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1/23/2022 - 2/5/2022
Conservation Officer (CO) Jenni Hanson responded to a call of a lost and injured woman on snowmobile Trail 160. The elderly woman had somehow lost consciousness and woke up on the trail, complaining of shoulder pain. While enroute, dispatch notified CO Hanson that a group of snowmobilers had located the injured woman and discovered her deceased husband. COs Zach Painter and Paul Lyden, along with other agencies, assisted CO Hanson in the snowmobile accident investigation involving the fatality.
CO Byron Parks conducted a snowmobile patrol to target careless operation along the snowmobile trail in Ontonagon County. Two riders were observed disregarding posted road crossing stop signs and traveling through intersections at a high rate of speed with disregard for oncoming traffic. CO Parks was able to catch up the operators and initiate a stop. Both were cited for careless operation.
CO Brian Lasanen assisted the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department in locating an inmate who walked away from an inmate work crew in the Calumet area. Multiple agencies assisted in looking for the inmate. He was located by the Michigan State Police (MSP) K-9 hiding under pine trees covered in snow. The inmate was taken into custody and transported back to the Houghton County Jail.
CO Alex VanWagner was working snowmobiles in the Caspian area when a call came out of a possible breaking and entering and domestic in progress in Iron River. CO VanWagner responded to the residence and arrived on scene with an officer from the Iron River Police Department (IRPD) and troopers from the MSP. A subject was found bleeding after punching a window out on the door to the residence. The incident was turned over to the IRPD and the subject was transferred to the hospital for medical treatment.
COs Alex VanWagner and Anna Viau patrolled Iron County snowmobile trails on a busy Saturday. As the COs were heading through Iron River, they came across a minor snowmobile accident that had just happened. After attending to the medical needs of the driver of the snowmobile, COs VanWagner and Viau assisted the driver and her husband in getting their snowmobile out of the ditch. The snowmobile had minor damage and the driver had mild soreness, for which she refused medical treatment.
CO Phil Helminen assisted Wisconsin conservation wardens with an investigation, involving hunters from several states, who had illegally taken deer in Florence County Wisconsin in 2020. CO Helminen interviewed a suspect who was living in Michigan. When presented with the evidence against him, the suspect admitted to illegally taking a deer in Florence County in 2020. The information was turned over to the Wisconsin wardens for prosecution.
COs John Kamps and Jeremy Sergey interviewed an individual suspected of purchasing a deer license after he shot a deer last deer season. The individual, when presented with the evidence, confessed to hunting without a license, shooting a buck, and then purchasing a license after the fact. A report is being filed with the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Angela Greenway participated in a Facebook Q&A recruiting event. The COs helped answer questions about the current CO job openings, as well as how to prepare for the academy and various other details about life as a CO. The event was well attended.
CO Jeremy Sergey was the guest speaker at Northern Michigan University’s Advanced Criminal Investigations class. CO Sergey discussed various investigative methods used by COs for fish and game, and general criminal cases.
CO Jeremy Sergey and wildlife biologist Brian Roell received a report of a sick moose on Trail 14 near the AAA Road in Marquette County. The moose was clearly very weak and unable to lift its head. The moose was euthanized and is being examined by a laboratory downstate.
COs Cody Smith, John Kamps, Detective Josh Boudreaux, and Sgt. Mark Leadman conducted a group snowmobile patrol on Trail 417 in Chocolay Township. The patrol targeted snowmobiles exceeding the posted 35 miles per hour (mph) speed limit on the trail, which runs through a heavy residential area. Utilizing a hand-held radar unit, nearly 100 snowmobilers were observed. Numerous groups were stopped for speeding and tickets were issued to four subjects for operating well above the posted speed. The highest speed encountered was 83 mph with multiple subjects travelling over 55 mph.
CO Cole VanOosten received court disposition on a recent case involving three hunters taking seven geese after legal hunting hours. The hunters were found guilty on all counts and were ordered to pay $3,500 in reimbursement.
CO Cole VanOosten received court disposition on a recent case involving two individuals who had stolen trail cameras. Both individuals were found guilty of larceny and were ordered to pay fines and costs for the trail cameras that were stolen.
CO Cole VanOosten followed up on several complaints of snowmobiles trespassing on an individual’s property. CO VanOosten ensured that the property was well posted with no trespassing signs. CO VanOosten sat at the location and observed snowmobiles operating against the flow of traffic on a state highway before they pulled into the individual’s yard and parking right behind a “No Snowmobile” sign. CO VanOosten contacted the group to ask if they had permission to be on the property. The riders stated that they did not. CO VanOosten pointed to the sign that clearly stated, “No snowmobiles” as well as the sign that said, “No Trespassing”. CO VanOosten also showed them the sign that showed them to operate on the correct side of the road to stay off the state highway. The snowmobilers stated that they didn’t see any of the signs. A citation was issued for careless operation and warnings were issued for snowmobile trespass.
COs Justin Vinson and PCO Cameron Wright were out on patrol on the Big Manistique Lake for an ice fishing tournament when they found an empty ice fishing shanty with three tip-ups set around it. The COs continued their patrol on the lake while keeping that shanty in their sight. Nearly an hour later the angler returned, the COs made contact and asked the fisherman why he left his tip-ups set unattended for so long? The fisherman said he left his shanty to quickly help a friend and didn’t think he would be gone for that long. The fisherman agreed with the COs that the tip-ups were left unattended for too long and a citation was issued for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
CO Colton Gelinas gave a presentation about snowmobile/ice safety to the students at the Great Lakes Boat Building School. Approximately 20 students were in attendance for the presentation.
COs Colton Gelinas and Michael Olesen were on snowmobile patrol in Chippewa County when they observed a snowmobile operate in a careless manner. The suspect snowmobile came across the opposite lane on a corner and almost hit CO Olesen. A citation was issued for careless operation. Snowmobilers are reminded to “Ride Right”.
COs Cole VanOosten, Colton Gelinas, Mike Olesen, Justin Vinson, Brandon Maki, Sgt. Calvin Smith, PCOs Marissa Hassevoort and Cameron Wright patrolled over 300 miles of snowmobile trails during the 53rd annual I-500 snowmobile race that was held in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan on February 5th. The COs contacted over 200 snowmobilers, issued 12 citations and 30 verbal warnings for various violations that consisted of expired snowmobile registration, no trail permit, and careless operation of a snowmobile.
CO Andrea Dani responded with Alger County emergency medical service (EMS), Alger County Sheriff’s Department, and United States Forest Service (USFS) personnel to a snowmobile crash with injuries on Trail 7, south of Doe Lake Road. The operator was travelling too fast when he hit a series of moguls and lost control, causing him to exit the trail on the left side. After colliding with several small trees and finally a large tree, the operator was ejected, and the snowmobile continued back onto the trail. The operator was transported to UP Health Systems Marquette for suspected broken femur and arm injuries. The crash is still under investigation.
COs Steve Butzin and Chris Lynch successfully served over one dozen arrest warrants without incident from several different cases from last hunting season. The charges on the various warrants include take bear after legal shooting hours, possess loaded firearm after legal shooting hours, shine with a weapon in possession, several take illegal deer, loan, and use another’s deer license, possess uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, and one felon in possession of a firearm who was lodged in the Delta County Jail.
CO Steve Butzin was on snowmobile patrol with the Delta County Sheriff’s Department in northern Delta County when he encountered a snowmobile operating in a careless manner. As CO Butzin was approaching a corner, an oncoming sled came around the corner in his lane at a high rate of speed. CO Butzin was able to maneuver out of the way of the oncoming snowmobile. When stopped, the operator claimed she was unfamiliar with the snowmobile and did not have full control. A citation was issued for careless operation.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Garden Township when he encountered what he thought to be a vehicle shining a field. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle for other motor vehicle violations. When contacted, it was found that a headlight was hanging off the vehicle shining directly out to the passenger side of the vehicle flickering on and off. It was discovered that the occupants were in possession of a spotlight and an uncased .22 caliber firearm. A citation was issued for possessing an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Robert Freeborn, along with COs Mark Zitnik, Chris Lynch, Steve Butzin, the Alger County Sheriff’s Department, and USFS participated in a group snowmobile patrol targeting operating while under the influence (OWI) and careless operation. COs Freeborn and Lynch worked the east side of the county and issued five tickets for careless operation. All snowmobilers issued citations failed to stop at a stop sign at a busy trail intersection at speeds 40 mph plus. Several hours later COs Freeborn and Zitnik worked a stop sign after dark targeting OWIs. The COs observed a group of snowmobiles fail to stop at a road stop sign. After an enforcement stop, it was determined that it was the same group of snowmobilers that received a citation for failing to stop for COs Freeborn and Lynch earlier that day. The subject received a second citation for the careless operation.
CO Michael Evink participated in a one-day jury trial in reference to an individual who claimed he was a CO to receive a COVID vaccine. The original incident occurred shortly after the initial vaccines were released and only qualifying individuals were allowed to receive the vaccine. CO Evink received a phone call from local hospital staff to inquire whether the suspect was a CO. CO Evink verified that the individual was not, nor had ever been a CO. During the investigation, a law enforcement type badge was recovered from the suspect’s residence. The individual claimed he had the badge made due to his role as a volunteer with the conservation district. Further investigation confirmed that the local conservation district did not provide any staff members with badges. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury took less than 15 minutes to find the suspect guilty of impersonation of a peace officer. The subject will be sentenced at a later date.
CO Chad Baldwin conducted a snowmobile patrol in Charlevoix County in an area with multiple complaints of careless operation throughout the winter. CO Baldwin did not witness any careless operation by any operators, but multiple warnings were issued to operators for venturing off trail and onto private property.
Sgt. Bill Webster was patrolling near Clam Lake in Antrim County in a snowstorm late one evening. As he was driving on the road, he came up on a vehicle with no rear lights pulling a large white camper trailer. Sgt. Webster was able to stop the vehicle pulling the trailer and get them into a parking lot nearby so they could fix the wiring issue on the trailer. The white trailer was next to impossible to see in the weather making for a very dangerous situation. After the lights were corrected and license checks where complete a warning was given for operating without lights on trailer.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a snowmobile accident on Burt Lake in Cheboygan County. It was determined that a subject was traveling across the lake on his snowmobile when the machine hit a slush pocket followed by glare ice. The snowmobile began a sideways slide and rolled several times upon hitting a patch of snow. The subject was complaining of chest and back pain. After getting the subject to an ambulance, CO Rosochacki remained on scene and assisted the MSP with the crash investigation.
COs Tim Rosochacki, Tom Oberg, and Sgt. Mark DePew were patrolling Black Lake prior to the opening of sturgeon season and discovered a subject’s shanty with a line left unattended overnight. The next morning the subject was interviewed and confessed to leaving the unattended line out. Charges are being sought through the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Tom Oberg responded to a report of a snowmobile on fire on the snowmobile trail just south of Gaylord. CO Breanna Reed from Missaukee County happened to be passing through the area and was already on scene when CO Oberg arrived. CO Reed attempted to extinguish the fire with her department-issued fire extinguisher, but the flames had become too large, and the extinguisher was ineffective. CO Oberg remained on scene with the snowmobile riders and waited for the Otsego County Fire Department to arrive on scene and extinguish the fire. CO Oberg compiled a report regarding the incident.
CO Kyle Cherry and Sgt Mark DePew participated in a joint patrol with District 5 COs, MSP troopers, and Lake State Railway staff to target snowmobiles illegally riding railroad grades, which pose a safety hazard to both snowmobilers and railroad staff. Overall compliance was good, with one ticket issued during the patrol.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick were checking ice anglers on Burt Lake when they encountered a group of individuals ice fishing with more than three lines each. The anglers stated they had just taken their kids back to a residence and failed to remove their lines upon their departure. Additionally, one subject had not purchased a fishing license. A ticket was issued for failing to provide a fishing license, and warnings were given for the excess lines.
COs Rich Stowe and Amanda Weaver participated in ice rescue training held by the United States Coast Guard. During this training, numerous local fire departments and law enforcement organizations came together to learn proper retrieval methods for victims who have fallen through the ice. Benzie County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Ketz also provided training in the capabilities and proper use of an air boat. The training was a valuable opportunity to work together across different agencies and increase preparation for emergency situations.
CO Patrick McManus worked the annual memorial snowmobile drag racing event in Leelanau County. In attendance were several racers, spectators, and sponsors from around the state of Michigan and throughout the mid-west. The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office, Glen Lake Fire Department, National Park Service and MSP were also in attendance for the event. CO McManus is happy to report that the races went off without any major incidents and were once again successful in raising the funds necessary to continue scholarship opportunities in the area.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a snowmobile crash with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. It was found that several snowmobiles were turning onto another trail when a snowmobile rear ended one of the snowmobiles turning. The person operating the snowmobile that hit the snowmobile turning was ejected causing injuries. CO Killingbeck assisted with the scene investigation and first aid.
Area 2 and Area 3 COs conducted three search warrants on an unlicensed taxidermist in Oceana County. Evidence was collected, documented, and secured for the prosecutor’s office review.
CO Angela Greenway participated in mock interviews at the Mecosta Osceola Career Center for students to practice their interview skills. Students from the Emergency Medical Technician, Criminal Justice, Fire, and Allied Health programs were interviewed for practice to prepare them for real interviews for real jobs.
CO Charlie Jones was on patrol in Kalkaska County when central dispatch called out a possible overdose. CO Jones was approximately eight minutes away and responded to the residence. Shortly after his arrival, Kalkaska County Sheriff Deputy Brian Creighton arrived to assist. CO Jones observed a female lying on the floor unconscious barely breathing; a short faint pulse was detected. Narcan was administer to the female, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was in progress as well as an automated external defibrillator (AED) attached as a safety precaution. Multiple doses of Narcan were given. A short time later, the female began breathing on her own and had increased awareness. The scene was turned over to EMS and paramedics. The female was transported to the hospital without further incident.
COs Jeremy Cantrell, Matthew Zultak, James Garrett, and Sgt. Brian Olsen participated in Operation Life Saver. The COs team up with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, MSP, and the Lake State Railroad to promote safe operation of vehicle traffic around the railroad right-of-way. The COs stopped snowmobiles operating in the railroad right-of-way and educated them on the dangers for both them and the train operators.
COs James Garrett and Chuck McPherson were patrolling Higgins Lake in Roscommon County when they found numerous unattended tip-ups with one having the flag up. The COs conducted surveillance and after two hours the angles came to tend the tip-ups. A citation was issued for the unattended lines and another for snowmobile violations.
CO Breanna Reed reported on a case from earlier in the year. While patrolling Roscommon County for early bear baiting activity, CO Reed located two early bear baits. Based on the similarities of the bait stations, CO Reed suspected that it was the same subjects at both locations. After CO Reed briefed her area partners, COs Chuck McPherson and Breanna Reed located two more early bear baits with the same similarities as the first two that were located. CO Reed conducted multiple search warrants and interviews with assistance from COs McPherson, Jeremy Cantrell, and Ryan Weakman resulting in confessions from multiple suspects. Charges were filed in the 82nd District Court of Roscommon for each bait station totaling 13 charges. The charges were four counts of establishing bear bait stations prior to 31 days before the season opened; two counts of establish/tend to bait containing chocolate or any cocoa derivative; four counts of bait with any food material other than meats, meat products, fish, fish products, or bakery products; and three counts of use of metal containers on state land. The Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office authorized nine of the above charges. Of the authorized charges, the two suspects plead guilty to five of them. Fines and costs totaled $1,175 for each of the two suspects.
CO Breanna Reed located a suspicious entry while looking through the Michigan Fur Harvester Registry. CO Reed asked for assistance from CO Cullen Knoblauch in Jackson County due to the suspect living in southern Michigan. CO Knoblauch interviewed the subject on taking the otter with no tag and purchasing a tag a month later; a full confession was obtained. A report was submitted to the Kalkaska County Prosecutor’s Office for taking an otter without a kill-tag.
COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell were patrolling Lake Missaukee when they located three ice shanties with fishing gear surrounding them but no one inside. The COs waited at the shanties and were able to contact the owners upon their return. One of the shanties had four set lines/tip-ups inside. COs Reed and Cantrell were able to establish who owned the shanty and the tip-ups due to identification on them. The owners stated they had been inside for approximately 25-30 minutes. When pulling up the lines, the anglers noticed they had a northern pike on the end. The anglers commented, “This must be why we can’t leave our lines unattended.” Citations were issued to both subjects for unattended lines.
CO Jeff Goss located a group of four rabbit hunters while patrolling Gladwin County. Three of the hunters were not wearing the required hunter orange. CO Goss had observed all four hunters carrying firearms before contacting them. Upon contact a couple minutes later, only three of the hunters were carrying firearms and one of them was carrying a stick. CO Goss asked the man with a stick where his firearm was. The hunter assured CO Goss that he must have been mistaken because he was only carrying a stick. After collecting identification, CO Goss checked the woods where the men were standing last and was unable to locate a firearm. Being sure of what he saw, CO Goss called CO Josh Russell, who was working nearby, and asked for his assistance. Upon CO Russell’s arrival, CO Goss briefed him on the situation and the two COs separated the men and questioned them individually. Unfortunately for the hunter, there were four firearm cases at their vehicles, one of which had .22 caliber ammunition in it. The three men carrying firearms at the time CO Goss contacted them where all carrying shotguns. It didn’t take long, and the hunter admitted to hiding his firearm in the woods. The hunter led CO Russell back into the woods to retrieve the hidden firearm. The hunter had been hunting without a license as well as not wearing hunter orange. He, along with the other two men that were not wearing orange, were issued citations for the violations.
CO Ryan Weakman received a complaint from Gladwin County Central Dispatch about a van that went through the ice on Wiggins Lake. Deputies had determined that there was no one in the vehicle and that the driver was unharmed. After a short investigation, it was discovered that some local residents had been partying on the lake and a subject decided to use a chain saw to cut a large circle in the ice. An outboard boat motor was used to power the large, free floating “ice carousel” in a circle. The driver of the van decided to drive onto the “ice carousel.” The weight of the van broke the ice circle, causing the van to sink into the lake. It took a local tow company several hours to remove the van from the lake. The driver of the van was ticketed by Gladwin County deputies for driving on a suspended license. The investigation of the van in the lake was turned over to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
CO Josh Russell and PCO Cheyanna Langworthy responded to an incident where a suspect was breaking windows on the victim’s house with an axe. The suspect had left the scene and was believed to be in a nearby neighborhood. A Clare County deputy located the suspect as he was getting into his vehicle. The suspect led the deputy on a 10-mile pursuit. The suspect began throwing axes, machetes, ammunition, marijuana, gloves, and other items at the deputy during the pursuit. The subject bailed out of his vehicle and ran a short distance before the deputy ordered him to the ground. COs Russell and PCO Langworthy arrived on scene shortly after and helped secure the suspect. In addition, the COs were able to locate all the “thrown” items and turn them over to the sheriff’s department for evidence. The suspect was lodged in the jail and charged with several felonies.
CO Jay Person assisted the Midland County Sheriff’s Office with locating an 11 year old runaway. The boy’s mom had taken his phone away due to poor grades, so the juvenile ran from the home wearing just a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Temperatures were in the upper teens at the time. After approximately one hour of searching, the boy was located one mile from his residence walking a main road. He was returned home unharmed.
While patrolling the Saginaw Bay, CO Matthew Neterer encountered an ice angler located away from the main pack. Upon making contact, CO Neterer observed a large walleye tail sticking out of one of the holes and the fish slipped under the ice. CO Neterer could see a clear bag in the angler’s sled that contained several fish. When questioned about how many walleyes the angler had, he stated that he had nine. Upon counting the fish, the angler was found to have 14 walleyes. The angler was issued a citation for taking/possession of an over limit of walleye.
During the beginning of a patrol on the Saginaw Bay, CO Seth Rhodea contacted two anglers about five miles from shore who were unable to get their ORV to start. CO Rhodea advised the anglers he would stop by their location later to see if they were okay and if they were able to get their machine started. About five hours later, CO Rhodea returned to the location the anglers were stranded and found they were still on the ice. Their machine had still not started. The anglers were very surprised CO Rhodea returned to check on them and had bet each other he would not return. While talking with CO Rhodea about a possible plan to get them to shore, one of the anglers attempted to start the machine and, much to the angler’s excitement, it started. The anglers headed to shore after about six hours of being stranded.
CO James Nason patrolled various lakes within Kalamazoo County and multiple citations and warnings were issued. Violations included fishing with more than three lines, fishing without a license and having an ORV on a frozen body of water without an ORV license.
CO James Nason was patrolling Kalamazoo County when he witnessed the passenger of a car throw a large bag of trash out of their window; a traffic stop on the vehicle was conducted. The female who was witnessed throwing the trash out of the window would not identify herself to the CO and stated that she did not want to go to jail. CO Nason asked her why she suspected she was going to jail, she stated that she was aware of multiple warrants she was wanted on out of Kalamazoo County. CO Nason eventually got the woman to supply her name and date of birth. The woman was found to have seven warrants, five of them were out of Kalamazoo and two of them out of Kent County. Neither jail would lodge on any of her financial crimes warrants. CO Nason issued her a citation for littering and advised the woman of her various warrants.
CO Chris Holmes and PCO Jack Gorno were on patrol outside the city of Kalamazoo on a Friday afternoon. During the patrol, they contacted five snowmobiles without valid registrations and/or trail permits. Citations were issued for various violations present.
Acting Sgt. Richard Cardenas was patrolling Barry County when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. Acting Sgt. Cardenas’s issued radar unit recorded the vehicle traveling at a speed of 86 mph in a 55 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted on the speeding vehicle and enforcement action was taken.
COs from Area 7-2 including: Matt Page, Tyler Cole, Travis Dragomer, Zach Bauer, and Jeff Robinette split up and worked a group snowmobile patrol on trail systems in Van Buren, Berrien, and Cass Counties over the weekend. In total the COs issued nine citations all for registration and trail permit violations along with numerous verbal warnings. COs Page and Cole were first on scene to a roll-over snowmobile accident involving a new operator who suffered a broken shoulder and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Speed and inexperience are believed to be the major causes of the accident. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling M 46 in Muskegon County when she observed a group of snowmobiles illegally operating on the shoulder of the roadway. The snowmobiles stopped at a nearby gas station, so CO Cullen took advantage of the opportunity and contacted the riders. Three sleds were not registered and did not have valid trail permits. One rider was operating a snowmobile with a suspended driver’s license. Citations were issued to the riders for the violations.
CO Jackie Miskovich received a complaint of a dog that had gotten caught in a foothold trap. While talking to the complainant, they informed CO Miskovich that they could not find a tag on the trap. CO Miskovich went and patrolled the area and found four foothold sets. Two of the sets were tripped and a business card was put in the jaws of one of the traps with the date written on it. CO Miskovich then visited the trap 24 hours after she had placed her card and found that the trap had not been touched. CO Miskovich decided to pull all four foothold traps and a game camera that was overlooking one trap, while pulling the last trap an aluminum tag was on the trap which led to a possible suspect. CO Miskovich was able to contact the suspect the next day and it was confirmed that all four traps were theirs. A citation was issued for use of an untagged trap and a warning was given for failing to check live traps in 24 hours.
CO John Byars received a RAP (Report All Poaching) complaint about a neighbor feeding deer in the City of Lansing. CO Byars contacted the suspect who admitted to putting feed out for the deer. The suspect was educated about the legalities of feeding and why the law is in place. CO Byars instructed the suspect to clean up what they had put out and stated if he had to return enforcement action would be taken.
CO Chris Reynolds held a career presentation at the Hillsdale Career Center on January 28th, for the public safety class. CO Reynolds went over the hiring process, job functions, training, and showed the Conservation Officer Recruit School 5 video for the 33 students attending. Several questions were answered on hunting, fishing, and ORV laws.
COs Ed Rice and Chris Reynolds attended Hillsdale County Conservation Club Tip-up/ Community Engagement event at the Hillsdale Conservation Club with 25 individuals in attendance. Various questions were answered related to fish and game, ORV, and snowmobile laws.
CO Nick Wellman received a complaint of several hunters violating a safety zone and not wearing hunter orange in western Branch County. CO Wellman went to the area and was able to observe three men hunting without hunter orange, followed by all three on an ORV with loaded and uncased firearms. CO Wellman contacted the group and found one of the men had a warrant out of Branch County. CO Wellman advised the man of his warrant and issued citations for the hunter orange violations.
CO Nick Wellman had a case closed out in court where a man had killed a buck from his vehicle with an illegal rifle and never tagged it. The man was caught doing the same thing this fall, just prior to his sentencing for the original case. The man was sentenced to a hunting license revocation of four years as well as $1,400 fines/costs plus $1,000 reimbursement to the State.
CO Nick Wellman was called to assist with a serious injury snowmobile accident where a man was operating a snowmobile across Long Lake and struck a tree. The man was thrown from his snowmobile and landed approximately 45 feet from the impact point. The man was airlifted from the scene.
CO Cullen Knoblauch followed up on an illegally taken deer from Livingston County where a suspect confessed to killing an 8-point buck prior to purchasing a deer hunting license. A warrant request will be forwarded to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Cullen Knoblauch, Thomas Jaakkola and Chris Reynolds assisted with the Devils Lake Tip Up Festival on Friday afternoon and evening. No major issues were reported, and few tickets were issued.
CO Danielle Zubek organized a group patrol with Sgt. Chris Maher and COs Joe Deppen, Brad Silorey, Keven Luther, and Danny Walzak on White Lake in Oakland County. The COs patrolled the White Lake Ice Fest all day for issues corresponding with safety. Many of the citations were issued for failure to wear a helmet while operating an ORV and/or snowmobile, transporting passengers on ORV, no ORV stickers, and operating within 100 feet from an ice shanty. The COs were also able to work in conjunction with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department for this event.
CO Brad Silorey worked snowmobile patrol this week. While on patrol CO Silorey observed multiple snowmobiles operating in a township park that is closed to motorized vehicles and snowmobiles. CO Silorey contacted the suspects and discovered neither snowmobile was registered or had trail permits. In addition, one operator had multiple warrants for his arrest. The operators were cited for not registering their machines and failing to purchase a trail permit. The subject with warrants was advised and released per the arresting agency.
CO Bobby Watson patrolled Lake St. Clair and encountered multiple violations, including failing to register ORV, no fishing license, ride double on ORV, fail to register snowmobile, and no snowmobile trail permit. Citations were issued for failing to register ORV and for fishing without a license.
CO Andrew Monnich received a tip about a large deer that was killed in the county, and it possibly didn’t get tagged. COs Monnich and Eric Smither worked the case for almost a month and were able to find the location of harvest and numerous other issues. The COs interviewed the hunter and were able to determine that the hunter trespassed to recover the whitetail, transported the whitetail before tagging the animal, and located bait on the property. The antlers of the animal were seized, and charges are being requested through the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were heading to Morenci to pick up a dead eagle a wood cutter found. While in route to the complaint, they noticed several vehicles blocking traffic on highway M 156, one vehicle looked to be coyote hunting. While contacting the hunters they noticed a man with a gun coming out of the field with no hunter orange on. The hunter was cited for the no orange, which is required, and the trucks were told to leave the highway and not to block traffic.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl. Mike Hammill contacted a Wisconsin resident ice fishing on Little Bay de Noc. The angler had a new Ice Castle Sleeper trailer, a new Garmin Panoptix fish Graph, the latest automatic fisherman rods and reels and any other cutting-edge trinket you can buy for ice fishing. The only thing this angler didn’t have and hasn't had for 3 years is a Michigan fishing license. A citation was issued.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was about to launch onto LBDN when a call came out for an Ice rescue on Saunders Point. Two individuals from lower Michigan drove a snowmobile and ORV out onto skim ice and broke through. Both the men were able to get out of the water unharmed.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge patrolled several lakes in northern Marquette County and portions of trail between lakes. Several anglers and snowmobilers were contacted during multiple patrols.
Lt Mike Feagan and Cpl. Nick Torsky attended an online ALERRT Active Shooter training provided by the Grand Rapids FBI office.
Cpl Troy Van Gelderen represented the Law Enforcement Division at a meeting for the Mason/Oceana County Water Safety Coalition’s upcoming scenario.
Corporal Justin Vanderlinde assisted the Benzie County Sheriff department with diverting traffic around a two-car accident, luckily there were no major injuries.