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Conservation Officer (CO) Alex VanWagner, along with an Iron County deputy and a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper, responded to an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash. Dispatch advised that subject had crashed and had a possible broken leg, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. The subject was transported to the hospital by emergency medical services (EMS) and the incident was turned over to the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Jared Ferguson assisted the sheriff’s department and the MSP with a 911 call from a subject stating he was going to cut off his arm. Upon arrival, the officers determined that the subject was to be taken into protective custody and transported for evaluation from a medical professional.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol in Baraga County when a call was received about a person that had flipped their canoe and was floating in the middle of a remote lake. CO Smith and Michigamme first responders headed to the area to assist the individual. The subject was contacted by first responders and found to be safely floating in a personal flotation device (PFD). CO Smith helped return the overturned canoe to shore and gathered items that had drifted away for the man. This situation could have turned out much different had the individual not been wearing a PFD.
While on patrol in Munising Bay, COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani observed a boat trolling with 10 lines out. The COs contacted the boat and observed two anglers on board, making for a legal line limit of six. CO Maki issued the operator a citation for the overlimit of lines.
COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani and a USFS officer responded to a report of a missing hiker in Alger County. The officers located the subject who informed them she had neurological issues and requested EMS. The officers waited with the subject until EMS could arrive.
COs Steven Butzin, Michael Evink, and Corporal Michael Hammill conducted a marine patrol of salmon anglers in Lake Michigan south of the Port of Manistique. Fishing was still slow, but the COs issued two tickets. The first was for fishing with too many lines. The second was a Wisconsin angler fishing more than a mile into Michigan waters, he was issued a ticket for fishing without a license.
COs Todd Sumbera, Mike Olesen, Justin Vinson, Brandon Maki, Sergeant (Sgt.) Calvin Smith, and PCO’s Jacob Daniel and Mark Reffitt held a hunter safety class and field day in Sault Ste Marie. All participants successfully passed the course.
COs Mike Olesen and Sgt. Calvin Smith teamed up with the US Coast Guard for the Soo Locks Engineer Day. The COs assisted in enforcing the 1,000-foot perimeter surrounding the Soo Locks from recreational vessel traffic.
CO Cole VanOosten participated in the annual Engineer’s Day at the Soo Locks. CO VanOosten talked to numerous members of the public regarding the job duties of a conservation officer and was able to show several pelts and skulls from various Michigan wildlife species.
COs Chad Baldwin and Nathan Beelman participated in a county-wide active shooter training course hosted by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department. Along with the COs, deputies from the sheriff’s department, East Jordan Police Department, Charlevoix Police Department, Boyne City Police Department, EMS personnel, and emergency dispatchers via radio, trained on multiple scenarios and utilized simunition firearms and ammunition to make the training as real as possible. Actors who participated in the training scenarios consisted of local teachers and administrators which gave them a firsthand look at how the officers would respond to an actual incident while giving them confidence on how well trained the local units are and helping them understand the procedures for emergency response. The officers also trained and practiced school classroom door unlock procedures and toured a local school to get a visual on the layout. Overall, the training was a success at not only sharpening the officer’s skills but also fostering and building relationships between law enforcement and school staff and administration.
CO Chad Baldwin responded to a call about a fawn being trapped in an old house foundation. The fawn had fallen into the foundation that was about seven feet deep. The fawn proved to be very elusive, and CO Baldwin repeatedly tried to corner the animal and wrap it up in a sheet. Finally, CO Baldwin was able to tackle the lively deer and secure it in his arms while the homeowner provided a ladder to climb out. CO Baldwin and the homeowner took the fawn on a golf cart ride to the back of the property where the suspected mother had been hanging out for several days. CO Baldwin released the fawn and watched it run for cover, unharmed.
COs Chad Baldwin and Nathan Beelman patrolled Lake Charlevoix for the annual Freedom Fest fireworks show. The COs checked several anglers on the lake as well as making multiple marine contacts. Several warnings were issued for failing to utilize anchor lights while stationary, lack of running lights, and one ticket was issued for failing to provide a PFD.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick and PCO Logan Turner responded to a wildfire in the Pigeon River Country. The fire was caused by a downed powerline and was approximately 20 acres in size.
CO Matt Theunick attended a workshop about food plots on private land. There were about 50 people at the event.
CO Sidney Collins attended a kid’s fishing tournament in Cheboygan County. CO Collins assisted the kids with casting and taking fish off the hook as well as educating them on proper techniques and different fish species.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Cheboygan County when she was passed by a vehicle driving recklessly. The vehicle almost hit another vehicle head-on while passing another vehicle. CO Collins attempted a traffic stop but the driver of the vehicle would not stop. CO Collins continued to follow the vehicle and it eventually stopped. CO Collins approached the vehicle and had the driver step out. The driver of the vehicle appeared intoxicated and was run through sobriety test. The driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI).
CO Sidney Collins responded to a burning complaint in Montmorency County on state land. CO Collins found the burn site, which was full of trash. CO Collins recognized the trash from a previous littering ticket she wrote. CO Collins told the subject specifically not to burn it because he had been known to burn. CO Collins went back to the subject’s house and questioned him on burning the trash. The subject admitted to burning the trash, so he did not have to haul it away and pay money to dump it. CO Collins issued an additional ticket for burning the trash. The day the trash was burned was also a burn ban day and the subject did not tend to the fire, almost letting it escape.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz worked a Sunday evening checking anglers on Montmorency County lakes. The COs checked a pair of anglers who had their limit of panfish. The anglers counted their panfish, to which they were legal. However, two short bass were found at the bottom of the cooler. The COs issued citations for the short bass.
COs Paul Fox and Dan Liestenfeltz were patrolling Ossineke State Forest Campground in Alpena County on a busy weekend evening when they observed a suspicious vehicle. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the vehicle did not have a valid license plate or insurance. The driver and passenger were contacted. The driver of the vehicle was ticketed for multiple violations for no driver’s license and operating an uninsured vehicle. The passenger was found to have several outstanding warrants out of Alpena County. The passenger was arrested and lodged at the Alpena County Jail.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and PCO Olivia Moeller were on patrol when they observed a boat on a lake displaying a registration that expired in 2013. PCO Moeller was able to contact the vessel via kayak. PCO Moeller discovered that there were no PFDs for the four subjects who were on board and the vessel had indeed been expired since 2013. The occupants were educated on Michigan marine regulations and a citation was issued for failing to provide PFDs.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Olivia Moeller conducted a marine patrol on the Pere Marquette River. The COs issued citations for smoking marijuana in public and no PFDs. While writing a subject for no PFD, a LEIN return came back with two warrants. The suspect was arrested on the warrants and lodged in the Mason County Jail.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Olivia Moeller conducted a marine patrol on Hamlin Lake. While on patrol, the COs observed a boat with an expired registration and two individuals fishing. The vessel's owner had a fishing license, but her son did not. Both argued that the son was 15 years old and therefore did not need a fishing license. After further discussion, the son admitted to actually being 19 years old. The son was issued a citation for no fishing license, and the vessel's owner was issued a citation for failing to provide enough PFDs.
COs Patrick McManus and Jack Gorno were conducting a marine patrol in West Grand Traverse Bay near Traverse City when they heard a distress call over the emergency channel on the marine radio. The nature of the emergency was that the vessel had not only lost power and steering but was adrift in a high traffic area while wind and weather conditions continued to worsen. Thankfully, the COs were nearby and able to contact the distressed vessel and its occupants and assisted them until their issues were remedied. Minutes after this incident, Grand Traverse Central Dispatch called for a second vessel in distress near Clinch Park that had also lost power and was drifting toward a large break wall. The COs quickly responded to the area and resolved the situation.
COs William Kinney and Rich Stowe have been dealing with dispersed camping complaints in the Lake Dubonnet area located in Grand Traverse County. After dealing with one camp on several occasions, CO Kinney issued a ticket to the camp for dispersed camping for greater than 15 days in the same location.
CO Angela Greenway delivered a presentation at the 33rd annual Senior Outreach Day at the Big Rapids High School. This is a massive event with many booths set up and several break-out sessions for participants to attend. CO Greenway discussed topics such as living with wildlife, chronic wasting disease, baiting/feeding regulations, and how to deal with nuisance bear.
CO Zack Walters was patrolling Rose Lake and observed a family on a pontoon boat underway to the sandbar. CO Walters observed a child under the age of six not wearing a PFD. CO Walters stopped the vessel and asked the operator along with the parents of the child how old he was. The parents stated that the child was three years old. CO Walters informed the parents and operator that the child must wear a PFD if they are under six years of age. CO Walters expressed the concern for safety and issued a citation to the operator of the vessel for child under six with no PFD. CO Walters also issued a warning to the operator for not having a paper copy of the registration of the vessel.
CO Zack Walters was patrolling Rose Lake and observed a PWC with a young child passenger not wearing a PFD. CO Walters stopped the PWC and addressed the violation with the operator.
CO Jeff Ginn was requested to assist on a possible domestic violence incident which was occurring on the Muskegon River. CO Ginn was able to locate and monitor the subjects while they continued their float down river. They were contacted by local law enforcement when they made shore.
COs Jeff Ginn and Ben Shively, along with Sgt. Mike Bomay, assisted with a large-scale canoe race on the Muskegon River from Croton Dam to Henning Park. Interaction with canoers and public was conducted throughout race and at festivities at end of race.
CO Tim Barboza responded to the call of a possible stabbing, along with the Fremont Police Department, MSP, and the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department. While in-route to the scene, information was still coming in and it was now a shooting with one victim shot in the stomach. CO Barboza arrived on scene and assisted in securing and setting up a perimeter to preserve the crime scene. The suspected shooter was taken into custody by the Fremont Police Department.
CO Tim Barboza participated in a CSI day at the Dogwood Career Tech Center in Fremont. CO Barboza set up a station with a fur kit and patrol boat for middle schoolers from Newaygo County. The station allowed kids to see many different animal furs native to Michigan that they may have only seen from afar or not at all.
CO Kyle Bader was called to assist with a lost kayaker on the Rifle River in Ogemaw County. When CO Bader arrived at the access site, he found out the lost kayaker was the one that flagged down a motorist and had them call 911. The man became separated from his party, did not have his glasses so could not see well, and did not have his cell phone. He was from out of state and completely unfamiliar with the area. He said he knew he was separated from his party early in the trip, but he just kept paddling. CO Bader asked him what his plan was for meeting back up with them. The man said, “I knew I would eventually reach civilization. I thought that I would eventually get back to the place we started at.” CO Bader explained to the man how rivers work and then assisted in getting him reunited with his family and friends who had taken out hours earlier and were looking for him.
COs Chuck McPherson, Ben McAteer, Breanna Reed, Charlie Jones, Jacob Hamilton, Matthew Zultak, and Sgt. Brian Olsen assisted with the Roscommon Youth Academy. The cadets learned what a conservation officer does. Presentations were given on hunting, trapping, fishing, ORVs and aquatic invasive species (AIS). The cadets also got the opportunity to participate in scenarios, involving trapping, fishing and ORVs.
CO Kyle Bader stopped an ORV rider who was riding on the road and not wearing a helmet in Ogemaw County. When CO Bader went back to his patrol truck to check the man’s driving status, the man started his ORV and sped away. CO Bader pursued the man through Rose City and to his garage about eight blocks away from the original stop. The man was arrested and lodged in the Ogemaw County Jail for flee and elude, operating on a suspended license, OWI, as well as cited for operating without a helmet.
CO Charlie Jones was patrolling in Kalkaska County when he observed a vehicle coming up behind him at an extremely high rate of speed. The vehicle then passed CO Jones. The vehicle was operating more than 90 mph in a 55-mph zone. CO Jones managed to catch up to the vehicle and conduct a traffic stop. Once emergency lights and sirens were activated, the vehicle almost struck the guardrail on the shoulder of the road. CO Jones noticed the smell of intoxicants coming from the vehicle and the driver. Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were conducted, which led to the arrest of the driver for OWI. The driver was then transported and lodged at Kalkaska County Corrections without incident.
COs Matt Zultak and Mike Eovaldi were conducting an ORV patrol in Roscommon County when they stopped an ORV for a violation. When contacted, CO Zultak smelled an odor of intoxicants coming from the operator, who was showing signs of impairment. The operator was run through SFSTs. Upon the subject’s completion of the SFSTs, the subject was placed under arrest for OWI and lodged at the Roscommon County Jail.
CO Matt Zultak concluded a bobcat case from last year. COs Zultak and Marc Mankowski responded to complaint of a bobcat that had been trapped out of season in Roscommon County. CO James Garrett remembered the last name of a subject he had checked predator hunting in that area earlier in the year that matched the suspect description. CO Zultak used the last name to identify the possible violator. CO Dave Schaumburger conducted an interview with the suspect in Wayne County and gained a confession. A report was submitted to the Roscommon County Prosecutor and the subject plead guilty to taking a bobcat out of season.
COs Matt Zultak and Mike Eovaldi were at a boating access site in Roscommon County. A subject was observed coming off the lake and docking a vessel that was displaying an expired marine registration. The subject then proceeded to back in a boat trailer with an improper license plate. The subject was contacted, and it was determined his driver’s license was revoked. The subject received a citation for operation of an expired marine registration and improper trailer plate. The subject was given a warning for operating with a revoked license, and the vehicle was turned over to the registered owner.
COs Breanna Reed, Charlie Jones, and Jacob Hamilton were patrolling Lake Skegemog in Kalkaska County for marine activity when they noticed a person being towed behind a boat with no PFD. The COs contacted the boaters to address the violation. The subject stated he did not have a PFD on because he did not have one that fit him, and he wanted to show off for the kids. The COs addressed the violations and issued a citation for person being towed without a PFD. The COs gave the boaters a marine safety handbook to help better educate them on the laws of boating.
While on ORV patrol in Midland County, COs Paul Lyden and Adam Beuthin came across a group of people camping on state land. The group had driven their vehicle past a locked gate intended to keep vehicles out of the area. Additionally, the group did not have a camp registration card for dispersed camping. The group was given a warning for driving past the gate and was cited for failing to have a registration card.
PCO Marissa Hassevoort and CO Mike Haas were patrolling in southern Montcalm County when they received a shooting complaint at the Flat River State Game Area (SGA) shooting range. The complainant had stated that there were multiple people using the range and they were not following the range rules. The COs arrived at the range and observed a group violating the single shot and rapid-fire regulations. Citations were issued addressing the violations and they were advised to read the large sign explaining the range rules prior to shooting again.
While patrolling a section of the Stanton SGA, PCO Marissa Hassevoort and CO Mike Haas met another truck head-on along a narrow two-track. The oncoming truck quickly backed into the woods and drove away from the COs, throwing a large “rooster tail” of dirt. The truck sped away from the COs and drove erratically down the trail causing the tailgate to fall off the truck and obstruct the license plate. When the truck turned onto the county road, it failed to stop and was then speeding down the middle of the road. The COs activated their emergency lights and siren to stop the truck and address the various issues. It was discovered that the truck had various equipment violations, lacked insurance, and was not registered. The driver was not wearing his seatbelt, had a suspended license, and he had failed to transfer the title. A citation was issued to address various violations and the truck was impounded. While conducting an inventory search of the truck prior to impoundment, suspected drug paraphernalia was located, collected, and sent to the MSP Crime Laboratory for testing.
PCO Marissa Hassevoort and CO Mike Haas received a complaint from the DNR Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline. A complainant stated that there was a large group of people camping in the Flat River SGA in a location closed to camping. The COs located the camp and contacted the group. The group was advised of the camping rules on state game area land, were instructed to secure their large dogs on leashes, and pick up all their litter. Various members of the group received citations for their illegal campsite and one individual was advised and released for an outstanding arrest warrant out of Ionia County.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Cameron Wright were on marine patrol in Allegan County and came across an angler fishing from a small boat. The COs conducted a fishing license check and noticed that there weren’t any PFDs in the boat. The angler said that he forgot his PFD at home and realized it when he was at the launch but decided to go out anyways. A citation was issued for failing to have a PFD on board.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Cameron Wright were patrolling near the Allegan SGA when they observed a vehicle driving towards them with a young boy hanging out of the passenger window. The COs immediately conducted a traffic stop and discovered two more children in the back seat who were climbing around the vehicle and not wearing seatbelts. The driver told the COs that when they go down the back roads, they always let the kids take off their seatbelts so they can move around and play. A citation was issued for transporting a child less than 16 without a seatbelt.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Cameron Wright were checking anglers at the Allegan Dam when they observed one person drop a fishing pole and start walking away from them towards the parking lot. The COs got in their patrol truck and met the angler at his vehicle. The angler informed the COs that he only walked away because he was thirsty, not because he saw the COs. The angler ended up not having a fishing license and was issued a citation.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Cameron Wright were patrolling the Rabbit River when they observed a man with a butterfly net who was scooping things out of the water and placing them in a small bucket. The COs contacted the man and asked what he was trying to catch. The man informed the COs that he had an aquarium at home and his buddy had a pond, so he was catching crayfish to bring back to them. The man was also extremely excited to inform the COs that he caught a baby pike to bring back to his aquarium as well. The COs checked to see what was in the bucket and found multiple invasive rusty crayfish and a four-inch-long northern pike. When asked if he had a fishing license, it was discovered that he did not. The man’s excitement quickly disappeared when he was issued two citations for possessing invasive rusty crayfish and for possessing an undersized northern pike. A warning was given for fishing without a license.
CO Sam Schluckbier and PCO Cameron Wright were patrolling the St. Joseph River when they saw a pontoon underway with a young passenger riding on the bow. The COs stopped the vessel to speak to the operator. During the stop, the COs noticed a four-year-old not wearing a proper PFD, no registration, and no Type IV PFD was on board, and that the vessel was not transferred to the owner’s name within 15-days of purchase. A citation was issued for failing to provide a Type IV PFD and warnings were given for the rest.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Lake Allegan in Allegan County when he observed two subjects on a vessel, one was actively fishing. The CO contacted the anglers and requested to see a fishing license from the subject holding a pole. Both subjects stated they did not have fishing licenses. The CO also checked the vessel for all the necessary safety equipment. The operator failed to provide a Type IV PFD. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carter Woodwyk was launching his patrol vessel on Green Lake in Allegan County when he observed a vessel towing people on inner tubes near the boating access site. The CO observed the driver onboard the vessel but could not see a second person onboard acting as an observer. The CO conducted a stop on the vessel for towing without an observer. The driver indicated she knew she was being stopped for not having an observer onboard and stated, “You guys are never out here during the weekdays, so I took a chance.” Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carter Woodwyk was on stationary patrol at the Duck Lake boating access site in Allegan County checking vessels pulling out and launching for violations of the transgenic and nonnative organisms’ laws. The CO observed a vehicle with a watercraft and trailer come into the launch with what appeared to be an entire weed bed attached to the watercraft trailer. The CO stopped the subject from launching his vessel and thoroughly educated him on the laws surrounding aquatic invasive species (AIS). The CO also discovered the vessel was purchased over a year ago and the title was never transferred into the new owner’s name. Additionally, the CO learned the subject did not have any type of PFD on board. The CO required the boater to clean the aquatic vegetation off the trailer and to head home to get a PFD before launching.
While patrolling Spring Lake in Ottawa County, COs Rob Slick and Justin Ulberg approached two anglers fishing from a boat. As the COs got closer, one of the anglers started motoring the vessel away using the boats trolling motor. The second angler reached into the live well of the boat and started throwing fish back into the water. COs Slick and Ulberg ordered the subjects to stop the vessel and to quit throwing fish overboard. Once contact was made with the anglers, the COs asked why they were throwing fish overboard. One of the anglers stated because he knew they had too many fish. A check of the live well revealed the anglers were 10 bass and seven pan fish over their legal limit. Of the 20 bass in the angler’s possession, 12 of them were undersized. Further investigation revealed only one of the anglers had a valid 2022 fishing license. The COs seized 15 bass and 32 pan fish. A report will be submitted to the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.
COs Jackie Miskovich, Casey Varriale, and Justin Ulberg presented at the Kent County Metro High School Police Academy. This annual event is an opportunity for area high school students to participate in a weeklong “mini” police academy. The students are exposed to many different avenues of law enforcement. During the presentation, the COs educated the students on the role of the Michigan conservation officer. The students were then put through a “game warden” type scenario and shown some different types of equipment conservation officers use on patrols.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint that an individual was spearing snapping turtles on Pine Lake in Kent County. The complainant named the suspect, and CO Varriale recognized the name as a poacher he recently arrested for killing multiple deer in the area this past spring. CO Varriale went to the location and located a snapping turtle on shore with a head wound. The turtle was deceased. In the water, CO Varriale located another snapping turtle with a spear still stuck in its head and neck. CO Varriale removed the spear and confiscated the evidence. CO Varriale went to the suspect’s home and interviewed him. During the interview, it was determined the suspect killed a total of three snapping turtles. The suspect stated the turtles “attacked” his daughters. CO Varriale did not notice any injuries on the children, and the suspect stated he killed the turtles before they attacked them. Charges were filed and the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charged the suspect with fishing without a license and using an illegal method to harvest snapping turtles.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint of a bunker built in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County. CO Varriale located the bunker and surmised it was a fort built by children. The bunker was next to the North Country Trail, it was not hidden in any sort of way, did not offer any military style advantage, and no evidence at the location correlated with it being used by a military style organization. Ultimately, CO Varriale tracked down two 15-year-old boys who were building the fort because they were interested in World War 1 reenactments. The boys were contacted and told to restore the area to its natural state. They were educated on the laws they broke and given verbal warnings.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Huron Manistee National Forest when she observed a lifted, four-wheel drive motor vehicle operating on a utility right-of-way. CO Cullen stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver. A citation was issued for ORV decals, while warnings were issued for the operating violations.
CO Anna Cullen was checking anglers along the White River in Muskegon County when she observed two individuals fishing. When CO Cullen arrived on scene, both anglers began to pack up their equipment and attempt to leave the area. CO Cullen observed this and advised the two people to stay so she could take a quick look at their licenses before they left. Both admitted to not having licenses. A citation was issued as a result.
CO John Byars responded to a fatal personal injury accident on US 127 and Highway 96 interchange. US 127 had to be completely closed for several hours. CO Byars blocked the on ramp to US 127 from Holt Road to prevent any vehicle from entering the highway until MDOT arrived and put-up barriers.
CO John Byars responded to a house fire in Bunker Hill Township. The house was abandoned, and Ingham Fire requested police to close off the roadway to traffic. CO Byars was the closest unit as Ingham County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched elsewhere.
CO John Byars was called to assist the Lansing Fire Department and Lansing Board of Water and Light for a bright green substance leaking into the Red Cedar River. CO Byars with assistance from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Detective Dan Kennedy and other agencies attempted to figure out where the substance was coming from and if it was toxic. A captain from the Lansing Fire Department found three bottles of liquid tracing dye in a trashcan nearby. The tracing dye is harmless and matched the color of the substance in the spillway. Lansing Fire Department personnel conducted a hazardous materials test which came back negative. The substance was cleaned up by the Lansing Fire Department.
CO Lisa Taube responded to Onondaga Township in Ingham County for a report of an abandoned boat in the Grand River. CO Taube found the vessel half-submerged in the river. The vessel was completely gutted, did not have a motor, and appeared to be dumped intentionally. Investigation of the MC and hull identification numbers, as well as additional contact with the Secretary of State, did not produce any ownership information or records.
CO Lisa Taube attended the Hunter Safety Instructor update course at the Livingston County Wildlife and Conservation Club. Approximately 20 local instructors were present for the presentation put on by Cpl. Ken Lowell.
CO Cullen Knoblauch was patrolling Portage Lake in Jackson County when an overturned PWC was observed with two females in the water. CO Knoblauch responded and checked the females’ well-being and confirmed that there were no injuries. CO Knoblauch assisted in getting the PWC back to shore where the PWC was flipped back over.
CO Marc Mankowski was patrolling Crandell Lake when an angler notified him of an individual keeping fish in violation of the catch and immediate release rules for the lake. CO Mankowski contacted the individual who was in the water with a speargun. The angler admitted to spearing three largemouth bass. The bass were seized, and a citation was issued for possessing fish illegally taken.
COs Keven Luther and Ariel Young patrolled the Huron River with a Flat Rock officer. The three officers were focusing on kayakers with no PFDs. One citation was issued by CO Young and numerous vessels were contacted.
CO David Schaumburger attended court proceedings for a suspect who killed 30 squirrels in his subdivision backyard. The individual plead guilty to the violation, paid fines totaling nearly $500 and forfeited his pellet gun to the DNR.
CO David Schaumburger worked alongside the MSP Marine/Dive Services Team and the ES team who were training on the Detroit River. CO Schaumburger operated a safety boat with a diver on board as the ES team conducted training boarding a vessel two stories tall. The ES team used a grappling hook and a rope ladder to ascend two stories onto the Detroit Princess boat.
During a patrol focusing on AIS, CO Ariel Young checked a local spot that previously has been known to have multiple anglers using invasive gobies to fish with. During the first contact of the patrol, CO Young observed a minnow bucket full of gobies. While checking the minnow bucket, CO Young also observed a stringer with smallmouth bass on it that were too short. After talking with the angler, it was determined that he was in possession of 23 live gobies and three undersize smallmouth bass. CO Young issued citations for both infractions.
COs Ariel Young, Brandon Hartleben, Mike Drexler, Dan Walzak, and Sgts. Shane Webster and Jason Smith responded to a medical call involving an unresponsive male on the beach who was believed to be overdosing. Upon arrival, the COs were able to rouse the individual. EMS was quickly on scene and after evaluating the individual, believed he needed to be checked out by a doctor. The individual was then transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
CO Justin Muehlhauser and PCO Paul Lyden checked anglers at the Holloway Dam. One angler agreed to an inspection of the fish in his bucket. PCO Lyden noticed two small bass. Lyden measured the fish at 11 and a half inches, 5 inches and 12 inches. The angler quickly pointed out that his wife caught both bass. PCO Lyden spoke to the wife who admitted that the fish were in fact hers. She was issued a citation for possessing undersized bass.
CO Justin Muehlhauser and PCO Paul Lyden were patrolling Lobdell Lake for marine activity. CO Muehlhauser observed a wakeboard boat towing without an observer. PCO Lyden stopped the vessel and CO Muehlhauser recognized the operator and passenger as receiving a warning for towing without an observer the week prior. The operator agreed that he earned a citation.
CO Justin Muehlhauser closed out several complaints including a complaint about a man who received the wrong coyote from a taxidermist. The man provided photos of the coyotes, but the CO explained that mix-ups happen and the coyotes in the photos have remarkably similar markings. CO Muehlhauser explained that there is no violation of any criminal law. He would have to pursue civil litigation. The complainant was not happy with that response.
Over the course of the last three years, CO Brad Silorey has been working each spring and early summer to crack a case of a turtle egg poacher. Numerous complaints were taken regarding an individual who was targeting a certain area where turtles were nesting. CO Silorey conducted surveillance over the last two years but was not able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together as to whom or why this suspect was digging up and stealing turtle eggs. After gathering enough intel and obtaining probable cause, a search warrant was obtained, and the suspect’s residence was searched. COs Silorey, Dave Schaumburger, and Sgt. Seth Rhodea conducted the search and discovered dozens of eggs incubating at the residence, along with numerous hatchlings, and some state threatened species. The case is still under investigation and charges are being sought.
CO Brad Silorey received a RAP complaint regarding an individual who had shot and killed three hawk nestlings. CO Silorey was able to enlist the help of Sgt. Seth Rhodea and COs Sydney Griffor and Chris Knights who were already in the area to assist CO Silorey on another case. CO Silorey was able to speak with the caller who witnessed the suspect shoot the hawks. The complainant stated that he was working on the suspect’s property removing trees when they advised the suspect that they were unable to remove the tree that had the active hawk nest. The complainant stated that the suspect grabbed a shotgun from his home and shot the nest from the base of the tree five or more times. Multiple dead hawk nestlings were found at the base of the tree and gathered up by the caller per CO Silorey’s request. After the caller left the area, all four COs were able to contact the suspect, who was at his home, near the base of the tree when they pulled up. The suspect stated he was shooting at “squirrels” that were becoming a nuisance. CO Silorey questioned the suspect further and finally was able to obtain a confession. The suspect stated that he was angry they would not remove the tree due to the nest. The firearm the suspect used to kill the three hawks was seized, all three nestlings were recovered for evidence, and the suspect was advised that a report would be generated and submitted to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. Hawks are protected migratory birds under state law and federal law.
CO Joseph Deppen was following up on a complaint for a person camping at Wetzel Recreation Area. CO Deppen could not locate the suspect the first few attempts. Finally, CO Deppen located a tent and a vehicle parked far off the trail. CO Deppen waited and observed a subject matching the description being dropped off and headed down the trail. As soon as the suspect saw CO Deppen near his camp he turned around and started walking away. CO Deppen contacted the suspect in the parking lot and the suspect said it was his camp and vehicle. CO Deppen questioned the man about any weapons on his person and the suspect said, “No.” The suspect was detained for identification and investigation. A search of the suspect’s backpack revealed a .45 caliber pistol. The suspect was seated on a bench while CO Deppen ran the pistol for a history. The firearm came back stolen. The suspect was arrested for possession of a stolen firearm and CO Deppen learned he was a suspect in multiple thefts and breaking and entering in the area. The suspect was lodged at the Macomb County Jail and is awaiting his court date.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers on Lake St. Clair. One angler was stopped and said he had some luck and caught two walleyes. CO Deppen asked how large they were, and the suspect said, “I was hoping you could tell me how large they had to be?” CO Deppen checked the fish in the boat and to his surprise they were both smallmouth bass. One was undersized. The angler was issued a citation for possession of smallmouth bass during the closed season and was given a verbal warning for undersized bass.
CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Seth Rhodea were checking anglers fishing in a local canal. One suspect had a fishing license, and the other two anglers did not. The angler had 28 panfish he caught in one bucket in his vehicle, and they were sharing another bucket along the dock. A citation was issued for over-limit of panfish, and two verbal warnings were given to the other anglers for fishing without a license. The anglers quickly purchased licenses and finished out their day catching fish legally.
CO Joseph Deppen and Sgt. Seth Rhodea were checking anglers on Harsens Island. Two anglers stated they drove all day and had some good luck. A check revealed each angler almost had their limit of panfish. However, each angler had an undersized largemouth bass in their bucket. Each angler was issued a separate citation for possession of undersized bass.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers in Lake St. Clair. One angler was bringing in his lines and about to take off. A check revealed he had more than six walleyes. The angler said he was about to count the fish. A citation was issued for an over-limit of walleye.
CO Bob Watson was patrolling for ORV activity throughout the Port Huron SGA and encountered a man fishing in Mill Creek. The man was in possession of three smallmouth bass, one being only 11 and a half inches. When asked if he thought the fish was of legal length, the man stated it was pretty close to 12 inches. CO Watson agreed that it was pretty close to 12 inches, but the length limit was 14 inches. The man was issued a citation for parking a motor vehicle within the state game area and issued a warning for the short bass.
While patrolling in Lapeer County, Sgt Seth Rhodea observed an ORV that was being operated by a subject not wearing a helmet and with expired ORV stickers. A stop was made, and the operator was also found to not have a driver's license and had a warrant. The subject was advised and released on the warrant and issued multiple citations.
COs Sydney Griffor, Cody Bourgeois, and Sgt. Seth Rhodea patrolled Jobbie Nooner on Friday from the boat. Multiple citations were issued for marine violations. CO Griffor issued a citation for failure to display numbers/decals on the boat and gave a warning for no paper registration.
CO Raymond Gardner stopped an ORV operator for not wearing a helmet and not having an ORV license. During the stop, it was also discovered that the operator’s driving privileges were revoked. CO Gardner issued a ticket for operating an ORV while revoked and for not having an ORV license. A warning was issued for not having a helmet.
CO Nick Ingersoll and PCO Cody Bourgeois were checking a common fishing pier when they noticed a group of anglers leaving. Before the anglers could leave, the COs asked if they had any luck fishing today. The anglers stated they caught a lot of fish and showed the COs their bucket full of channel catfish. Immediately the COs noticed several issues, most of the fish looked undersized and over their limit. The COs asked the anglers to empty the bucket so they could measure and count the fish. The anglers had one fish over their limit and 16 undersized channel catfish. Both were able to provide a fishing license. Both anglers received a citation for one over the limit of channel catfish and possessing 16 undersized channel catfish.
CO Nick Ingersoll and PCO Cody Bourgeois observed a man fishing. When contacted, the angler stated he caught several catfish. After the COs checked the angler’s fish, it was determined the angler was in possession of three undersized channel catfish. The COs asked for his fishing license, the angler stated he did not purchase one this year. The man was cited for failure to exhibit a fishing license and warned for possessing an undersized channel catfish. All the fish the angler caught were released back into the water.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll patrolled the DTE Hot Ponds on Plum Creek checking for anglers enjoying the nice weather. CO Ingersoll contacted a family who had caught a few channel catfish after moving piers and were starting to see success. After checking the fish, it was determined that four of the channel catfish were well under the legal-size limit of 12 inches. CO Ingersoll spoke with the family and one angler admitting to catching the short ones and a citation was issued to her for taking an undersized channel catfish. The fish were released after measurements were taken.
CO Chris Reynolds had a vehicle drive past at twice the speed limit while patrolling Belle Isle. A traffic stop was conducted, and CO Reynolds found a felony warrant for driving under the influence and multiple misdemeanor warrants. CO Reynolds confirmed the felony warrant and the agency wanted the person on the warrant. CO Reynolds arrested the subject on the warrant and lodged him at the Detroit Detention Center.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Ed Rice was notified of a child experiencing symptoms of heat related illness. CO Rice met a park ranger near the beach and monitored the child’s behavior, providing water until EMS arrived. The child was transported for further observation.
CO David Schaumburger responded to a single vehicle motorcycle accident on Belle Isle. When the CO arrived, the operator was grimacing in pain holding his left shoulder. The operator was driving his motorcycle down Central when he hit a rock in the road causing him to lose control, drive off the roadway and flip over the handlebars. The motorcycle was in six-foot tall phragmites; however, the COs were able to push it to the roadway for the subject who had called a private tow truck. The CO waited for the tow truck and the driver was transported to the hospital for his injuries.
COs Brandon Hartleben, Ariel Young, and Dan Walzak responded to a medical call on Belle Isle where a 14-year-old was playing in a “bounce house” and injured his leg. It is unknown as to how it happened, but the young man’s injury consisted of his kneecap rotating over to the side of his knee. Detroit EMS transported the subject to Children’s Hospital.
While patrolling Belle Isle Park, COs Ariel Young and Brandon Vacek received a call about three large dogs running along the beach where pets are not allowed. The COs conducted a foot patrol of the beach giving several warnings for having alcohol at the state park. The COs eventually located a few dogs illegally playing on the beach. Verbal warnings were issued to owners and the pets and owners relocated to other parts of the park.
COs Ariel Young and Mike Drexler along with Sgts. Shane Webster and Jason Smith conducted a foot patrol of Belle Isle Beach. Multiple people were contacted, and multiple warnings were issued for having alcohol at a state park, feeding wildlife, and illegal parking. One citation was issued for a motorcycle that was parked on the new Iron-Belle Trail.
Sgt. Shane Webster and CO Ariel Young conducted an ORV patrol of Belle Isle. During their patrol, numerous warnings were given for possessing alcohol at the state park. After contacting one individual, the individual quickly became irate and insisted that he was being harassed. The COs tried explaining to the individual that they were just doing their job and gave the man a warning for possessing alcohol. After having the individual dump what he had open, the individual took his beer bottle and chucked it across the grass. CO Young informed the individual that he was now littering and needed to go retrieve his garbage. After collecting the bottle, the COs went to return to their patrol when they were flagged down by other park goers who were sitting near the individual who was upset. The other park goers were nearly hit by a flying beer bottle the individual had thrown again after the COs had turned to leave. At this point, the individual was talked to again and was uncooperative. The individual was eventually issued a citation for littering.
While checking anglers at Belle Isle, CO Ariel Young encountered an individual who was in possession of a live goby. After interviewing the individual, he could not figure out how it got in his bucket. CO Young explained that it was illegal to possess live gobies and the individual insisted he was told by another officer that it was okay to possess them. The individual was eventually cited for possessing the live gobies.
While working on Belle Isle, CO Dan Walzak was observing a vehicle that was stopped in the traffic lane on Central Avenue, causing vehicles to pull around to continue their travels. CO Walzak was stopped on the left side of the road about 40 feet short of the stop sign at Vista. The vehicle that CO Walzak was observing soon moved and traffic began moving in a normal manner. CO Walzak then observed a vehicle rolling up to the stop sign at Vista. The vehicle barely slowed down and drove through the stop sign with CO Walzak’ s patrol vehicle in plain sight. CO Walzak activated his emergency lights, stopped the vehicle, and asked the driver of the vehicle for his license, registration, and proof of insurance. When asked where he was heading, the driver responded that he was going to the beach. CO Walzak then asked the driver if he knew what he was being stopped for and the driver responded that he did not know. When the driver was told that he was observed driving through the stop sign and that CO Walzak was sitting at the intersection, the driver got a stunned look on his face, did not respond, and just hung his head. CO Walzak issued a citation for the traffic offense.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Silorey conducted a traffic stop on a careless driver operating a motorcycle. The suspect fled the scene and crashed his motorcycle near the boat club. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody for felony flee and elude. COs Silorey and Keven Luther impounded the motorcycle and lodged the suspect at Detroit Detention Center. The suspect was medically rejected and sent to Detroit Receiving Hospital where COs Silorey and Luther spent six hours at the busy hospital. The suspect was discharged and returned to the jail where he waits for arraignment.
CO Bob Watson patrolled Belle Isle in the middle of the week. Eight parking citations were issued, along with one misdemeanor citation for operating a motor vehicle in a closed area of the park. An illegally parked motorcycle was also discovered as being stolen and was impounded.
While working on Belle Isle, Sgt Seth Rhodea and CO John Byars were contacted by a park visitor who advised someone had driven a vehicle into an area that is foot traffic only. The COs responded and located a subject several hundred yards down a foot path with his vehicle parked along the shoreline. The subject advised that he had driven back there in the past and drove around several posts designed to keep vehicles from entering the area. A citation was issued, and the subject removed his vehicle from the area.
CO Mike Drexler worked a busy afternoon Belle Isle shift. During the shift, all Belle Isle COs responded to a possible overdose call that ended up being two heavily intoxicated individuals passed out on the beach. One of the subjects was transported by EMS for over intoxicated and the second subject who possessed the alcohol was cited for possessing open intoxicants at Belle Isle Park.
CO Nick Ingersoll and PCO Cody Bourgeois had a busy day on Belle Isle, the hot weather drew people to the park. The COs conducted 11 traffic stops resulting in four tickets. The majority of the traffic violations were disobeying stop signs. As the day went on, the beaches were becoming very populated, and people began parking in no-parking zones which led to traffic not flowing properly. The COs initiated their vehicle lights and announced to the crowd that they were parked in a no parking zone and provided drivers with ample time to move their vehicles before citations were issued and vehicles were towed. The majority of people followed the instructions. However, over a course of two hours, the COs issued several parking tickets and towed three vehicles.