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2/20/2022 - 3/5/2022
Conservation Officer (CO) Byron Parks was working snowmobilers in Ontonagon County when a call came out of a snowmobile personal injury accident near Bergland. It was reported that a subject hit a tree and sustained a leg injury. CO Parks received GPS coordinates from dispatch and was able to ping a location of the injured snowmobiler. He then patrolled to the nearest location of the coordinates and advised emergency medical services (EMS) and the Bruce Crossing Fire and Rescue of that location. A few minutes later, EMS arrived. CO Parks then flagged down a snowmobiler who was passing by and he allowed CO Parks to take his snowmobile down the trail to the injured subject. CO Parks and EMS snowmobiled down the trail about a mile before finding the injured subject and his group. The subject was still conscious but reported hip pain. He was eventually loaded into a rescue sled, extracted back to the road, and transported to the hospital.
CO Jenni Hanson received information that a Wisconsin resident was using his mother’s address in Michigan to obtain Michigan resident hunting licenses. CO Hanson and Wisconsin Conservation Warden Robin Miller interviewed the subject, who admitted to committing license fraud for approximately 20 years. CO Hanson is requesting charges through the Gogebic County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Jenni Hanson, Ethen Mapes, Zach Painter, and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Paul Lyden provided security during the Copper Peak Snowmobile Hill Climb in Ironwood. Numerous verbal warnings were issued for careless operation and improper display of registration and trail permit.
CO Jenni Hanson assisted with the instruction of a snowmobile safety course at the Ontonagon School.
COs Alex VanWagner and Phil Helminen conducted an evening snowmobile patrol in Iron County. While making contacts out on a lake, they watched a pickup leave the plowed portion of the roadway and become stuck in the snow in front of them. The driver exited the vehicle, immediately fell, and continued stumbling as the COs made contact. There were other signs of impairment and standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were administered. A preliminary breath test sample was also supplied, and the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI). CO Anna Viau and PCO Sydney Griffor transported the subject to the hospital and Iron County Jail for lodging.
COs Phil Helminen, Anna Viau, Alex VanWagner, and PCO Sydney Griffor attended a sportsman’s club event at the Iron Mountain Middle School. The COs stationed a booth at the event and interacted with kids about the duties of conservation officers and answered questions about wildlife.
COs Phil Helminen and Jared Ferguson followed up on a fatal snowmobile crash that occurred on the snowmobile trail in Dickinson County. The initial investigation was conducted by Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers from the Iron Mountain Post. The incident involved a female who had failed to negotiate a corner and went off the trail, causing the snowmobile to roll over on top of her.
CO John Kamps checked two anglers fishing on a Marquette County Lake. Before the anglers opened the ice shack, the CO heard some commotion within the shack. When the shack opened and the CO contacted the anglers, one of the individuals immediately claimed that he wasn’t fishing. The CO looked in the shack and could see that the individual that claimed he wasn’t fishing had a hole drilled in front of him with a fishing line in it. Additionally, the pole was thrown across the ice shack and laying in front of the other individual who possessed a fishing license. After a brief interview and several denials, the individual confessed to fishing without a license. A citation was issued.
CO Jeremy Sergey discussed the hiring process for the upcoming Conservation Officer Recruit Academy during a TV6 news interview.
COs John Kamps, Cody Smith, Elisabeth Killingbeck, PCO Kevin Bunce, and Sgt. Mark Leadman conducted several group snowmobile patrols during the first weekend of March. The patrols targeted violations in the posted speed zone in Chocolay Township, as well as careless operation in the Sands Plains area of Marquette County. Overall compliance was very high with only two citations issued for speeding, including 71 and 62 miles per hour (mph), in the posted 35 mph zone.
COs Steve Butzin and Robert Freeborn were on snowmobile patrol when they encountered several violations of individuals operating snowmobiles without trail permits and registrations. Additionally, while checking inland lakes, one individual was found to be fishing with several unattended lines. One of the tip-up flags was up when the COs discovered it. Further investigation revealed that the individual, who the tip-up belonged to, was fishing from his cabin, and had left for an extended period. In all, several citations were issued, and a warrant is being sought for fishing with unattended lines.
COs Chris Lynch, Cole VanOosten, and PCO Marissa Hassevoort conducted a patrol on Little Bay de Noc. Several anglers were checked and glad to see the COs out patrolling despite the poor fishing activity. The COs encountered several violations including lines not in immediate control, fail to exhibit fishing license, no/name address on tip-ups, fail to license an off-road vehicle (ORV), and operating a snowmobile without a helmet. One citation was issued, and several verbal warnings were issued.
CO Andrea Dani investigated a snowmobile accident reported to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) dispatch four days after the crash. The operator stated he collided into a bank of snow and was ejected from the machine. There was minimal damage to the snowmobile, but the operator was later hospitalized for an injury to his vertebrae. Speed is believed to be a factor.
CO Andrea Dani responded to a call of a rollover accident on M 67 near Trenary where injuries were unknown at the time of dispatch. CO Dani located the vehicle on its top with both occupants and their dog outside the vehicle. CO Dani checked the occupants for injuries, with the passenger complaining of minor neck pain. CO Dani placed the passenger in her patrol truck to keep her out of the freezing rain while awaiting EMS. CO Dani then investigated the scene while awaiting other units. Witnesses stated the vehicle fish-tailed on the icy road, over-corrected, lost control, crossed into the opposing lane of traffic, hit the snowbank, and subsequently overturned. The registration on the vehicle came back to a different vehicle owned by the same person. CO Dani turned the information over to the Alger County Sheriff’s Department upon their arrival, who cited the driver for the improper plate and issued a warning for operating too fast for conditions.
CO Mark Zitnik was patrolling in his truck on Buckhorn Road when he observed a snowmobile operating next to him on the unplowed portion of the road. The snowmobiler started riding towards the road and suddenly jumped the five-foot-tall bank onto Buckhorn Road causing the CO to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the operator and his snowmobile. A traffic stop was made, and the rider explained to the CO he did not look before jumping onto the road. The rider was issued a citation for careless operation.
COs Rob Freeborn and Mark Zitnik patrolled Grand Marais for snowmobile activity. The COs have been receiving many complaints of snowmobiles operating carelessly, being excessively noisy, and disrespectful towards private property owners. The COs checked over 200 snowmobiles on that Sunday and received many positive remarks from the locals for keeping the snowmobilers legal within the city limits.
CO Robert Freeborn was advised by the local court that a subject that he had charged for shooting an antlered deer was sentenced recently and was ordered to pay $5,000 and lost his hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses for three years.
CO Robert Freeborn was first on the scene regarding an aircraft that lost power and had to perform an emergency landing on Indian Lake. Thanks to the pilot’s skills, he landed the aircraft without anyone suffering any injuries. A police report was completed as well as notifying the Federal Aviation Administration. The aircraft was removed from the lake without incident.
CO Robert Freeborn worked a busy snowmobile trail crossing on a plowed county road over several days. CO Freeborn observed several snowmobiles fail to stop for the stop sign. A total of five citations were issued and several warnings. All snowmobilers who were issued citations stated they did not see the stop sign and were shocked when CO Freeborn showed them the sign they failed to see. This is a good reminder to all riders that if you are not familiar with a trail, the rider needs to use caution and don’t let excess speed lead to an accident.
COs Justin Vinson and PCO Cameron Wright received a call from Chippewa County Central Dispatch of a Life 360 alert along Trail 9 in northern Luce County. The two COs responded to the area which is only accessible by snowmobile. After a two hour search of the area, the COs were unable to locate the man. With help from the DNR dispatch, the COs were able to obtain a phone number for individual’s family. The family was able to locate the man via the Life 360 app near Paradise, nearly 60 miles from where the COs were sent to search. It was concluded that the app sent a false alert and that the man was fine.
COs Justin Vinson, Cole VanOosten and PCO Marissa Hassevoort responded to a call for assistance from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department to aid in locating a lost angler who had become disoriented in a snowstorm on Lake Superior. The COs and members of Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department searched for several hours to no avail. A United States Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter was eventually called and quickly located the subject four and a half miles down the coast. The COs drove their snowmobiles to the location and found the angler in good health. The subject was evaluated by EMS and turned over to his friends and family.
PCO Marissa Hassevoort and CO Cole VanOosten were on patrol checking ice anglers. The COs observed an individual who appeared to have nine tip-ups set out around his ice shack. Contact was made with the subject, he admitted he was fishing too many lines and that he had gotten away with it more times than not. The subject also admitted he doesn’t always violate, but at the time he was just trying to find where the fish were at. A citation was issued for fish too many lines.
COs Cole VanOosten and PCO Marissa Hassevoort and presented to a group of high schoolers interested in a career of natural resources at Lake Superior State University. The COs informed the class of a conservation officer’s job responsibility and the process of becoming a conservation officer.
COs Chad Baldwin and Nate Beelman conducted a snowmobile sound enforcement patrol in Charlevoix County. The COs contacted several snowmobilers, ensuring their machines were within the decibel limit required. The sound enforcement patrol plays an integral part in maintaining a good relationship with private property owners who allow public snowmobile trails to travel through their property.
COs Adam LeClerc, Nathan Beelman, and Tim Rosochacki participated in an exercise with the USCG, MSP, Emmet County Sheriff’s Department, Petoskey Department of Public Safety, and other local first responders. The exercise simulated a crashed airplane on the ice in Little Traverse Bay where victims had to be triaged, first aid administered, and victims removed from the ice. Hundreds of pallets were set on fire to simulate a plane crash. The COs utilized their snowmobiles and special equipment on the ice to assist in the exercise.
CO Andrea Albert observed a set line in an ice fishing shanty on a local lake. CO Albert followed the angler’s tracks back to his residence and identified a suspect who was not home at the time. Later that same day, CO Albert contacted the angler out on the ice at his fishing shanty. CO Albert also observed violations for improperly identifying the set tip-up and the ice shanty was also improperly identified. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Tim Rosochacki was patrolling for snowmobile activity along the North Central State Trail when he encountered an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operating on the trail, which is closed to wheeled motor vehicles. The ATV also had two occupants and was not manufactured for that purpose. The operator was ticketed for operating an ATV in a closed area.
CO Tim Rosochacki was contacted by Cheboygan Central Dispatch while off duty. There was an elderly male who was overdue from being out ice fishing on Mullett Lake. It was several hours after dark, and the subject had left his wife a message stating he was stuck in a snowdrift somewhere on the lake. She tried calling him back but was unable to reach him. CO Rosochacki took his patrol snowmobile out on the lake and was able to locate the subject a couple of miles north of where he was supposed to be getting off the lake. The male had gotten disoriented driving his truck back to shore in the dark and left his phone inside the truck while trying to free himself. With the assistance of another subject, CO Rosochacki worked to dig out the drift and was able to get the truck freed from the snow. CO Rosochacki escorted the subject back to shore and to his waiting wife.
CO Matt Theunick and PCO Michael Lator teamed up with other District COs to conduct a sound meter patrol along Trail 720 in Cheboygan County. Eighteen snowmobiles were contacted but no violations were found.
CO Jessie Curtis participated in career day at Hinks Elementary School in Alpena County. CO Curtis spoke on conservation and the outdoors to several classes from kindergarten through 5th grade.
CO Paul Fox and PCO Lisa Taube received a call from a concerned citizen about an abandoned vehicle on state land in northern Presque Isle County. The COs arrived on scene and investigated the vehicle. A check of the vehicle determined that it was stolen out of Presque Isle County. The COs secured the vehicle, notified the local sheriff’s department, and waited for a wrecker to arrive and impound the vehicle. The investigation was turned over to the local sheriff's department.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz and PCO Lisa Taube were patrolling Montmorency County when they received an in-progress trespass complaint. The COs responded to the scene to speak with the homeowner. The complainants stated that a group of hunters with dogs were on their property near their house, and they heard a possible gunshot. The complainants then stated there was a brief verbal altercation and then the hunters left. CO Liestenfeltz knew of a hunter who used dogs that lived very close to the location. The COs spoke to that subject and after a very brief interview the COs were able to determine that a bobcat had been shot on the property by a different hunter. The COs then located the residence where the hunter was staying. It was determined that the hunters knew the property was private and did not get proper permission before entering. The COs investigated the scene and determined that the hunter was also within the safety zone of two separate residences and the hunter walked directly passed a “No Trespassing” sign. After speaking with all homeowners and suspects, the bobcat was seized and placed into evidence. Charges were submitted to the Montmorency County Prosecutor’s Office for recreational trespass and two separate safety zone violation charges. Restitution is also being sought for the illegal bobcat.
COs Sidney Collins and Paul Fox completed a bull elk cold case from 2018 in Presque Isle County. An anonymous tip led the COs to a dead bull on state land with its antlers cut off back in 2019. After a lengthy investigation, the COs were able to identify the suspects. The suspects were interviewed, charged, and after a plea arrangement with the local prosecutor were ordered to pay restitution costs of $5,000.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Kevin Bunce were checking subjects fishing on Lake Cadillac during a fishing tournament when they checked two subjects in a shanty. One subject admitted that he had three tip-ups out and had no license. The subject said that he was attempting to help his friend win the tournament and since fishing was slow, he put out tip-ups out to increase the chances of catching fish. The subject was cited for fishing without a license.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Kevin Bunce assisted Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Zach Walters with a taxidermy inspection in Osceola County. The COs located a set of antlers with deer tag that was purchased after dark during the 2021 firearm deer season. The COs asked for the assistance of Michael Haas and PCO Jacob Hamilton in interviewing the hunter. CO Haas and PCO Hamilton were able to contact the hunter and a confession was obtained for shooting the deer without a license. The subject claimed to have forgotten to get a license and after shooting the deer, went to a store and picked up a hunting license. A report is being sent to the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
While working Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Elisabeth Killingbeck were dispatched to a possible illegal burn. Upon arriving at the residence, the COs could see a large pile of trash burning including a mattress, tires, couch, and more. The subject stated he had to get rid of it somehow. The subject was written a citation for open burning of solid waste.
While on a foot patrol for anglers in Mason County along the Pere Marquette River, CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Elisabeth Killingbeck stopped a drift boat with three subjects to check fishing licenses. While checking fishing licenses, the COs found one subject seen fishing did not have a fishing license. A check of personal floatation devices (PFDs) determined that all three subjects failed to bring a PFD. The owner of the boat was cited for not having a PFD and the other subject was cited for failing to purchase a fishing license.
CO Angela Greenway attended the Mecosta/Osceola Career Center Job Expo. Students from several school districts came through the expo. Many had great questions and were seeking information and guidance about becoming a Michigan conservation officer.
CO Tim Barboza overheard a deputy requesting assistance with a cow running in the roadway on M 20 to prevent the cow or people from getting hit in traffic. CO Barboza responded with another deputy and a White Cloud police officer. With the assistance of the public, the officers were able to carrel the cow back home using patrol vehicles and help from neighbors.
CO Tim Barboza overheard a report of a personal injury accident go out the same time as two domestics. CO Barboza responded to the accident with Newaygo County deputies and a White Cloud police officer to assist with traffic and help remove the driver from his truck which had a tree laying across it. The officers were able to assist EMS with removing the driver and loading him into the ambulance.
CO Charlie Jones, along with other COs from District 5, were assisted by the MSP Emergency Services Team and Traverse City Narcotics Team with a search warrant conducted at a residence in Cold Springs Township, Kalkaska County. The complaint involved a felon in possession of firearms. The COs recovered nine firearms including two unregistered pistols and one stolen shotgun. Three individuals were arrested for outstanding warrants, firearm violations, and illegal drugs. They were lodged in the Kalkaska County Jail.
CO Matthew Zultak and PCO Marc Mankowski were on patrol in Higgins Township. in Roscommon County when they spotted a snowmobile with an expired registration and trail permit. PCO Mankowski initiated a traffic stop on the snowmobile. When CO Zultak attempted to initiate contact, the suspect fled the scene, almost striking CO Zultak. The COs got back in their patrol vehicle and pursued the fleeing snowmobile. After a brief pursuit and the snowmobiler taking a wrong turn causing him to become trapped, he gave up and raised his hands. The snowmobiler admitted to drinking alcohol, as well as using cocaine and marijuana. He was put through SFSTs. During the search of the suspect, PCO Mankowski located methamphetamine. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Roscommon County Jail. Charges are being sought for operating under the influence (OUI), possession of narcotics, fleeing and eluding, and operating with a suspended/revoked license.
CO Matthew Zultak and PCO Marc Mankowski were on patrol when they spotted a snowmobile without a valid trail permit. The suspect admitted he didn’t purchase one and it was his first time riding this year after recently getting the snowmobile running again. The suspect was issued a warning as he was a short distance from home and told to not operate the snowmobile until purchasing a valid trail permit. Four hours later, CO Zultak contacted the suspect again operating his snowmobile over five miles away from the original traffic stop. A citation was issued for operating without a valid trail permit.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was on patrol in Alcona County when he encountered a truck on federal land. The driver and passenger stated they were squirrel hunting and had got two squirrels earlier. CO Grzechowski asked to see their firearms and observed both firearms were uncased in the back of the truck, one of the firearms was also still loaded. CO Grzechowski determined the driver of the vehicle failed to register the vehicle, was using a license plate from a different vehicle, and the vehicle was not insured. CO Grzechowski issued a citation to the driver for the loaded firearm and for operating an uninsured vehicle. Verbal warnings were given for the remainder of violations.
CO Casey Pullum was patrolling public land in Oscoda County when he came across two vehicles parked in the roadway. CO Pullum determined a female was driving one vehicle and a male was driving the other. The individuals were married and were working through some personal issues. The male had driven to this location to cool off and the female followed to make sure he was ok. CO Pullum determined both subjects were in possession of concealed pistols in their respective vehicles and did not have CPLs. Both subjects were lodged at the Oscoda County Jail for carrying a concealed weapon.
CO Casey Pullum conducted a traffic stop in Oscoda County on a vehicle that was traveling at 63 mph in a 35 mph zone and 87 mph in a 55 mph zone. During the traffic stop, CO Pullum detected specific signs of intoxication on the female driver. CO Pullum also noted six of the eight passengers were children under the age of 16. CO Pullum conducted SFSTs on the driver, and it was determined that she was intoxicated and above the legal limit to drive. The driver was taken into custody and lodged at the Oscoda County Jail. CO Pullum is seeking charges for OWI third offense, driving while license suspended, and six counts of OWI with an occupant less than 16.
CO Jesse Grzechowski was patrolling Alcona County when he located a cable restraint device still set three days after the season had closed. CO Grzechowski patrolled the property locating a total of 24 snares that were still set and did not meet the equipment regulations for a legal cable restraint. CO Grzechowski seized the snares and was able to locate the suspect who admitted leaving the snares out. Charges are being sought through the Alcona County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Brad Bellville received a complaint in Ogemaw County about a group of non-residents obtaining free Michigan resident disabled veteran hunting licenses by using fraudulent sport cards. CO Bellville and PCO Logan Turner conducted several interviews leading to confessions on multiple violations dating back to 2017. These violations include multiple counts of take deer without a license, take an over-limit of antlered deer, and using false information to obtain licenses. Charges are being sought through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Jon Warner, Casey Pullum, and Kyle Bader, along with PCOs Olivia Moeller, Logan Turner, and United States Forest Service (USFS) Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Repine conducted a snowmobile patrol in Iosco County focusing on enforcing sound emission laws. During the patrol, CO Bader signaled a rider whose machine was displaying an expired trail permit to stop at an intersection. The man did not stop. LEO Repine attempted to intercept the rider at the next road crossing but just missed him. Then he went to the next intersection, hid his patrol truck, and waited for the man in the woods. LEO Repine signaled for the man to stop when he approached. When he did not, LEO Repine grabbed his arm and attempted to remove him from the snowmobile. The man sped away. LEO Repine later located a single track going into a clear-cut area. CO Bader followed the track on his patrol snowmobile and located the man who was placed in handcuffs and turned over to USFS LEO Repine. PCO Turner issued a citation for the expired trail permit and multiple charges are pending through the USFS.
COs Chad Foerster and Adam Beuthin were working on the Saginaw Bay patrolling on snowmobiles for ice fishing activity when they came across one angler with 11 walleye on the ice. He immediately admitted that he knew he was over his legal limit of eight walleye and took responsibility. A citation was issued and the three fish over-limit were seized. The following day, CO Ethan Gainforth joined the group patrol and contacted the same angler who was again found to be in possession of another 11 walleye on the ice. Upon contact, the angler told CO Gainforth that he was cited by CO Foerster the day prior and again took responsibility for the second over-limit of walleye. He was issued a second citation for the over-limit of walleye and the three fish over limit were seized.
During an evening patrol in Tuscola County with icy conditions, CO Joshua Wright and PCO Jacob Daniel heard a call come over the radio for a personal injury accident that occurred near their location. A 16 year old went off the road and struck a telephone pole. Once on scene, the COs were met by EMS and fire. The victim was stable and waiting to be cut out of the vehicle by the fire department. While on scene the COs heard of another accident in the area. Responding to the second accident, the COs found a vehicle had slid off the road, struck a mailbox, struck a tree knocking it completely out of the ground, and coming to a stop after colliding with a larger tree. The victim was pinned in the vehicle under the dash and sustained injuries. While waiting for EMS and fire to arrive, the COs held C-spine and kept the victim relaxed. Once fire arrived, the victim was cut out and taken to the hospital by EMS.
CO Mike Haas and PCO Jacob Hamilton were working in Gratiot County when they encountered a group of coyote hunters on a county roadway. The COs spoke with one hunter, who was sitting in his truck, and noted the large amount of ammunition and a loaded magazine on the center console. The COs asked where the hunter’s firearm was, and the hunter moved a sweatshirt in the passenger seat that was concealing an uncased rifle. The firearm was secured, and the hunter received a citation for possessing an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.
CO Mike Haas and PCO Jacob Hamilton completed an investigation regarding the illegal taking of a large 9-point deer during the 2021 archery season. Evidence was collected and an interview was conducted with the suspect who admitted to harvesting the deer without a license. During the interview, it was also discovered that the hunter’s wife had been hunting all season without a deer license and they had been utilizing illegal bait and feed. A report was completed and will be forwarded to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Dan Robinson was working through northern Ionia County and witnessed two machines operating on a frozen lake. The snowmobile and four-wheeler were being operated carelessly near some ice anglers. After a closer look, CO Robinson saw that none of the riders had approved helmets on. After stopping the vehicles, it was evident the drivers were juveniles. CO Robinson followed them to their residence and issued a citation to the responsible adult. Additionally, several warnings were given for registration issues and allowing minors to operate machines unsupervised.
CO Dan Robinson responded to a rollover bus crash on US 127 involving a school bus carrying students and teachers. CO Robinson arrived within minutes of the call and started triaging the injured and providing care as needed along with an MSP trooper who was already on-scene. Many of the students were shaken with minor injuries, others were seriously hurt including several adults. Other agencies and EMS units arrived on scene shortly after and went to work. The teamwork between the different agencies was remarkable and provided for the best outcome, considering the situation. Minutes after leaving the bus crash, CO Robinson responded to a nearby personal injury accident while the other units were tied up at the bus crash. CO Robinson arrived and located two vehicles with heavy front-end damage and the drivers complaining of soreness. EMS arrived on scene and began medical care; CO Robinson documented the crash and completed the required reports.
COs BJ Goulette, Justin Ulberg, and Michael Eovaldi patrolled the Grand River by boat. Numerous anglers targeting steelhead were contacted and vessels were checked for safety equipment. The COs encountered one vessel with an expired registration. It was discovered the boat owner had purchased the boat a couple years earlier but never transferred the registration to his name. The vessel was also missing a Type IV PFD. The boat owner was educated about having a Type IV PFD and was issued a citation for the expired registration.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling Muskegon County when it was announced on central dispatch that a four-wheeler had just went through the ice on Muskegon Lake. CO Miskovich patrolled to the closest boat launch and with other emergency personnel they were able to see that the subjects had made it out of the water and were walking in a gated area. CO Miskovich and other emergency personnel made their way into the gated area where contact was made with the two subjects. CO Miskovich proceeded to go gather their helmets from near the water and returned them to the subjects. Both subjects were found to be okay, just a bit shaken. Their ice fishing suits were able to keep them afloat long enough for them to get out of the water.
CO Anna Cullen was checking ice anglers in Muskegon County when she observed two individuals actively fishing in the far corner of the lake. CO Cullen verified both were fishing and continued to watch the anglers for the next 45 minutes to an hour. When she observed the anglers beginning to pack up, CO Cullen approached the anglers. CO Cullen asked the two anglers if they had any fish. Both anglers advised they had not caught anything due to the high winds. CO Cullen asked both anglers for their fishing licenses. One of the anglers was able to provide his, while the other advised “He was just drilling holes” for his buddy; he wasn’t fishing. CO Cullen told the anglers she had been watching them for about an hour and observed both fishing. As a result, the angler admitted to fishing and was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
COs Ed Rice and Chris Reynolds assisted RHINO drug team detectives with the execution of a search warrant in Hillsdale County. Several guns and narcotics were seized during the search. COs Rice and Reynolds uncovered conservation violations. Photographs were taken of multiple illegal burning and dumping sites as well as deer carcasses. Pending further investigation, a report will be submitted to the Hillsdale County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cullen Knoblauch followed up on an illegal deer case uncovered while conducting records checks at a deer processing facility. CO Knoblauch interviewed the suspect who admitted he shot a 5-point buck on November 7th prior to purchasing a 2021 deer license. Charges are pending with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cullen Knoblauch followed up on several illegally taken deer cases from processor inspections in Jackson County for the 2021 season. CO Knoblauch contacted three hunters who all confessed to killing bucks prior to purchasing hunting licenses. Antlers for two 8-point bucks and a 4-point buck were seized. All cases are pending charges in Jackson County.
CO Justin Muehlhauser obtained an animal cruelty warrant regarding a suspect who shot a defenseless opossum in a live trap over 50 times at point blank. A no bond warrant has been entered into Law Enforcement Information Network.
COs Bob Watson, Raymond Gardner, Joseph Deppen, Jaime Salisbury, and Sgt. Chris Maher patrolled Lake St Clair near the Fairhaven launch for fishing and ORV/snowmobile activity. Activity was down quite a bit from previous weeks. Some recreational riding contacts were had. CO Watson cited one angler for not having a fishing license, his son and son’s two young friends were given warnings for no license. The man informed CO Watson that they had stopped to get bait and licenses right before leaving the launch and the clerk at the bait shop told them they were sold out of licenses, but that the DNR never works the ice anyways. CO Watson informed the man that there is at least one or two COs on the ice every weekend and the bait shop worker had given him very poor advice.
CO Bob Watson and Sgt. Chris Maher were patrolling Lake St. Clair on foot and checking late season ice anglers when CO Watson encountered two ice shacks far from the main crowd of anglers. CO Watson contacted both ice shacks, which were fishing together, and discovered one of the anglers was in possession of 136 perch. The angler was well over his legal limit of perch and was cited for an over-limit.
CO Raymond Gardner was on a group patrol with Sgt. Chris Maher, COs Robert Watson, Joe Deppen, and Jaime Salisbury on Lake St. Clair. During one ice angler check, CO Gardner discovered the angler was using four fishing lines instead of the allowed three. When CO Gardner asked the angler for his fishing license and driver’s license, he said they were in his truck. CO Gardner asked if the angler had any more fish other than what was visible, he said no. While CO Gardner was determining whether the angler had a fishing license, CO Watson came to assist and found more fish inside a plastic bag in the bucket the angler was sitting on. The angler was issued citations for using more than three lines while fishing and not having his fishing license on his person.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were checking anglers on Lake St. Clair. The COs noticed one angler yelling and screaming in excitement and jumped outside to dump his fish. CO Silorey used binoculars to see the angler had eleven walleyes on the ice. The COs made their way to his location as he dropped three walleyes down the hole. COs Deppen and Silorey stopped the man as he was grabbing two more. The angler was in possession of eight walleye and had no fishing license. A citation was issued for over-limit of walleye. The fish were seized and given to other anglers who were not so lucky.
CO Mike Drexler transported a subject for one of his warrants, a 2020 felon in possession of firearm case that resulted from a waterfowl hunting complaint. The subject was transported from Westland Police Department to the Washtenaw County Jail.
While responding to a call regarding a sick raccoon, CO Nick Ingersoll and PCO Mark Reffitt were passed aggressively by a driver speeding carelessly through heavy traffic in a residential area. The motorist passed the patrol truck and several other vehicles in a turn lane on a 35 mph road. The COs conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and cited the driver a civil infraction for improper passing while giving her a warning for careless driving.
Great Lakes Enforcement Unit (GLEU)
Corporal Brett DeLonge paired up with Sgt. Mark Leadman and C.O. John Kamps to check ice anglers and snowmobilers in southern Marquette County. Several sport angler and snowmobile checks were completed, and multiple citations were issued for snowmobile registration and operation violations.
Corporal Thomas Peterson conducted a patrol in the thumb region. Multiple anglers coming off the bay were checked for fishing licenses and fish take. One individual was in the possession of an undersized pike. The pike was still alive and well. The angler was allowed to release the pike and given a verbal warning for possessing an undersized northern pike.
Corporal Jon Busken patrolled to Cedarville to follow up on a delinquent wholesale fish dealer. An attempt to contact was made at the residence which did not appear to be occupied during winter. Contact with a neighbor revealed the licensed wholesaler was a seasonal resident who is unlikely to be an actual wholesale fish dealer.