive over the barriers to enter the closed area when he got stuck. CO Varriale arrived on scene and the truck was already gone. Contact was made with the suspect's mother while the suspect was in school. The suspect's mother stated how surprised and disappointed she was in her son for taking her truck back there to operate it illegally. She stated he is being punished at home, and CO Varriale decided to issue a verbal warning instead of further legal punishments.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County when he witnessed a vehicle without a registration parked suspiciously at the end of a two-track. CO Varriale decided to make contact and the occupant tried to drive away, but the CO was able to stop him. When CO Varriale approached the vehicle, he noticed the driver was pant-less. The driver stated that his pants fell off because he lost weight and does not own a belt. He couldn't explain how his pants fell off while in a seated position in a car. The driver told CO Varriale his girlfriend was sleeping in the back seat. The woman in the backseat was under a blanket trying to get dressed. Further investigation revealed that both subjects had outstanding warrants. The female occupant was advised and released on her outstanding warrant from Montcalm County and the male was taken into custody. When he was notified that he would be arrested on his warrant, the suspect claimed he gave his brother's information. CO Varriale eventually retrieved the proper information from the driver and learned that he too had open warrants out of Kent County. The suspect was lodged at Kent County without further incident.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint that individuals were spearing steelhead on a small tributary in Kent County. The complainant was able to provide a precise location and a good timeline of when the suspects were supposedly spearing. CO Ulberg responded to the area and noticed a flashlight in the area and was able to get in position to closely monitor the angler. While the angler was not spearing, Ulberg could observe a bare treble hook with a weight suspended below the hook, which is illegal fishing gear. CO Ulberg watched as the angler attempted to snag fish. After approximately 30 minutes with no success the angler left the area. The angler was pleasantly surprised when CO Ulberg met him at his vehicle and advised that he had watched the subject attempt to snag fish the entire time. The angler admitted that he was trying to snag steelhead and that he knew it was illegal. CO Ulberg issued the angler a citation for fishing with illegal gear.
CO Pete Purdy spoke at a National Wild Turkey Federation hunting workshop. CO Purdy talked with 23 individuals explaining laws and answering questions.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of a hawk trapped inside a local pet store. CO Strawn responded to the store and discovered a Sharp-shinned hawk was flying around inside the store. CO Strawn called wildlife biologist Chad Fedewa and the Dewitt Charter Township Police Department (DCTPD) to assist with the situation. DCTPD Police Officer Brandon Shellberg evacuated the store and guarded the entrance door while CO Strawn and Chad Fedewa captured the hawk. Once captured, CO Strawn and Fedewa quickly assessed the hawk for injuries. The hawk was determined healthy and uninjured. Fedewa immediately released the hawk which flew far away.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a complaint of a subject who found a dead turkey on their property while they were walking their dog. CO Strawn responded to the complaint location and investigated. CO Strawn discovered a turkey that had been gunshot. CO Strawn collected evidence and several GPS coordinates. CO Strawn is conducting follow up interviews and attempting to locate a suspect.
All District 8 officers and Sgts. are actively engaged in new field conservation officer candidate background investigations.
After receiving a tip from a local rehabilitator, CO Ariel Young was investigating a person who was reported to have in their possession two baby raccoons. In the State of Michigan, it is illegal to keep wild animals without a permit. CO Young met with CO Nick Ingersoll at the location of the suspected individual and attempted to make contact. The individual was not home, so CO Young called a phone number that was provided. Upon talking with the individual, he became very uncooperative and told CO Young to get a warrant before hanging up the phone. Charges are being sought through the court for keeping the baby raccoons.
CO Chris Knights patrolled the Rose Township area and came across a dirt bike operating on the road. As CO Knights was issuing a citation, he observed another dirt bike on a side road. CO Knights was able to catch up to the operator and issued another citation for operating on a closed road.
CO Danielle Zubek witnessed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, weaving in traffic, and not signaling, on south bound I 75. After pacing the vehicle for several miles, CO Zubek conducted a traffic stop. The driver was issued a citation for careless driving.
CO Tom Peterson encountered a female driver heading south down Dixie Highway at a high rate of speed. The CO conducted a traffic stop and the individual was cited for violation of basic speed law and warned for no proof of insurance.
CO Ben Lasher made numerous contacts with people shooting in the Port Huron Game Area. Multiple warnings were given, and one ticket issued for littering as they did not pick up their empty ammunition boxes and/or brass.
CO Bob Watson patrolled Hewitt Pit in response to multiple complaints and improper use of the game area. CO Watson noticed an increase in illegal ORV traffic judging by recent tracks. CO Watson was able to contact three ORV operators who were illegally operating inside the game area. All three individuals received citations for operation inside the game area.
CO Bob Watson responded to Hewitt Pit after receiving multiple complaints of Tannerite being used. CO Watson observed one group target shooting who were also drinking beer. CO Watson watched two of the men place multiple glass beer bottles alongside a hill and then shoot them. CO Watson contacted the group once they had finished shooting and cased the majority of their firearms. Although the men had collected garbage in a garbage bag to haul out, CO Watson issued one citation for litter due to shooting the glass beer bottles and leaving the shards of glass.
COs Ray Gardner and Jaime Salisbury responded to a vehicle versus tree accident that was nearby. The COs arrived on scene along with Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies. The COs located two unresponsive passengers trapped inside the vehicle. Using a window breaker, CO Gardner broke the driver's window open to gain access to the inside of the truck and attempt to unlock the door. The door was not able to be unlocked so CO Salisbury utilized bolt cutters and a Halligan pry tool to get the door open. Once open, the COs and deputies were able to remove the unconscious driver from the vehicle and place him in the care of EMS on scene. CO Salisbury then climbed up into the truck to provide aid to the passenger and see if he could get any response from him. CO Salisbury shouted multiple times and performed a sternum rub but got no response from the passenger. CO Salisbury felt for a pulse but was not able to locate one. CO Salisbury shouted for EMS personnel, and they placed a monitor on the man, but no pulse was detected. The COs then assisted Lapeer County detectives with the traffic crash investigation as well as blocking traffic and onlookers from seeing the graphic scene.
CO Joseph Deppen took a quick break from a background investigation to join fellow CO Brad Silorey on a test run of one of their patrol vessels. While navigating upriver, the COs noticed one angler fishing, but when he saw the COs he began reeling in his line and walking off the dock. The COs pulled in and checked his fishing license and identification, both were valid. The COs began checking on the fish he had in his possession. The COs looked in one bucket and noticed the angler was a few bluegill over his limit. The angler had 105 bluegill and rock bass in his possession. The angler was given a verbal warning for using unlawful methods to catch fish and was issued a citation for over limit of bluegill.
CO Joseph Deppen was on his way to conduct an interview when he was passed by two vehicles in the left lane. CO Deppen used radar and clocked the vehicle traveling at 97 mph in a 70-mph zone. CO Deppen conducted a traffic stop and told the driver how fast he was traveling. The driver said, "I knew I was doing 95 mph, but definitely not 97 mph." The driver was issued a citation for speeding 97 mph in a 70-mph zone.
While on ORV patrol, CO Joseph Deppen observed two persons on dirt bikes operating on a roadway without helmets. CO Deppen initiated a traffic stop and the riders continued on and rode into their driveway. CO Deppen met with the rider's parents on scene as well. CO Deppen gave verbal warnings for failure to stop for police, riding on a roadway, running stop signs, and careless operation. Both riders were given citations for operating an ORV without ORV stickers and operating an ORV without a helmet. The parents assured further discipline would be doled out and CO Deppen cleared the scene.
CO Joseph Deppen was headed home from ORV patrol when he was passed by a vehicle at a high rate of speed. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver was given a verbal warning for no paper registration in the vehicle and was cited for driving 92 mph in a 70 mph.
COs Joseph Deppen, Brad Silorey, and Sgt. Chris Maher followed up on ORVs tearing up state land. The COs found the riders on state land causing damage and target practicing. The ORVs were impounded, and charges will be sought through the prosecutor's office.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll assisted the MSP Emergency Response Team and the Marijuana and Tobacco Team on a search warrant in Monroe County. While following up on a complaint of an individual who was shining and shooting at deer during the nighttime hours, CO Ingersoll located 72 marijuana plants in the 20-year-old suspect's residence. CO Ingersoll contacted the MSP Marijuana and Tobacco Team and turned the tip over to them. After a few short months, the officers were able to serve a search warrant on the residence. Within the residence 140 marijuana plants were located, a few pounds of marijuana packaged and ready to be distributed, heroin, $8,000 in cash, and illegal mushrooms. The MSP Marijuana and Tobacco Team seized all the evidence and will be pursuing charges for the violations on the suspect located in the residence.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling through Ida Township when he observed a cloud of black smoke. CO Ingersoll noticed that a woodburning stove had caught the homeowner's woodpile and utility trailer on fire. CO Ingersoll advised Monroe Central Dispatch of the incident and requested the fire department respond due to the size of the blaze. CO Ingersoll assisted the homeowner with retrieving his dog from the residence. With the high wind and fire continuing to build, at any minute the residence could catch fire. After several minutes of trying to retrieve the stubborn Labrador from the house, CO Ingersoll used his catch pole and secured the dog in the owner's vehicle. Once the fire department arrived, they were able to put out the fire which had begun to spread to the residence. Fortunately, they were able to put it out quickly before it could spread to nearby fields.
During a Belle Isle patrol, CO Ariel Young received a complaint from dispatch regarding a verbal altercation that was possibly racially motivated. COs Young and Keven Luther responded to the area and talked with the complainants who gave a brief description of the individuals and stated that they had been in the zoo. The COs accessed the zoo and were on foot patrol when they observed two individuals that were actively spray painting the walls and of the buildings. The individuals did not match the description but were stopped anyway. Upon checking their bags, the COs found wire cutters and multiple cans of spray paint. The individuals were then escorted out of the zoo and issued citations for being in the zoo, which is posted property, and given stern warnings for Malicious Destruction of Property. The individuals were young, and CO Young explained to them that they did not want to continue down the path they were on and starting a criminal record. The individuals who were in the verbal altercation did not want to pursue a police report.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Danielle Zubek observed individuals in an area which is closed to the public. Sgt. Jason Becker joined CO Zubek and patrolled the area. The COs located two subjects inside the area. As the COs were approaching the subjects, they witnessed them using narcotics. The COs then escorted the subjects out of the closed area. The substance was field tested and was positive for cocaine. The two subjects were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and processed.
CO Bob Watson had a Belle Isle patrol and conducted multiple traffic stops for speeding and driving the wrong way on a one-way road. CO Watson issued one citation to a driver for disregarding a stop sign and issued warnings for the following: paced at 10 mph over the posted speed limit, lacking a brake light/taillight, and possession of marijuana.
During a Belle Isle shift CO Jaime Salisbury made a traffic stop for a car that ran a stop sign. Upon contact with the driver, it was discovered that the female driver did not have any identification. CO Salisbury got her name from her and checked law enforcement information network for a return. The name given came back "no record". CO Salisbury asked the female driver to confirm the spelling of her name at which point she gave CO Salisbury a completely different name. CO Salisbury asked the female to step out of the vehicle and placed her in handcuffs until she could be identified. Despite multiple efforts CO Salisbury was not able to positively determine the female's identity. The female driver was brought to the Detroit Detention Center to be identified and lodged on multiple misdemeanor traffic charges, which included disregard stop sign, no ops on person, operate without security, and furnish false info to an officer.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Ariel Young were working a cold and snowy April Belle Isle shift when they observed a vehicle not only fail to stop at one stop sign, but a second one as well and continue the wrong way down a one-way street. The COs stopped the female driver who did not have a driver's license and was unable to produce her identification card, stating she was just trying to pick up her brothers on the island. The COs asked to see her registration and insurance and she was unable to produce insurance for the vehicle. While speaking with the driver, the COs observed a 2-year-old unrestrained in the backseat. The COs issued her a citation for failure to stop at a stop sign and issued warnings for the other violations. The child was brought a car seat by a relative of the family and the COs advised the driver she could not drive the vehicle until the issues were addressed.
Several members of the GLEU attended the spring Great Lakes Fisheries Commission Law Enforcement Committee meeting. Topics included net marking comparisons among the Great Lakes jurisdictions, AIS enforcement efforts including the notice letter sent out to the industry regarding prohibited crayfish and the work done throughout the basin with the moss balls/zebra mussel issue. A new committee chair and co-chair were selected with the Ontario rep as chair and Illinois rep as the new co-chair.
Several members of the GLEU attended the Lake Superior Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee meeting. Cpl. Brett DeLonge provided the unit update.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge checked shore and boat anglers on Lake Superior around Marquette and mixed success among anglers was observed. Commercial fishing activity was not observed.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge followed up on a report of a commercial net near the mouth of the Carp River in Marquette. After investigating the area and talking with several boat anglers fishing the area no net was observed.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge and Cpl. Mike Hammill patrolled the shoreline of Green Bay from Escanaba to the Menominee River as well as the lower Menominee River Itself. No commercial fishing activity was observed. Several sport anglers were contacted that reported little success for walleyes.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was conducting inspections for delinquent wholesale and bait catcher reports in Branch County when he talked to the local CO, Nick Wellman. CO Wellman informed him of a bait dealer that he did not think was licensed. Cpl. VanGelderen could not find any record of the store, so he conducted an inspection. The store did not have a license posted on the wall, and it was later determined that the store did not properly apply but did send a money order into Lansing to get a license. The issue got straightened out, and the owner was told to follow up the next time they did not get a permit that they apply for.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen conducted numerous delinquent bait catcher, delinquent wholesaler, and delinquent bait dealer inspections throughout West Michigan.
Cpl. Kevin Postma assisted a deputy from the Chippewa County SO with a BOL for a possible drunk driver. The vehicle was located in the Trout Lake area and a traffic stop was conducted. It was determined that the driver was almost twice the legal BAC at 10:30 in the morning. The driver was transported to the Chippewa County Jail by Chippewa County SO.