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Conservation Officer (CO) Peter Shambaugh assisted Porcupine Mountain State Park rangers on a rescue of an individual who fell from a ledge while hiking. When CO Shambaugh and the rangers got on scene, the individual was able to walk and speak as he was helped back to the trailhead.
COs Phil Helminen and Jared Ferguson were on marine patrol when they observed a pontoon boat pulling a tube with three men on it and none of the three had on a personal flotation device (PFD). The COs stopped the boat and the driver stated they must be getting stopped for not having life jackets on the tube. They stated they did not have any life jackets on the boat that were comfortable to wear while on the tube. A check of life jackets was conducted on the boat and COs found there was not enough life jackets on the boat for the people on board. The COs gave the boaters enough life jackets and followed them back to shore where citations were issued for no PFDs while being towed and towing without a PFD.
CO Phil Helminen was on patrol when local dispatch put out a call of a single motorcycle crash with both people on the motorcycle injured. CO Helminen responded to the scene to assist Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers. The passenger on the motorcycle was seriously injured and was transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to a trauma center. The driver of the motorcycle had failed to negotiate a corner and went off the roadway and overturned.
COs from the Upper Peninsula (UP) volunteered at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Pocket Park for the 2023 UP State Fair. COs answered a wide variety of recreation related questions. The COs were able to meet and greet members of the public. The COs handed out fishing guides, hunting digests, and free stickers to all the fairgoers who visited the Pocket Park.
CO Jared Ferguson participated in the law portion of hunters safety at the Sagola Sportsman’s Club. There were 33 students in attendance.
COs Jackson Kelly and John Kamps attended a kid’s fishing derby on the Dead River Storage Basin. The COs spoke with many of the kids and parents. Although the lake was wavy, many of the kids were able to catch fish.
CO Cody Smith checked into service when he heard local dispatch call for assistance regarding a stranded vessel that had spent the night floating off Point Abbaye on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. Hearing this, CO Smith responded to dispatch and met Baraga County deputies at the dock to start a long day on the water. CO Smith motored the patrol vessel to Point Abbaye where the stranded boaters were located, bobbing in the waves. A tow was established and slowly but surely, they were brought approximately 14 miles to their dock. The three individuals and their two dogs were happy to be back on dry land.
CO Cody Smith was catching up on paperwork near a local stream when he observed an angler carrying a bucket to their vehicle. CO Smith checked the angler and discovered they were in possession of two undersized brown trout. Enforcement action was taken, and the angler was written a citation for possession of undersized trout.
CO Cody Smith responded to a call for assistance regarding a stranded pontoon boat on Keweenaw Bay. CO Smith met Baraga County deputies at the dock where they navigated to the stranded vessel. After securing the vessel for tow, CO Smith brought the vessel to the L’Anse marina.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Garden Township when he received information from dispatch that an individual was known to be near his location who had several outstanding felony warrants. CO Butzin was familiar with the wanted subject from several prior dealings with the individual and searched the area. CO Butzin was able to locate the individual and informed her of the outstanding warrants. When CO Butzin told the individual she was under arrest, she took off running on foot through a nearby farm field. CO Butzin was able to catch up and take the subject into custody. She was lodged in the Delta County Jail for the warrants as well as for resisting and obstructing a police officer.
CO Robert Freeborn was dispatched to a two-vehicle personal injury accident on US 2. After assessing the injuries of the occupants, it was determined that one of the drivers needed immediate medical attention. Once the injured driver was made comfortable and assisted into an arriving ambulance, CO Freeborn began to investigate the scene. It was determined that a sport utility vehicle failed to yield to oncoming traffic before making a left-handed turn onto US 2 and was struck by an oncoming pickup truck pulling a 5th-wheel camper. Both vehicles sustained substantial damage and were towed from the scene. While one of the drivers did sustain injuries resulting from the crash, all occupants were lucky it wasn’t a more serious accident. Safety belt use by all involved was a major factor in this. This should be a reminder for motorists to slow down and look both ways before entering a roadway.
CO Michael Evink assisted the Mackinac County Sheriff's Department with a parole absconder who chose to jump into Lake Huron from the Starline Ferry Dock. CO Evink utilized a Mackinac County patrol boat to assist in taking the absconder into custody. The absconder was transported to shore, checked out by emergency medical services (EMS), and lodged by the Mackinac County Sheriff's Department.
CO Mike Evink responded to a suicidal female complaint where the suspect stated she was going to walk into Lake Michigan. Officers on the ground searched the area she was supposed to be in. CO Evink used his department-issued Sea-Doo personal watercraft (PWC) to patrol the shallow waters in the area. With a good description from dispatch, CO Evink located the woman staring directly into the water. CO Evink held his position in the water until officers on the shore were able to contact the woman. She was safely taken into protective custody without incident.
COs Andrea Dani and Brandon Maki were launching their patrol boat on AuTrain Lake when CO Maki observed a pontoon boat, not far from shore, with multiple occupants. CO Maki used his binoculars and could clearly see two individuals actively fishing as they casted multiple times. The COs launched their boat and contacted the occupants of the vessel. It was discovered that one of the individuals fishing had not purchased a license. CO Maki issued a ticket for fishing without a license and had an educational conversation with the operator of the pontoon who was not pleased his friend was receiving a ticket. The COs cleared the stop and nearby, found another individual fishing without a license. CO Dani issued a ticket for fishing without a license and gave a warning for failing to display a proper registration.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Zitnik and CO Brandon Maki worked at the DNR Pocket Park during the UP State Fair in Escanaba. The COs spoke with many children and families and answered multiple questions about recreating in the outdoors.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten led a hunters education field day in Newberry. Fifteen ambitious youth hunters attended and learned valuable hunter safety tips as well as handling and shooting a variety of firearms.
CO Cole VanOosten received a complaint of litter on state land. Upon discovering an extremely large trash pile including 13 bags of garbage on an otherwise scenic trail, CO VanOosten began looking for evidence of who dumped it. CO VanOosten found a license plate as well as numerous other documents with a suspect’s name on it. CO VanOosten was able to contact the responsible party who met him at the dump site and admitted to dumping the large pile of trash. The garbage was picked up and a ticket was issued for littering.
CO Mike Olesen was on patrol in Chippewa County when a call came out of an active shooter/hostage situation where a United States (US) Marshall had been shot. CO Olesen responded to the scene and assisted with perimeter security until tactical teams arrived on scene. The suspect was later found deceased inside the residence.
CO Mike Olesen and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the Michigan State Police (MSP) in the execution of a search warrant for an extremely large illegal marijuana grow operation.
CO Nathan Beelman was on routine patrol on state land when he observed a vehicle that had slid off the road and was being held up by trees from falling down a steep embankment. The accident appeared to have occurred the night before and no one was around the vehicle. CO Beelman eventually identified the vehicle owner walking along down the two-track road who stated that she had slid off the road the night before and was unable to get the vehicle removed. CO Beelman assisted with calling for a tow truck for the female and assisted the female with finding housing as she had recently had to leave a shelter in Petoskey.
CO Chad Baldwin located an abandoned dispersed campsite with several tents and excessive trash that animals had rummaged through. Not far from that campsite, was another travel trailer that appeared to have been sitting in the same spot for a very long time. CO Baldwin was able to locate the owner of the travel trailer and found family members of the abandoned tent site. Both parties were given 12 hours to have the sites completely cleaned up and returned to the way they found them. Both sites have since been cleaned up.
CO Adam LeClerc responded and was first on-scene to a dirt bike accident along the Tomahawk Trail in Emmet County. CO LeClerc made the operator, who had a lower leg injury, as comfortable as possible while EMS personnel arrived on-scene. The patient was then loaded into a litter and carried out to the awaiting ambulance.
CO Duane Budreau set up a marine safety display at the Oden Fish Hatchery during the hatchery’s open house. CO Budreau spoke with parents and their small children about the importance of wearing life jackets while on the water. CO Budreau also answered a variety of questions, mostly pertaining to hunting, fishing, and boating. CO Budreau also explained to some the role of a conservation officer.
CO Duane Budreau worked the Top of Michigan Boat races assuring that the spectator boats stayed clear of the racecourse. CO Budreau was forced to stop one of the race participants for reckless operation. The racer drove into the row of spectator boats and proceeded to do some high speed “donuts” amongst the crowd. CO Budreau stopped the racer and advised him to return to the starting line for possible disqualification. Race command was notified, and the racer was banned from future participation in the event.
CO Matt Theunick observed a side-by-side speeding on Webb Road. He paced the vehicle at approximately 60 miles per hour (mph) and conducted a traffic stop. The operator admitted to knowing he was only allowed to do 25 mph stating that he was trying to stay out of the dust from the road. A ticket was issued.
CO Kyle Cherry was on marine patrol on a lake in Otsego County. CO Cherry contacted a boat after he observed three individuals fishing. While conducting a fishing license check, one subject stated he did not have a fishing license, but he was just baiting lines for his friends. The out-of-state subject then quickly admitted to fishing and choosing not to buy a license. A ticket was issued.
CO Kyle Cherry was first on scene to a domestic assault complaint involving two subjects who were dispersed camping on state land. CO Cherry assisted MSP troopers with their investigation. A female subject was ultimately arrested for a probation violation.
CO Tom Oberg was patrolling by boat on Otsego Lake when he observed a pontoon with multiple people fishing on it. CO Oberg watched them for several minutes while they were actively fishing. CO Oberg contacted the occupants of the pontoon and checked for fishing licenses and marine safety equipment. When CO Oberg asked one of the subjects for a fishing license, she stated that she was not actually keeping any fish. CO Oberg advised that she still needed to have a fishing license since she was fishing. CO Oberg verified the subject did not have a fishing license. She was issued a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Tom Oberg and Sgt. Mark DePew attended the Grand Re-Opening of Walmart in Gaylord. Local law enforcement, Otsego County Fire, and EMS displayed their patrol and emergency vehicles. Many vendors attended, resulting in a great turnout from the public.
CO Alex Bourgeois responded to a deer feeding complaint in the city of Alpena that was called into the Report All Poaching hotline. CO Bourgeois arrived at the home and observed large amounts of watermelons, carrots, corn, and cantaloupes spread across the yard. CO Bourgeois interviewed the homeowner and she stated that she was feeding the squirrels and birds and figured she might as well feed the deer as well. CO Bourgeois advised her that it was illegal to feed deer and the homeowner stated that she had been feeding the deer all summer. A ticket was issued to the homeowner for feeding deer.
COs Alex Bourgeois and Paul Fox were out on Lake Huron north of Presque Isle when they observed a man fishing alone with five lines in the water. As the COs approached the boat, the man frantically pulled in two of his lines. The COs contacted him about having too many lines and the man admitted that he had five lines out. The man stated that the fishing was slow, and he wanted more lines to make it appear that there was a large school of fish. A ticket was issued to the man for fishing with too many lines.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was part of a joint saturation patrol on Burt Lake, the Indian River, and Mullet Lake. The COs focused on alcohol and boating violations in these areas. Though there was a large amount of boat traffic, no issues arose, and everyone enjoyed a safe evening on the water.
CO Logan Turner attended Empowerment Day in Lansing. This event is hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation where they hire local teens through its Youth Development and Mentoring Program. CO Turner worked for the program when he was in high school and was invited back to discuss his time with the program and how it helped him become a conservation officer. There were approximately 50 participants at the event and business owners from the greater Lansing area.
CO Will Kinney assisted the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office and the MSP with the tracking and apprehension of an individual wanted for a felony warrant. The suspect initially fled the house when deputies attempted to make contact at the residence. The MSP K-9 unit led the track with the support from the additional agencies. CO Kinney utilized his patrol truck to shuttle officers around after the suspect was observed by a bystander walking down a private dirt road. CO Kinney observed fresh footprints in the sand on the private road where it was stated the suspect had been last seen. The K-9 was redeployed and the search for the felon continued. The units were able to successfully apprehend the suspect a short distance away hiding in the woods.
COs Bill Haskin and Amanda Weaver were patrolling federal land in Wexford County when an ORV rounded a blind corner at a high rate of speed, nearly causing a head-on collision with the patrol truck. The operator was part of a large group, and the entire group was unfamiliar with ORV laws. A citation was issued to the operator of the first machine for careless operation and a variety of verbal warnings were given to other members of the group. COs Haskin and Weaver thoroughly educated the individuals about ORV operation to prevent further unsafe or illegal activity.
While on patrol in Lake County, CO Ryan Andrews responded to a stabbing incident in the village of Baldwin. The suspect had fled the scene and was reported to be armed with a pistol. The suspect also had several local outstanding warrants. CO Andrews began working with the Lake County Sheriff's Office to locate the suspect. CO Brian Brosky was responding from Mason County to assist when he passed the suspect vehicle leaving the area. Once CO Andrews and a Lake County deputy caught up, a felony traffic stop was conducted. Two individuals immediately exited the vehicle with their hands up before officers could give them any instructions. The driver was a female who was screaming “He’s in the back seat with my baby.” The female then ran around to the passenger side of the vehicle and opened the rear door, and a struggle began between her and the suspect. Officers were giving loud verbal commands to stop and show their hands. The female wrestled away a gun from the suspect and threw it out of the vehicle. The suspect then came toward the officers yelling, “Shoot me!” As the suspect approached CO Brosky, CO Andrews was able to take the suspect to the ground and place him into custody without further incident.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Grant Emery attended bear hunting safety clinics at the Carl T. Johnson Center in Cadillac. The COs taught bear hunting regulations and shared their experience and tips on how to be successful in bear hunting.
CO Kevin Bunce was on patrol in Osceola County when a call went out on central dispatch involving a subject fishing on private property without permission. Upon arrival to the property, it was learned that the property owner requested the angler to leave, but was met with resistance, eventually leading to a verbal argument. The parties separated, but not before a photo of the subject and his vehicle was taken. The property owner’s land/pond lacked the required posting of no trespassing signs needed to pursue recreational trespassing charges, but contact was made with the trespasser who admitted to fishing the pond he claimed to have believed was “public.” The subject was educated on the legalities of fishing private property and advised he was not welcomed back to the property. The property owner has since reposted the property for future violators.
While on foot patrol of Croton Dam, CO Tim Barboza contacted several anglers, two of which had no fishing license. When CO Barboza asked one of the anglers for their license, they stated they did not expect to get checked that late at night and did not have a license. Both anglers who were fishing without licenses were cited for the violation.
Sgt. Mike Bomay received a complaint from the Report all Poaching (RAP) hotline of a subject hitting a large buck with his vehicle in Mecosta County. The buck had an ear tag and was believed to be an escapee of a local captive cervid (deer) facility. Sgt. Bomay followed up with the facility and Wildlife Division in reference to the deer.
CO Matt Zultak located an early established bear hunting bait on the Roscommon and Ogemaw County line. COs Matt Zultak, Ben McAteer, and James Garrett collectively worked the venue. Early one morning, COs Matt Zultak and Ben McAteer patrolled inside the wood line at the site. The two COs observed a bear hunter park down the trail and enter the woods on foot. CO Zultak contacted the subject as he was tending the bear bait. The subject received a citation for establishing and tending a bear bait prior to 31 days before season. The subject also received warnings for leaving plastic containers near the site and using parts of a metal barrel at the bait site.
CO Breanna Reed received a court disposition on a recent case involving an individual taking a 10-point white-tailed deer with no license. The hunter was found guilty of taking a deer without a license and was ordered to pay $3,500 for reimbursement. Along with the court ordered reimbursement, the hunter lost his hunting privileges for three years.
CO Tyler Sabuda worked the annual Mud Jam event in Iosco County. CO Sabuda issued 15 citations and 30 verbal warnings for various ORV violations including two alcohol related arrests.
CO Tyler Sabuda was patrolling the annual Mud Jam event in Iosco County when he observed a four-wheeler with three people on it. None of the riders had helmets on. CO Sabuda conducted a stop and observed one of the passenger’s showing signs of intoxication. CO Sabuda was writing a citation for no helmet on an ORV to the driver when the intoxicated individual jumped on the four-wheeler and started driving away. CO Sabuda activated his emergency lights and siren in pursuit. After following the ORV for a short distance, the operator came to a stop. Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were conducted, and the individual was arrested for operating while impaired (OWI). A citation was issued to the original operator for no helmet on an ORV.
COs from the Honor Guard Team participated in the 2023 Fallen Officer Memorial Service at the North American Game Warden Museum in Dunseith North Dakota. The international event was attended by law enforcement from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and North Dakota as well as members of the public to honor five fallen Game Wardens in 2022 as well as all the Game Wardens who have lost their lives in the line of duty prior to 2022. The museum honors all agencies on the North American continent by displaying a plaque at the memorial site with the names of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
While on marine patrol in the Saginaw River, COs Nick McNamee and Joseph Closser witnessed a boat approaching them at a high rate of speed weaving in and out of other boaters in a slow no wake area. The boat was stopped, and a citation was issued for the offense.
While on ORV patrol in Midland County, COs Nick McNamee, Paul Lyden and Adam Beuthin witnessed two jeeps operating in a closed section of state land. The jeeps were asked to turn around and stopped. The operators were questioned about the location they were operating in, and it was found that both vehicles were not registered. A citation was issued for operating in a prohibited area.
CO Mike Haas received a complaint regarding an illegal camp in the Flat River State Game Area (SGA). CO Haas parked his truck near the complaint area and located a very beat down foot path through the woods. Eventually CO Haas came to a site with numerous tents. Multiple trees had been cut down and were put around and over the campsite to conceal it. Two subjects were contacted who were living at the site and CO Haas explained the camping rules on SGA land. The subjects received citations addressing the illegal use of SGA land as a permanent residence, camping when/where prohibited, and the destruction of vegetation. One subject was also advised of an arrest warrant he had in Chippewa County and the group was directed to start packing their items and clean up their mess.
While traveling on US 127 checking areas of the Maple River SGA, CO Mike Haas was passed by a vehicle traveling well over the posted speed limit. The car was paced at approximately 95 mph in a 65-mph zone and a traffic stop was conducted. The operator of the car was from out-of-state and said he had not been paying attention to the speed limit signs. CO Haas advised that nowhere in the state of Michigan was there a posted speed limit of 95 mph; a citation was issued.
While patrolling in northern Montcalm County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a four-wheeler operating on the wrong side of the road and the operator was lacking a helmet. As CO Haas conducted a traffic stop, he noted that there was a small child on the operator’s lap, also lacking a helmet. CO Haas issued a citation to address the safety violations.
COs Sam Schluckbier, Justin Ulberg, Casey Varriale, Mark Reffitt and Anna Cullen were on a group Boating Under the Influence (BUI) patrol on the Grand River in Ottawa County. Late in the evening, the COs noticed a loud exhaust coming from a known party spot for boaters. The vessel was traveling at a high rate of speed. CO Schluckbier used his binoculars to inspect the vessel. The required boat registration was improperly marked on the starboard side. As the vessel continued downriver, it remained up on plane and operating too fast while it entered a slow no-wake area. The vessel was stopped for the violation and CO Schluckbier made contact with the driver. It became apparent that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) were conducted, and it was determined the operator of the vessel was under the influence of alcohol. The subject was lodged at the local county jail for the violation with pending charges.
CO Carter Woodwyk assisted the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Marine Division, and the Holland City Department of Public Safety with holding a blast zone line on the waters of Lake Macatawa for the implosion of the old Holland City power plant. The building went boom and the crowd went wild. No issues arose during this detail.
COs Travis Dragomer and Jeff Robinette observed an underaged individual operating a three-wheeler upon the roadway in Cass County. A citation was issued to the adult passenger for not wearing a helmet. Warnings were given for underage operation, failing to wear eye protection, riding double when not designed for more than one person, and failing to have an ORV license.
CO Justin Ulberg conducted a marine patrol on the Grand River in Ottawa County. While patrolling, he observed the operator of a PWC cut right in front of another vessel at a very close distance. CO Ulberg conducted a stop on the PWC and discovered that the operator had never transferred the title to his name and the PWC had not been registered since 2021. A citation was issued for the violation.
In coordination with staff from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), COs Mark Reffitt and Jackie Miskovich presented to a group of youths who were interested in learning more about fishing rules, regulations, and techniques. The COs talked to the enthusiastic youths and answered various questions about fishing and the duties and responsibilities of conservation officers. Everyone was then presented a new fishing pole and tackle box by DHHS staff, and the COs assisted them with setting up their new gear for fishing in the Muskegon channel.
CO Mark Reffitt was patrolling Sessions Lake in Ionia County when he contacted a kayak angler who was preparing to leave for the day. When the CO asked if he had any luck, the angler stated that he just had two bluegills. CO Reffitt asked to see his catch and observed a short largemouth bass on the stringer with the two panfish. The fish measured just shy of 12 inches, well short of the 14-inch minimum. The angler stated that he thought the size limit for “smallmouth” was only 12 inches yet did not have a tape measure with him to measure the fish himself. CO Reffitt educated the angler on the size requirements for bass in Michigan and advised that the fish the angler had was a largemouth bass, emphasizing the importance of identifying fish species when fishing. The angler was cited for possession of a largemouth bass under 14 inches.
CO Cullen Knoblauch conducted a deer processor inspection at a local processor in February and located a suspicious deer record. CO Knoblauch spoke with the suspect who confessed to killing an 8-point buck on November 17, 2022, prior to purchasing a hunting license. Charges will be sought through the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
While on marine patrol in Branch County, CO Olivia Moeller spotted a vessel with an expired registration. CO Moeller turned her vessel around and stopped the vessel with the expired registration. While behind the boat, CO Moeller noted that the toddler in the vessel was not wearing a life jacket. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the vessel’s registration was indeed expired, the life jacket that was found for the toddler was not US Coast Guard certified, and there were only five life jackets for the six adults in the vessel. Citations were issued.
CO Marc Mankowski received a RAP complaint that an individual was shooting waterfowl out of an upstairs window, multiple mornings in a row. CO Mankowski scouted the area and arrived before daylight to try and catch the suspect. After sunrise, a flock of geese flew over the suspect’s residence, the bedroom window opened, and the suspect began firing at the geese that were on the pond in the neighborhood. CO Mankowski made contact with the man who initially denied any wrongdoing, but eventually told the truth. When asked to retrieve the firearm, the suspect walked inside and returned with a vintage Red Ryder BB gun. CO Mankowski asked the man to return with the firearm that he used to shoot at the geese and the suspect apologized for attempting to mislead the CO and returned with the other firearm which was then seized. Many hunting and safety zone charges will be sought through the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Dan Walzak represented District 9 Area 1 at Sumpter Township’s Stuff-A-Truck kick-off event. Several law enforcement agencies, fire-fighting units, rescue units, and tow / recovery units were there for kids to visit.
CO Cody Bourgeois was on patrol when he observed several vehicles parked on private property where he has had trespassing issues in the past. He walked into the property where he observed several people fishing in the ponds. When the CO asked the individuals how they got into the property, they all stated they jumped the fence with the no trespassing signs to get in. CO Bourgeois gathered up the trespassers and issued citations to the individuals.
CO Joshua Salas was on marine patrol when he observed a boat with expired registration. The CO contacted the vessel and upon checking the watercraft, learned that there were no PFDs on board. The individual was cited for failure to provide PFDs.
CO Justin Muehlhauser stopped a vessel on Holloway Reservoir for a passenger who wasn’t properly seated while the vessel was on plane. Upon conducting a marine safety inspection, the CO determined that the vessel was without two wearable PFDs and a throwable PFD. The operator was cited for the violation.
CO Justin Muehlhauser observed a vessel towing three people on a tube. There was no observer on the vessel. The operator knew he was required to have an observer onboard. The operator was cited for the violation.
CO Kris Kiel was working ORVs in a local problem sand pit. Upon the sound of two dirt bikes coming into the area, CO Kiel hid in the brush next to a trail and waited. As the dirt bikes came down the trail, CO Kiel jumped out and held up his hands to stop. The operators both stopped. It turned out the adult male was teaching his young daughter to ride. Instead of making it a negative contact, CO Kiel wrote a citation for unlicensed ORV and gave warnings for unlicensed ORV, ORV trespass, railroad trespass, and fail to transfer titles. After CO Kiel handed the man his ticket, he shook his hand and thanked him, and the young lady told the CO to have a nice day.
COs Kris Kiel and Danielle Zubek were loading their patrol vessel at the launch, in the dark, after a large group patrol for the annual St. Clair River Float Down when they observed two PWCs pull up to the dock. After making contact, it was found that neither subject had taken boater safety or had registration. After explaining all the violations, the owner could only say, “I’m sorry, it’s our first time.” Citations were written for operating PWCs 49 minutes after sunset and no boater safety. A book of the marine laws was also provided.
While patrolling in the Lapeer SGA, Sgt. Seth Rhodea heard ORVs operating near his location. Sgt. Rhodea located two sets of tracks on the road where two dirt bikes had turned around after seeing his truck. The tracks were followed a short distance and then led into the game area, which is closed to ORV use. Sgt. Rhodea drove around the section to where he suspected the ORVs might leave the game area and met the ORVs just as they were about to leave the game area. Upon activating his lights, one of the operators took off, with the second operator stopping and yelling for the other operator to come back. Sgt. Rhodea spoke with the operator who had stopped and had him call the other operator to return to his location, which he did a few minutes later. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Elliot Worel were patrolling for ORV activity when they overheard a call from Monroe County Central Dispatch for any units available to assist in a personal injury motor vehicle accident. The COs adjusted their patrol to help and arrived on scene to assist the Monroe County Sheriff Office. The COs helped with blocking oncoming traffic at the intersection and with gathering information from the victims and witnesses. All occupants were taken to the local hospital with no life-threatening injuries.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel were waiting for a train to pass at a crossing and observed a motorist cross over a double yellow lane divider and pass the COs truck into the oncoming traffic lane. The COs performed a traffic stop. The motorist thought she was being stopped because she was not wearing her seatbelt and told the COs that she never wears one. The motorist was cited for failing to wear a seatbelt and warned for having no proof of insurance, improper passing, and having an inoperative brake light.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel were checking three anglers at DTE Hot Ponds. The COs asked the men for their fishing licenses and to see their catches. One of the anglers stated that all the fish in a cooler were his and the fish on a stringer belonged to one of the other men. He also stated that the other man hadn’t caught any, due to him enjoying a nap. The COs noticed that the man with the stringer had in his possession an undersized catfish and the man with the cooler was over his daily limit of catfish. After the COs informed the men of their violations, the man that was over his limit changed his story, stating that some of the fish in the cooler were caught by the napping man. The COs woke the man up and asked him if he had any fish in the cooler and the man stated he hadn’t caught any fish. The COs cited both men, one for possession of an undersized channel catfish and the other for possessing two channel catfish over the daily limit.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel were requested by Monroe County Central Dispatch to assist in finding a vehicle driving on the roadway on just its rims. The COs were nearby and were able to find the suspected vehicle that was then stopped in the middle of the roadway. It was determined that the elderly driver had swerved off the roadway and flipped her vehicle completely over, landing back on the wheels. The driver then continued to drive approximately seven miles with a smashed in windshield and an inoperative front right tire. By the time the COs found her, the front right tire was completely worn off and the rim was grinding on the pavement. The COs spoke with the driver who was confused. They turned the scene over to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office upon arrival. The woman and her dog were in stable condition after being checked out by medical personnel.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel were checking anglers on Plumb Creek in Monroe County. They came across a woman who was fishing and in possession of 19 over her limit of channel catfish, four of which were undersized. She also had two undersized largemouth bass. The COs cited her for possessing an over-limit of catfish and undersized catfish. She was given verbal warnings for possessing undersized bass and for littering in the presence of the COs.
CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on the Halfmoon Chain of Lakes when he observed a pontoon boat operating with an expired registration. CO Hartleben contacted the vessel and conducted a marine safety check in conjunction with checking the registration through Station 20. During the safety check, it was discovered that the fire extinguisher was inoperable, and it was confirmed by Station 20 that the vessel was expired. A citation was issued to the operator for operating an unregistered vessel and a warning was given for the inoperable fire extinguisher.
CO Joseph Closser responded to a single-car accident while on patrol of Belle Isle. The accident caused damage to the pavement of the roadway and sidewalk. The operator of the vehicle left it sitting in the roadway and fled. This incident is pending further investigation.
CO Pete Purdy observed a vehicle going the wrong way on a one-way road on Belle Isle. CO Purdy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver stated that he wasn’t feeling right and that he drove there to swim across the river and didn’t care if he didn’t make it. The individual voluntarily went with EMS for a psychological evaluation.
While patrolling Belle Isle, CO Dave Schaumburger was running radar on Riverbank when a vehicle sped past him doing 54 mph in a 25-mph zone. The driver said she was driving so fast because she “lost a bet.” She stated that she bet someone that her route was faster. It probably was faster since she was going 29 mph over the speed limit. The CO issued a citation for her excessive speed.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Corporal (Cpl.) Todd Sumbera conducted a patrol in the Drummond Island and Les Cheneaux Islands area with Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) staff on board. Cpl. Sumbera piloted the patrol vessel to numerous sites that have open and pending cases. EGLE staff was very thankful for the help and mentioned reaching out in the future for similar assistance.
Cpls. Mike Hammill and Brett DeLonge worked the Pocket Park at the U.P. State Fair, answering questions and providing information to the public.
The GLEU conservation officers have dedicated many hours to dive efforts in Lower Lake Huron related to the ongoing Tuskegee aircraft recovery efforts. Many more artifacts have been documented and recovered this year, including the aircraft’s engine. That effort will be featured by National Geographic in a future television show.