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Conservation Officer (CO) Zach Painter attended a field trip for the West Iron County fourth grade class at Black River Harbor in Gogebic County. The class was able to release fish into Lake Superior that they raised in their classroom this spring.
CO Brian Lasanen worked a patrol in Keweenaw County related to smelting activity. CO Lasanen discovered the river did not hold many smelt but was full of walleyes attempting to spawn. CO Lasanen watched three subjects dipping for smelt and observed two of the subjects return to their truck. They retrieved a tackle box and a garbage bag and returned to the river where they were dipping for smelt. When the three subjects returned to their truck a brief time later, CO Lasanen introduced himself as a CO and asked how their smelting was going. The three subjects appeared nervous and stated they did not have any smelt. When CO Lasanen asked about the tackle box and trash bag, the subjects produced a walleye that was hidden in the tackle box. One of the subjects was cited for taking a walleye out of season.
CO Byron Parks helped teach a Hunter Safety Course which was held at Camp Nesbit in Houghton County. The students were able to shoot firearms, bow and arrows, and receive a review of the hunter’s safety book along with laws before taking the final exam.
COs Alex VanWagner, Jared Ferguson, and Phil Helminen attended a hunter education class at the West Iron County School. The students were very interactive and asked a variety of questions as the COs discussed the career, ethics, and laws associated with hunting.
CO Alex VanWagner responded with a trooper and deputy to a report of an in-progress domestic incident. Dispatch advised the female subject was bleeding and the male subject left the residence on foot. Interviews of the female subject and her son were conducted, and the investigation was turned over to the Michigan State Police (MSP) for further investigation as the male subject was not able to be located.
CO Shannon Kritz participated in the “Salmon in the Classroom” event with the NORMENCO Sportsman’s Club, Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Kingsford third grade elementary class. The third graders had raised chinook salmon and were going to release them into the Cedar River. After assisting with the salmon release, CO Kritz presented the students with laws and regulations about fishing and introduced them to what a Conservation Officer does.
CO Shannon Kritz received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about an angler who was fishing from a boat and was harassed by shore anglers. CO Kritz responded to the area and interviewed the involved parties. Both groups were fishing a narrow slough of the river for catch-and-release bass. A juvenile shore angler and the complainant kept crossing lines. The older brother of the juvenile came over and confronted the boat anglers about being too close to them. As the verbal confrontation occurred, the shore anglers continued to cast near the boat. A report documenting both sides of the confrontation will be submitted to the Menominee County Prosecutor’s Office to review charges of angler harassment.
CO Shannon Kritz responded to a call of a grass fire. CO Kritz arrived on the scene and interviewed the witnesses who stated they were sitting on the porch of their camp when they noticed smoke coming from the woods on their property. CO Kritz investigated the cause of the fire along with DNR Forest Resource Division (FRD) fire personnel and local fire departments. The cause of the fire was determined to be a lightning strike and was extinguished.
CO Phil Helminen was patrolling in Dickinson County when he observed a large amount of smoke coming from behind a residence. Due to the extremely dry weather conditions, there was no open burning permitted in Dickinson County. CO Helminen located a resident who had piled up tree limbs and other brush that had fallen from a recent windstorm. The resident had set the brush on fire and the fire became out of control and spread to the surrounding trees and grass. The resident attempted to put the fire out with a garden house but was unable as the fire spread too quickly. CO Helminen requested Kingsford Public Safety to the scene to put out the fire before it spread to the residence. The homeowner was cited for burning not when not permitted.
CO Jared Ferguson participated in the Camp Gibbs Hunter Safety field day. There were eighty kids enrolled for the program and they had opportunities to handle firearms, archery equipment, and talk to the CO in reference to laws and regulations.
CO Jared Ferguson attended North Dickinson School’s science class to participate in a career event. CO Ferguson spoke to the teens about becoming a conservation officer and the job functions that pertain to it.
CO Jared Ferguson attended Kingsford High School’s Environmental Science class and gave a presentation about DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED). The class was actively involved and asked good questions regarding job responsibilities and opportunities.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon responded to 911 call of a fire that had escaped and burned a large area of a meadow in Iron County. No burning was permitted, and the subject did not check the web page or call to see if burning was permitted. DNR FRD fire personnel also responded to extinguish the fire, along with the local volunteer fire dept. The subject was cited for burning when not permitted.
Sgt. Brian Bacon responded with DNR FRD fire personnel to a 911 call of a fire that had gotten out of control in Dickinson County. The subject was burning a box and a large brush pile. The box was taken by high winds and caught a wooded area on fire. The fire danger was forecasted at VERY HIGH, and no burning was permitted. The subject did not check to see if burning was permitted. The subject was cited for burning when not permitted.
Sgt. Brian Bacon responded to a complaint of a large amount of smoke. Upon arrival, he observed a large brush pile that had been burned. The homeowner did not check the website to see if burning was permitted. The subject was able to extinguish with a water and received a verbal warning for burning when not permitted.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when he received a complaint of a deer that was laying in the complainant’s yard all day and could not stand up. CO Smith responded to the residence and discovered the doe near an area where the residences feed deer. The doe was severely emaciated, and the decision was made to put the deer down. Inspection of the deer’s teeth or lack of teeth determined the deer was extremely old and that its body was shutting down. Out of all the deer’s teeth there was only a fragment of its molar left. All other teeth had been ground down and there was nothing, but gums left.
CO Cody Smith responded to several fires during an extremely windy day when a report came in that another fire had started. CO Smith quickly responded to the scene and discovered one volunteer attempting to put out the fire caused by another tree grounding out a powerline. CO Smith grabbed his shovel and began to assist in containing the brush fire in its initial stages. Many more volunteers showed up to assist with the fire until a fire engine arrived on scene. An adjacent resident provided buckets to scoop water from a nearby creek and others provided more shovels for those who needed them. Eventually a fire engine was able to hook up a hose and extinguish the remainder of the fire preventing it from spreading further.
COs John Kamps, Jeremy Sergey, and Sgt. Mark Leadman assisted at multiple fires across Marquette County as high winds caused multiple trees to fall on live powerlines. DNR fire crews as well as numerous township fire departments were able to extinguish all but one of the fires before they could do considerable damage. A camp and other outbuildings were lost in one of the fires in Arnold.
CO Andrea Dani received a report from FRD fire personnel about a contact the fire staff had made that day. An individual was open burning illegal building materials, including vinyl siding and insulation, on a no burn day and was informed the fire needed to be extinguished. When CO Dani arrived at the suspect’s residence later that day, the fire was still burning with open flame and the suspect had taken no action to extinguish the fire. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andrea Dani responded to a call of recreational trespass near the West Branch of the Whitefish River. CO Dani observed the suspects fishing. When they were done, they exited the private property near their truck by walking around a gate and a no trespassing sign. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of a hunter who had shot another hunter’s turkey decoy. CO Butzin responded to the area and was able to conduct a traffic stop on the suspects’ vehicle. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the individual who shot the decoy was an elderly gentleman who had made an honest mistake when he shot the jake decoy. The individual was educated on the importance of knowing your target and what is beyond it.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of a fire containing unlawful materials to burn in Ford River Township. CO Butzin responded to the location and discovered an individual at the residence was responsible for burning a large quantity of household trash and various building materials. A report has been submitted to the 94th District Court requesting a charge of unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Ford River Township when he encountered several individuals fishing without licenses. One of the individuals attempted to provide a Minnesota fishing license stating it was valid in Michigan. CO Butzin explained that this out of state license was not valid for Michigan waters. The individual was cited for fishing without a Michigan fishing license.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin for National Police Week conducted a flag posting detail at the burial site and in honor of fallen Conservation Officer Thomas J. Mellon who passed away in the Line of Duty.
CO Mike Evink participated in the Upper Peninsula Law Enforcement memorial processional and service. The ceremony was held at Manistique High School. Each year the ceremony is held in a different city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
CO Mike Evink assisted Manistique Public Safety locate an elderly dementia patient. He had walked off from his residence but was located within an hour.
CO Cole VanOosten received a complaint from the RAP hotline regarding two anglers who had caught a large snapping turtle on shore as it was laying eggs then put it in a box in the back of their vehicle during the closed season. CO VanOosten responded and located the suspects who initially tried telling him that they had caught the turtle but released it. It was determined that the turtle had been killed and the individuals planned to eat it. CO VanOosten seized several parts of the turtle, and a report was compiled requesting charges for taking a turtle out of season with the Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol of Mackinac County when he located a group of individuals spearing a small creek where complaints of illegal walleye spearing had been received. CO VanOosten contacted three members of the group who had several buckets full of suckers that they had speared. The individuals stated that they had not seen any walleye and that they had not speared any. CO VanOosten began walking the riverbank and located a freshly speared walleye that was still alive and had been placed in the woods. When confronted about the walleye, all members of the group stated that they knew nothing about it. Through further investigations and interviews it was determined that a member of the group had speared the fish and placed it in the woods. A report was generated and submitted to the Mackinac County Prosecutor’s Office for taking a walleye out of season and taking a walleye with an illegal method.
COs Todd Sumbera and PCO Jacob Daniel received a call from the Sault Ste. Marie City Police Department about a suspect who had trapped a fox out of season. The city officers were able to release the fox from the trap and seized two traps that the suspect had set. COs Sumbera and Daniels interviewed the suspect the following day who admitted to setting the traps with hope of catching the fox that he had captured on his trail camera. A report was sent to the Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for trapping fox out of season, two charges for untagged traps, and trapping without a license.
CO Mike Olesen and Sgt. Calvin Smith were on marine patrol near Sugar Island when they noticed a large plume of smoke coming from a nearby residence. After further investigation, the COs found an individual who was burning a large brush pile. With the extremely dry conditions, no burn permits were being issued. A citation was issued for burning without a permit.
CO Nathan Beelman was second on scene for a horse barn that was on fire. CO Beelman helped ensure all animals were removed from the barn and then helped firefighters once they arrived on scene.
CO Nathan Beelman was checking anglers in East Jordan when he observed a juvenile jump a fence with a backpack, go under a bridge, and then return a few seconds later without the backpack. CO Beelman contacted the juvenile who stated he just wanted to leave the backpack under the bridge for safe keeping while he fished. The juvenile appeared extremely nervous and did not have a good reason as to why he wanted to leave the backpack under the bridge. The East Jordan Police arrived on scene shortly after and the juvenile admitted to having marijuana in his backpack. The marijuana was seized, and the juvenile was returned to his mother.
COs Nathan Beelman and Chad Baldwin assisted with traffic control and assisting fire resources with the Blue Lakes fire in Montmorency County. Sgt. William Webster worked with incident command to bring available law enforcement resources for assistance.
COs Nathan Beelman, Tom Oberg, and Sgt. Mark Depew attended a Blue Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gaylord. The event honored and blessed law enforcement for their service to their communities. The event was attended by many other local law enforcement agencies.
CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint of trash being dumped on state land in Charlevoix County. While looking through the trash, CO Baldwin was able to locate several names which led to an address. After conducting several interviews and following the trail of evidence, CO Baldwin tracked down the owner of the trash who stated he did not dump it but had a good idea who did. The owner of the trash refused to give up the name of who he thought dumped it but agreed to have the trashed picked up and removed by the end of the next day. The following day, CO Baldwin checked the area and verified all the trash had been hauled away.
CO Duane Budreau and PCO Jackson Kelly responded to a designated trout stream in northern Emmet County on a complaint of a group of anglers spearing suckers. When the COs arrived on scene, they spoke with a group of four subjects, with one person spearing. PCO Kelly explained the violation to the anglers. After a short debate as to whether the river was a designated trout stream, the COs educated the individual by pointing out in the Michigan fishing guide the specific pages explaining the spearing regulations. The subject was issued a ticket for spearing on a designated trout stream. The COs seized his spear and three illegally taken fish. PCO Kelly checked the subject for any prior fish and game violations. PCO Kelly discovered the young man had been arrested a couple of years ago for illegally spearing trout.
CO Duane Budreau and PCO Jackson Kelly made an appearance at a Youth Day Event hosted by the Charlevoix County Rod and Gun Club. The event allows young people and their families to try several outdoor activities such as fishing, archery, target shooting, skeet shooting, and fly tying. CO Budreau and PCO Kelly were able to assist in several activities as well as speak to members of the community regarding the importance of youth involvement and the role the Michigan DNR conservation officers have in preserving the natural resources for future generations.
CO Tim Rosochacki and PCO Logan Turner responded to a large wildfire in Montmorency County in Pigeon River Country. The COs established a perimeter and ensured the safety of the public. A group of kayakers were reported to be in the vicinity of the wildfire. The COs worked to locate the kayakers, who were found safely and escorted out of the area without issue.
CO Matt Theunick participated in the 20-year sturgeon project. Many members of the public attended the celebration at sites B and C as well as at the hatchery where a brief history was given of the area sturgeon, each DNR division talked about its role in protecting and rearing sturgeon.
CO Kyle Cherry responded to a report of a brush fire in Otsego County. CO Cherry arrived on scene along with several local fire departments. CO Cherry interviewed the homeowner and found the fire had been lit the previous night and had not been put out. The fire reignited and spread due to the dry conditions. A ticket was issued.
COs Kyle Cherry, Tom Oberg, and Sgt. Mark DePew were on ORV patrol sitting on private property where the owners have had serious issues with individuals dumping substantial amounts of trash over the years, usually in the spring. A vehicle and its three occupants were contacted, pulling a trailer with a large amount of trash on the same property. The driver had a misdemeanor warrant and one of the passengers had two misdemeanor warrants and one felony warrant for a violent crime. The passenger was arrested and lodged in the Otsego County Jail.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Black River in Cheboygan for sturgeon poaching activity when she received a complaint of five subjects fishing in the part of the river that was closed to fishing. After contacting the subjects, one of the subjects did not have a fishing license and three subjects had warrants out for their arrest. CO Curtis issued tickets for fishing in a closed river and fishing without license. Two of the three subjects with warrants were advised of their warrants and released, and CO Tim Rosochacki assisted with arresting and lodging the third subject.
CO Jessie Curtis was patrolling Alpena County when she received a complaint of an illegal burn as there were no permits being given. Upon arriving on scene, CO Curtis could not locate the property owner of the ongoing fire. CO Curtis observed a mattress and other garbage on fire. CO Curtis was able to eventually track down the owner and have him return. Tickets were issued for burn without a permit, leave burn unattended, and a warning was issued for improper disposal of solid waste.
CO Paul Fox assisted the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department on the scene of a single motorcycle fatal accident. The lone driver lost control leaving the roadway and did not survive the crash.
CO Sidney Collins assisted FRD in Atlanta with a continuous trespass issue in Montmorency County. A residence owner has made roads on state land, posted “No Trespassing” signs, and has been storing several vehicles and trailers on state land. CO Collins, along with foresters talked with the homeowner who became very irate when he was told the foresters would be surveying the state land. The wife then came out and was understanding of the situation. The foresters painted the state land boundaries and gave the residence owners time to remove their belongings from the state land.
CO Sidney Collins was first on scene to a grass fire in Montmorency County. A power line broke and started a grass fire. Thankfully, local citizens driving by saw the fire and called it in. The citizens then took shovels and rakes to extinguish the fire. When CO Collins arrived, the fire was no longer spreading.
CO Patrick McManus assisted the National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Division with investigating a small wildfire on NPS property near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau County. CO McManus was able to locate the source of the fire on private property adjacent to NPS land and assisted rangers with interviews and follow-up prosecution. Historically, the NPS and DNR work together on many different complaints each year, and 2022 is proving to be no different.
CO Ben Shively was first on scene in Newaygo County on the report of a missing 82-year-old female with dementia who had possibly fallen into the Muskegon River. CO Shively was able to coordinate with a neighbor, launch a boat, and check downstream as search crews showed up to check the land around the residence. After an hour and a half, the woman was located near her residence. She was reunited with her family with no injuries.
COs Ben Shively and Micah Hintze responded with the DNR and Hesperia Fire Department to a fire near federal land. A homeowner stated he was burning some paper and cardboard in a pit and the fire escaped into the woods. The homeowner was cited for allowing fire to escape control and warned for burning during a fire ban.
CO Tim Barboza responded to a domestic violence call, which occurred a few miles away, where an intoxicated male had choked a female. CO Barboza responded to the scene, which he secured, and started to interview the parties until the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene to take over the investigation. The subject was arrested and transported to the Newaygo County Jail.
CO Josh Reed responded to an illegal burn complaint where a small fire was burning in a backyard. CO Reed asked the property owner to show him what he was burning. CO Reed observed a small quantity of chopped up wood furniture burning in the pit. The property owner was questioned about the burn and the other household garbage accumulated around the house. The property owner advised he had just bought the property and was attempting to fix it up. The property owner advised he was getting a dumpster for the remaining trash but thought he could burn the wood items. CO Reed explained the laws regarding burning the household items. The property owner was cooperative and put the fire out in the backyard. The owner advised he would dispose of the other items the proper way. A warning was issued.
CO Zack Walters was contacted by Evart DNR FRD fire personnel about an individual burning a brush pile in the Sunrise Lake area. CO Walters responded and located the burn at a residence south of Sunrise Lake. CO Walters contacted three individuals at the residence. CO Walters ran all three individuals through the county dispatch, one of which came back with a felony warrant for a concealed pistol license violation. CO Walters arrested that individual and transported them to Mt. Pleasant and transferred custody to the MSP. CO Walters also issued a citation for burning during extreme fire danger to the owner of the property as there was no water or equipment readily available.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jacob Hamilton received a complaint of a grass fire in Crawford County. Upon arrival, the grass fire had started due to a dwelling on fire and spread to the surrounding woods where it burned a small area and had started to die out. First responders and neighbors were already in the process of containing the grass fire. The dwelling was burned to the ground but was not occupied. The scene was secured until the fire department and Crawford County Sheriff Department arrived on scene.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jacob Hamilton were patrolling for fishing activity along the AuSable River in Crawford County when they heard a dispatch call for a domestic violence situation near their location. The COs arrived at the scene and assisted an MSP trooper with the investigation.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jacob Hamilton were requested to assist with the Blue Lake fire in Montmorency County. Upon arrival, the COs assisted with incident command by sending law enforcement to close intersections in order to keep traffic from entering the area. While travelling back to their county, CO Huspen and PCO Hamilton were dispatched to a second fire a few miles away from the Blue Lake fire. The second fire was a smaller fire that burned an acre of private property. The residents had been burning trash and were not attending to their fire when it escaped. The responsible parties were interviewed, and a citation was issued.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jacob Hamilton were starting their shift when they were dispatched to a forest fire in Crawford County. Upon arrival at the fire location, the COs attempted to determine the direction the fire was travelling. They also assisted with incident command by sending law enforcement to intersections to keep traffic from entering the fire area.
CO Charlie Jones and PCO Michael Eovaldi assisted the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office and MSP with a report of a missing juvenile who was a suspected runaway. Several friends and family were interviewed, and the COs assisted an MSP canine officer with a search of the property. The missing juvenile was found the following day.
CO Kyle Bader participated in a safety day in Ogemaw County on May 14th hosted by the Old Navy store in West Branch. CO Bader focused on marine safety and had a variety of safety equipment on display. South Higgins Lake State Park and the Ogemaw Hills Sportsman’s Association were among other participants for this event.
CO Josh Russell received a complaint of a wildfire on state land from the night before. CO Russell and PCO Todd Bunce investigated the fire and spoke to the occupants of the lone camp in the area. After interviewing the main subject at camp, the COs obtained a name of another subject at the camp who allegedly started the fire. This individual had stayed hidden from the deputies and fire officers the night of the fire. The COs located the suspect as well as a second witness. A report will be submitted to the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges for starting the wildfire.
CO Craig Neal received a call from Arenac County Central Dispatch that they were dispatching fire units out to the Sterling Truck Trails for a forest fire. CO Neal responded to the scene and met with DNR FRD fire personnel. They determined that evacuations were not needed due to wind directions. The investigation revealed that a target shooter had shot some Tannerite, which started the fire when it exploded. A report has been submitted to the Arenac County Prosecutor’s Office for using a device that may cause a fire without taking proper precautions on state land.
CO Joshua Wright responded to a complaint of a four-wheeler that was stuck in a wetland area of public land that was closed to all vehicle traffic. CO Wright located the ORV, but the operator was not around. He attempted contact at the suspect’s residence as well as over the phone but was not able to reach him. The witnesses knew who the suspect was and gave CO Wright a registration plate for his vehicle. They stated the man had come back to the scene before CO Wright’s arrival and tried unsuccessfully to get the machine out. CO Wright had the ORV towed out of the public land. He ran the vehicle identification number on the machine through Law Enforcement Information Network, and it came back no record. Fortunately, records from the ORV registration sticker came back to the suspect. The next day CO Wright and PCO Todd Bunce interviewed the suspect and obtained a full confession. The COs issued the man a civil infraction for operating in a closed area and he got his ORV back after he paid the tow company.
CO Joshua Wright and PCO Todd Bunce were patrolling through the Meredith Field Trail area on a warm spring day. There were a lot of families swimming at Hoister Lake and using the public beach. CO Wright smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana and observed a man sitting near the beach and close to several families. The man was using marijuana. The COs made contact and it was confirmed that he was openly using marijuana in a public place. The man was issued a citation for the violation and educated on marijuana use in public.
CO Mark Siemen received a complaint about two subjects who had caught some Smallmouth bass and took photos of the fish on a stringer and then placed the fish out on the grass to take more photos. In the photos, it appears as if a few of the fish were dead. CO Siemen spoke with the subjects and advised them of the catch and immediate release law and explained that putting the fish on a stringer is not immediately releasing them. A report will be completed, and charges will be sought.
CO Mark Siemen received a call from a subject stating two people were trespassing on his property and had shot at a turkey. CO Siemen responded and contacted two juveniles who stated they did not know they were trespassing. When asked to see hunting licenses one of them began to cry stating he did not have a license. After speaking with the two hunters and the property owner, CO Siemen contacted the juveniles’ parents. All were educated about trespassing and hunting without a license. The property owner was satisfied with the outcome and did not want to pursue charges.
COs Adam Schiller and Mike Haas received a complaint of a suspect who had shot a turkey from his truck. Using photos the COs received from the complainant, they were able to locate the suspect at his residence. The suspect denied any wrongdoing and provided his version of the taking of the turkey. The COs photographed the turkey and firearm and informed the man that a report would be submitted to the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office. The next day, the suspect called and stated he felt guilty for lying and wanted to speak with the COs again. CO Haas and PCO Marissa Hassevoort revisited the suspect who admitted to shooting the turkey from inside of his truck. The turkey and shotgun were seized, and charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office.
PCO Michael Lator and CO Dan Robinson were working in Midland County and saw a large plume of black smoke. The COs investigated and found a very large fire during extreme fire conditions. The COs talked to the subjects standing around the fire who admitted to starting the fire and throwing in “junk” from the barn. A citation was issued for burning without a permit and a warning was given for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
PCO Cameron Wright and CO Sam Schluckbier found a post on social media of a hunter who shot a turkey but did not have a tag for the date it was harvested. The COs interviewed the suspect and learned that the turkey hunter left their license at home, traveled to the east side of the state, shot the turkey, and then put a friend’s tag on it. When the COs explained that they needed to seize the turkey as evidence, they were surprised when the hunter stated that it was in the back of the Asian Palace Restaurant drying with Borax as that was where the turkey was processed. Multiple charges are being submitted to the prosecutor.
PCO Cameron Wright and CO Rich Cardenas were patrolling the Barry State Game Area when they came across fresh ORV tracks going off-trail over a 20-foot hill. The COs followed the tracks and located a vehicle and subject who claimed he was scouting for deer hunting locations. The COs noticed a torch sitting on the center console of the vehicle and gained consent to search the vehicle. They located a glass pipe, a small plastic baggy, and a digital scale all covered in a white powdery substance. A field test showed positive for methamphetamine. A citation was issued for operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area and charges are being submitted to the prosecutor for possession of a controlled substance.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg were patrolling the Rogue River State Game Area in Kent County and saw a vehicle parked in an area closed to vehicles. The officers observed a backpack in the vehicle and were given consent to search it. CO Varriale located a pipe, several needles, and two containers containing methamphetamine. The COs called the Kent County Drug Team who assisted with the investigation. The suspect was lodged on a warrant and charges are being sought for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
CO Casey Varriale swore to a warrant for a poaching case from this past winter. COs Varriale, Justin Ulberg, Jeremy Beavers, Anna Cullen, and Sgt. Jeff Rabbers worked a case through February and March of 2022 in Nelson and Spencer Townships in Kent County involving several deer being shot at night. The deer were left where they were shot. An anonymous tip led officers to a suspect who confessed and furnished maps of how and when the poaching took place. A cellphone search warrant was obtained which uncovered violations from 2020 and 2021. The suspect initially denied violating any laws in 2020 and 2021, but when faced with the evidence, he confessed to those crimes as well. The suspect was charged with taking deer out of season, taking deer utilizing an illegal method, and taking deer from a motor vehicle.
While patrolling St. Joseph County CO Matt Page observed three vehicles parked in the middle of the road and a woman walking next to a young child on the side of the road. The woman advised she had no idea who the child was, and that she had been riding her bike on the side of the busy road alone. CO Page took possession of the five-year-old child and attempted to figure out where she lived and any phone numbers for her parents. After a short time, the mother arrived on scene, distraught and glad to see that her daughter was okay.
CO John Byars and Sgt. Jason Smith represented the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Honor Guard during an event at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing. The event recognized fallen law enforcement officers from the State of Michigan and around the nation with representation from many agencies present.
CO Chris Reynolds received a call from a local contact in Hillsdale County of individuals hunting and trespassing on his property. CO Reynolds contacted the individuals and asked if they knew whose property they were on. No one knew the landowner and one of the people said they had just been going on the property for years. CO Reynolds explained to the group that the landowner does not want anyone on their property and wanted trespass charges sought for anyone found on the property. Citations were issued for recreational trespass.
CO Jason McCullough, along with several other agencies, were called to locate a lost teenager in a canoe along the Kalamazoo River. Shortly after launching his patrol boat, CO McCullough located the young girl standing on an island unharmed but a little scared.
CO Ed Rice responded to a RAP complaint of an individual possessing Mallard ducks. CO Rice arrived at the residence and located two ducklings. CO Rice gave a verbal warning for rehabilitating wildlife without a permit. CO Rice explained the wildlife rehabilitation permit process to the suspect and transported the ducklings to a nearby rehabilitator for care.
COs Kris Kiel, Sydney Griffor, and David Schaumburger patrolled the Detroit River at night and came upon a boat fishing near Wyandotte. The anglers said that it was a slow night and they had been fishing since 9:00 pm and had just got their limit. The anglers were in possession of twelve walleye. During the contact, one of the anglers said that he just started fishing at 11:00 pm. CO Schaumburger questioned the two about the fishing and suspected that the captain of the boat had caught a limit before picking up his fishing friend and suspected there was fish in his vehicle. CO Schaumburger asked the anglers if there were any fish in the vehicles and the anglers said there was not. The COs followed the anglers back to the dock and one of the anglers pulled CO Kiel aside and told him he had fish in his vehicle. The COs located six additional walleye in his vehicle and he was given a citation for possessing over the daily limit of walleye.
CO David Schaumburger received a complaint that an angler at Bishop Park in Wyandotte caught and was in possession of an undersized Northern pike. CO Schaumburger responded and located the suspect and the fish that was twenty-two inches. The CO asked for the suspects identification, at which point he was berated by the suspect who yelled at the CO saying, “IM DONE IF YOU’RE GIVING ME A TICKET, ARE YOU TELLING ME I HAVE TO KNOW ALL OF THE SIZES OF THE FISH I CATCH?” The CO diffused the situation and let her know that she did indeed need to know the sizes of the fish that she is going to catch and if she did not, then she needed to throw them back. The angler received a citation for possessing an undersized Northern pike.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking for fishing activity in Macomb County when he noticed a boat with two men fishing. The anglers were checked upon returning to the dock and had no PFDs, no Type IV PFD, no fire extinguisher, no registration, and no fishing licenses in possession. Both had outstanding warrants. The boat operator was cited for operating a vessel with no PFDs and given warnings on everything else. Both men were arrested and taken to the county jail on their outstanding warrants.
CO Mike Drexler was travelling north on US 23 when a vehicle behind him cut across two lanes of traffic and started driving on the shoulder of the freeway to avoid a traffic back up. The vehicle passed CO Drexler who initiated a traffic stop. The driver had a suspended license and two outstanding warrants for his arrest but could not be lodged due to jail policy. Citations were issued for traffic violations as well as driving while license suspended.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Cody Bourgeois received a complaint from dispatch about a turkey being shot within a neighbor’s safety zone. When interviewing the suspect, he admitted to shooting a turkey and stated he was outside all safety zones and would show the COs were he shot the turkey. He showed the COs the turkey which was untagged. The suspect stated he shot the bird earlier that morning and said he did not have time to tag it. The suspect was issued a citation for failing to immediately attach a kill tag to his turkey.
COs Ariel Young, Nicholas Ingersoll, and PCO Cody Bourgeois where on marine patrol when they came across a vessel with no MC numbers. They spoke to the angler who had an over-limit of White Bass on board. The angler was fourteen fish over the limit and was cited for the over-limit and warned for not displaying his MC numbers.
While at the District office in Detroit, Lt. Todd Szyska was notified by front desk staff that a walk-in needed help as a man was trying to commit suicide by jumping into the Detroit River at Milliken Harbor. Lt. Szyska grabbed his rescue disc and went to assist. Lt. Szyska located the subject who was on the top of the railing attempting to jump into the river. Another male, later determined to be his uncle, grabbed him, and pulled him to the ground. The Detroit Police Department arrived on scene and took the subject to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment.
CO David Schaumburger stopped a vehicle that ran a stop sign on Belle Isle. The CO recognized the driver from a year prior who was driving the wrong way on Riverbank. The driver, like the during the previous contact, was aggressive and belligerent and made it known that he was a “lawyer.” The driver admitted to having one license plate and sharing it between two vehicles. The license plate on the vehicle did not fit the make/model of the car he was driving. The CO made him aware of three offenses and the driver said, “Ok. Just give me the triple play.” The vehicle was towed for being unregistered and citations were issued for disregarding the stop sign, operating an unregistered vehicle, and no proof of insurance.
Sgt. Shane Webster responded to a vehicular accident on Belle Isle. The 15-year-old driver involved confessed to going between 80 to 90 miles per hour when he was unable to navigate a curve. He sideswiped one parked vehicle and rear-ended a second parked vehicle, forcing it into a third parked vehicle. All four vehicles were inoperable as a result. The driver and two of his passengers were transported to the hospital for minor injuries. The juvenile was cited for his operation and being in violation of his graduated level one license regulations.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Cpl Troy Van Gelderen attended the USCG training on Geographic Response Strategy in Manistee. The training focused on oil and contaminated spills. On-water practical exercises were then conducted where booms were deployed around the City of Milwaukee ship.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was checking anglers in the Big Bay de Noc area when he noticed an ARGO operating approximately 400 yards down the shoreline. Cpl. Hammill casually hung out in the area until the ARGO was close enough contact could be made. The two individuals were not surprised when they received a citation.