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In Menominee County, Conservation Officer (CO) Steve Sajtar responded to assist local law enforcement with an armed suicidal subject. According to Menominee Central Dispatch, the subject threatened to shoot his father with a rifle, then fled the scene on foot. Dispatch advised all units the subject was last seen walking toward the Carney-Nadeau High School while armed with the rifle. CO Sajtar responded to the high school with three additional officers and cleared several school buildings. It was later determined that the armed subject left the rifle at home before walking toward the high school. After securing the scene, the investigation was turned over to local law enforcement. No injury occurred. 

In Menominee County, CO Steve Sajtar responded to a personal injury accident. A pickup truck failed to yield to a railroad crossing resulting in a train versus vehicle crash. After the collision, the vehicle was pushed over 100 feet and ultimately overturned by the train. CO Sajtar assisted local law enforcement with stabilizing the driver of the vehicle and securing the scene. The driver of the vehicle was transported to the hospital by emergency medical services (EMS) and treated for multiple injuries.

In Menominee County, CO Steve Sajtar responded to assist local law enforcement with a suicidal subject. Upon arrival, it was determined that the subject had originally planned to commit suicide by jumping off a nearby bridge. CO Sajtar arrived on scene with local law enforcement and assisted with deescalating the situation. The suicidal subject was taken into protective custody and transported to the hospital for a medical evaluation.

COs Steve Sajtar and Shannon Wicklund attended the Annual Trapper’s Workshop in Hermansville. The COs interacted with many members of the community, engaging in conversation about hunting and trapping. Both COs were able to clarify current hunting and trapping regulations for those who had questions. Youth that attended the event were given free trapping supplies to get them started with fur harvesting.

CO Alex VanWagner and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Zack Cardinal arrived at a boat launch in Iron County and observed four subjects fishing close to it. The COs contacted them and none of them had a fishing license. Two of the subjects were issued citations for fishing without a license and two younger subjects were educated on fishing licenses. They were able to buy licenses online to continue fishing.

CO Alex VanWagner and PCO Zack Cardinal observed a group of anglers fishing near the launch at a lake in Iron County. The COs contacted the anglers who said it was a slow day of fishing and they didn’t catch any fish. While talking with them, CO VanWagner saw three splake in a nearby bucket. Upon further investigation, one of the anglers admitted catching them earlier that morning and all three fish were undersize. The angler claimed he did not know the size-limit and should have checked. The fish were seized, and a citation was issued.

COs Jeremy Sergey and Jackson Kelly received a report than an individual with a firearm had entered the Marquette City Police Department and had pointed the firearm at an individual. The COs responded to the police department and quickly helped local law enforcement set up a perimeter around the police department. CO Sergey was approached by a female, who stated she was the girlfriend of the barricaded individual with a firearm, and she had been texting him. CO Sergey turned the female over to the lead investigator of the incident. The suspect was arrested, and nobody was shot during the incident.


CO Steve Butzin was on patrol near the city of Gladstone when he heard a call over the radio of two individuals who had fallen through the ice on Bay De Noc. When CO Butzin arrived at the location, Gladstone Public Safety and Delta County Ice Rescue were already on scene and had begun walking out to the individuals on the ice. CO Butzin and a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper followed using a spud bar. Ice Rescue was able to enter the water and grab ahold of the two individuals that had fallen through. CO Butzin and the trooper pulled ropes attached to the rescue members which pulled them out of the water and onto thicker ice. The two were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and were later released in good health.

CO Robert Freeborn and PCO Scott Pankow served a warrant on an individual in Onaway for the illegal take of a wolf last fall. The subject posted bond and was given a court date to appear in the Schoolcraft County District Court.

CO Cole VanOosten conducted a foot patrol checking ice anglers after dark in Mackinac County. CO VanOosten contacted three groups of anglers resulting in six citations for fishing with too many lines and unattended lines. Over ten warnings were given for no name on tip-ups, fishing with too many lines, and no fishing license on person.

CO Cole VanOosten met with a class of 35 students at Lake Superior State University. The purpose of the class was to inform the students on the career as a conservation officer. The information was well received by the class, which contained many students aspiring to become a conservation officer.

COs Robert Freeborn, Cole VanOosten and PCO Scott Pankow, responded with other agencies to a report of a shooting at the Travelers Lodge in Curtis. The COs and MSP troopers assisted the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office with apprehending the suspects. Both suspects were arrested without incident. The Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident.

District 2 COs patrolled the Sault Ste. Marie area during the 55th annual International 500 snowmobile race on Saturday February 3rd. With no ridable snow in the area, recreational activity was extremely low. However, citations were issued for open intoxicants in a side-by-side, other off road vehicle (ORV) violations, and for operating a snowmobile without a trail permit. Freezing temperatures at night in the days prior to the race allowed track personnel to water the track to build ice before the event. Many people were encountered who brought sleds up in the hopes of having ridable snow only to find snowless ground and mud. Attendance was reportedly up at the race and people were in good spirts even though they couldn’t ride the trails. ORV activity was still going on during the weekend.


COs Nathan Beelman and Adam LeClerc were clearing a traffic stop when they observed a female passenger in a vehicle, drinking an alcoholic beverage through the open window of the vehicle, while it was stopped at a stop sign. The COs initiated a traffic stop and eventually the backseat passenger admitted to drinking the alcoholic beverage. The female passenger was ticketed for open intoxicants in a motor vehicle and the driver was given a warning for the expired registration decal on the vehicle.

COs Chad Baldwin, Adam LeClerc, Jack Gorno, and Thomas Jaakkola conducted a multi-county snowmobile patrol for activity after the trails received adequate snowfall. The COs contacted many riders, and most were found to be following the law. A ticket was written for an expired registration and warnings issued for failing to attach snowmobile trail permits, failing to display registration decal, failing to exhibit registration certificate, operating without headlight, and operating without taillight.

CO Jack Gorno investigated a potential licensing violation by conducting an interview with a subject in Cheboygan County. The subject admitted to purchasing a deer license after shooting a 6-point on November 16th, 2022. CO Gorno is seeking charges through the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Alex Bourgeois was checking ice anglers on Fletcher Pond when he came across a red shanty on the ice playing music loudly. The shanty had beer cans and cigarettes all over the ice outside of it. CO Bourgeois contacted the anglers inside and observed even more beer cans inside of the shanty. There were an estimated two beer cases worth of cans on the ice inside and outside of the shanty. During the check, it was discovered that four out of the five anglers did not have a fishing license. CO Bourgeois advised the anglers that they would be getting tickets for not having fishing licenses and a warning for all the litter. CO Bourgeois made the anglers clean up all the trash while he wrote four anglers tickets for having no fishing license.

COs Sidney LaLonde and Adam LeClerc taught at a snowmobile training course for Parks and Recreation Division (PRD). The course entailed operation of snowmobiles, maintenance, and how to get a snowmobile unstuck. The training consisted of approximately 20 PRD staff.

CO Sidney LaLonde responded to an airboat accident on a Montmorency County lake. The air boat throttle was stuck, causing the airboat to crash into the shore at a high rate of speed. One of the occupants in the airboat was ejected onto the shore bank and trees. EMS was able to backboard the patient and transport them to the hospital for a non-life-threatening back injury.


CO Logan Turner was on patrol when Grand Traverse County Dispatch advised of a head-on collision with two people pinned inside their vehicles. CO Turner was the first responder on scene and began providing medical assistance. While providing care, one of the vehicles started on fire with the victim still trapped in the driver seat. CO Turner ran back to his patrol truck and grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out while EMS continued working on the driver. Both victims are expected to make a full recovery.

While patrolling Lake County, CO Josiah Killingbeck stopped two snowmobiles for failing to display trail permits. One subject told CO Killingbeck he had the trail permits, but it was too cold to put them on. CO Killingbeck asked to see the trail permits and he produced ORV trail permits. CO Killingbeck informed the subject he needed to have snowmobile trail permits not ORV trail permits. Upon running both subjects, it was determined they were both driving on suspended licenses, both were cited for the violations.

CO Kyle Publiski was contacted by Mason County Central Dispatch and asked to assist with the search for a missing angler on the Pere Marquette River. The angler’s car had been located at an access site earlier in the morning and the angler had not been seen since the prior evening. CO Publiski and the Mason County Sheriff's Department walked several miles along the Pere Marquette River attempting to locate the missing angler. After not finding any sign of the angler, CO Publiski and a Mason County deputy launched a vessel to search further down river. CO Publiski and the deputies located the missing angler deceased in a log jam.


CO Jacob Hamilton was conducting an evening patrol of Manistee Lake in Kalkaska County when he contacted a group of five ice anglers near the south end of the lake. CO Hamilton asked the first angler how many lines he had out, and the angler stated he had three tip-ups. CO Hamilton asked how many lines the angler had in his ice shanty, and he admitted to having a fourth line. CO Hamilton asked the rest of the anglers in the group how many lines they had out; one of the anglers admitted to having five tip-ups out, and another admitted having four tip-ups out. CO Hamilton asked each angler if they knew how many lines they were allowed, and they all admitted to knowing they were only allowed three lines each. CO Hamilton asked the anglers why they had too many lines out, and one of them spoke up and said they did not think an officer would be out checking anglers that late at night. The violations were discussed, and citations were issued for fishing with more than three lines.

During a late-night patrol in Iosco County, COs Tyler Sabuda and Dan Liestenfeltz observed individuals operating snowmobiles recklessly on a lake while also causing a disturbance around a fire. Eventually, the group realized that the COs were nearby and started taunting them while out on the lake. Eventually the COs were able to contact one of the snowmobile operators coming off the lake without a helmet. The subject tried to evade them but luckily the COs knew the area well enough to be able to intercept the snowmobile and stop it. The driver appeared to be intoxicated, so the COs conducted standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), which the driver failed. The subject was lodged for operating while intoxicated (OWI).

CO Craig Neal was patrolling in Bay County at Pinconning Park when he encountered two anglers coming off the ice. Upon contact, the anglers reported they had speared dogfish and a couple of pike, as well as caught a few perch with hook and line. As they opened their portable shanty sled, CO Neal noticed a pike that did not appear to be the legal size of 24 inches. CO Neal asked the anglers if they measured the northern pike. They stated that they did not have a tape measure. CO Neal pulled out his tape measure and measured the pike. Everyone agreed that it was only 22 inches. CO Neal explained that when spearing pike, you must be sure that the pike is over 24 inches and anything close should probably be left alone. A citation was issued for possession of an undersized northern pike.


While working the snowmobile trails in Sanilac County, CO Mark Siemen contacted two individuals. They were out for their first ride of the year and were missing registrations and trail permits. At that time, CO Siemen educated them on the required registration and trail permits and let them off with a warning. Two days later, again checking snowmobiles on the trail system, CO Siemen encountered the same two individuals who had failed to obtain their registrations and trail permits. This time both men were cited for operating unregistered snowmobiles.

While checking anglers at a local marina in Tuscola County, CO Ethan Gainforth encountered an angler who was in the marina without a pass. Trespassing has been an ongoing issue at the location and the business has requested enforcement efforts. CO Gainforth cited the angler for recreational trespass.

While contacting anglers on a lake in northern Montcalm County, PCO Chris Kravitsky and CO Mike Haas encountered a subject who quickly exited his ice shanty as the COs approached. The angler stated he had just caught his limit and was getting ready to leave. The COs counted 25 bluegill and crappie that the man had lined up in his shanty and located an additional five more bluegill that were amongst his fishing equipment. The angler explained that he threw those five fish back, but they died and were not part of his limit. Further investigation revealed an additional 23 panfish located in a bucket in the angler’s possession, bringing his total to 53 fish – 28 fish over his daily possession limit. A citation was issued to address the over-limit violation.

PCO Chris Kravitsky and CO Mike Haas encountered subjects sitting in their vehicle in the Flat River State Game Area. During an interaction with the driver, PCO Kravitsky questioned the subject about a bulge on the side of his hip that was under his sweatshirt. The man admitted to having a pistol that he was just getting ready to put away. The firearm was secured and the laws pertaining to concealed carry and permit requirements were reviewed. A citation was issued to address the handgun violation.

While on patrol, CO Marissa Sturtevant received an emergency call over the radio stating two anglers had fallen through the ice. When CO Sturtevant arrived on scene, she observed the two individuals, approximately 50 feet from shore both holding onto a jet sled to keep from sinking. From a nearby dock, CO Sturtevant threw her throw bag out to the individuals. With assistance from a civilian, CO Sturtevant pulled both men out of the water and got them safely off the ice. Both individuals were treated by EMS and were eventually released with no injuries.

CO Jacob Robinson was on patrol in Montcalm County when he observed a subject parked wearing hunter orange in a vehicle. The CO questioned the subject and found the subject was small game hunting. The CO asked to check the subject’s firearm in the vehicle and upon inspection, found it loaded. The subject was educated as to why a loaded firearm in a vehicle is a very big safety concern and a citation was issued.


CO Sam Schluckbier made a stop on an ORV being operated on the public roadway in Allegan County. Talking with the driver, he claimed he bought the ORV recently but never looked up the laws to operate it. He failed to purchase an ORV license and was operating without a valid operator’s license. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Van Buren County, CO Tyler Cole observed a subject fishing along the shore of a popular trout stream. CO Cole contacted the angler who was unable to produce a fishing license. Upon further investigation, it was found the angler was also fishing with illegal gear; a weight attached directly to a multi-pointed hook. Citations were issued for the violations.

CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at the Rockford Dam in Kent County where he witnessed a suspect catch a brown trout and illegally retain it on a stringer. CO Varriale contacted the individual and the suspect claimed he thought he could keep brown trout below the dam. Further investigation revealed that the angler did indeed know that it was illegal to keep brown trout below the dam at which point he became frustrated and increasingly belligerent. CO Varriale wrote a report and submitted for an arrest warrant through the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.


CO Wes Butler responded to a hunter casualty incident in Clinton County involving a man who had been struck in the eye with a BB from a shotgun blast. The victim was rabbit hunting with several friends and believed the BB must have been a ricochet because he was not in the shooter’s line of fire. The victim sought treatment at a local hospital for his injuries.

COs Cullen Knoblauch and Thomas Jaakkola conducted a taxidermy inspection in Jackson County and located a suspiciously tagged 10-point antlered deer. The tag was purchased and validated the same day. CO Knoblauch checked the suspect’s social media and located a photo showing the deer was killed the day prior to the license purchase. When interviewed, the suspect confessed to killing the deer prior to purchasing his hunting license. Criminal charges are pending with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

CO Nick Thornton handled a complaint in Branch County involving an individual intentionally running over an antlered deer with his motor vehicle. CO Thornton was able to identify the driver and front seat passenger as they had recorded the incident and posted it on a social media outlet. CO Thornton interviewed both occupants that were in the vehicle and both admitted to the incident. CO Thornton is requesting criminal charges on the driver for taking a deer by illegal means and reckless driving.

CO Lisa Taube assisted with a heroin overdose in Livingston County. Three doses of Narcan were administered, along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ultimately saving the individual. The subject was then transported by EMS for additional medical treatment.


CO Griffin Korican received a complaint about a possible gunshot and a blood trail through an Oakland County resident’s yard. Upon further investigation, the blood trail led to a large bait pile and a fresh gut pile. Identification was found upon one of the tree stands located near the bait. CO Korican interviewed the individual whose tree stand was near the bait pile, and they admitted to putting out the bait and shooting a deer with a compound bow. No firearm was used in the taking of the deer. Charges are being sought for the baiting as well as the illegally taken deer.

COs Joshua Salas and Cody Bourgeois were on patrol when they received a complaint of an individual who found a gut pile and a blood trail that led to a nearby bait pile. The COs followed the blood trail back to a baited area and found a blood trail that led directly to a residence. The COs contacted the homeowner, who informed them that he does not hunt the property, but he does have contact info for the individual who does hunt it. The COs followed up with the individual and located the deer hanging in his garage. The individual admitted to taking a 6-point deer over bait. The deer was seized, and a report was submitted to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

COs Brad Silorey and Kris Kiel were patrolling Macomb County checking ice anglers when they received an anonymous tip. The caller stated they were watching anglers catch fish on the ice and had large amounts of fish scattered across the ice. COs Silorey and Kiel located the anglers and made contact. Two of the anglers were sharing a bucket and didn’t know how many fish they had. Another angler who was fishing 30 yards away from the other, had fish but didn’t know how many as well. CO Kiel had the angler dump his bucket and check to see how many he had. The angler counted 42 yellow perch, 17 over the legal limit of yellow perch. The angler was cited for possessing over-limit of yellow perch. The other anglers were under their limit by three fish.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a complaint of an individual with a deer in the back of a jet sled driving through Lenawee County. The complainant advised CO Ingersoll the individual was dressed in all camouflage, and it appeared he was hunting. The complainant was able to give CO Ingersoll some more information to locate the driver of the vehicle. CO Ingersoll talked with the subject, and he was able to determine that he was hunting. He stated he shot a deer in Ohio and brought it back to his house to process it. With the help of CO Brandon Vacek, both COs were able to educate him on what he must do when bringing deer across state lines. The hunter stated he has been doing it for years and CO Ingersoll issued him a citation for transporting a whole deer carcass across state lines. The deer was seized and disposed of properly.


CO Joshua Salas was on patrol on Belle Isle when he conducted a traffic stop for expired vehicle registration. Upon checking the vehicle in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), the CO discovered that the vehicle did not have insurance and the driver had 10 outstanding warrants. The driver was arrested on the outstanding warrants and the vehicle was towed.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll was conducting speed enforcement at Belle Isle Park when a vehicle passed him doing 16 miles per hour (mph) over the posted speed limit of 25 mph. CO Ingersoll stopped the vehicle and upon contact, the driver was not wearing his safety belt, did not have insurance for the car, had an expired registration, and was driving on a suspended license. After a file was run on the driver, it was also determined that he had 16 outstanding warrants through multiple different agencies. One of those 16 warrants was a felony warrant for obstructing justice. The driver was arrested and turned over to the originating agency and he was also cited for speeding and warned for the other traffic violations.


On July 26, 2023, Detective Jake Griffin received a complaint from the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Water Resources Division that a construction company excavated a large area of wetlands located adjacent to Harsen’s Island in the Middle Channel of the Saint Clair River. A Construction, a company that installs seawalls, was permitted by EGLE to replace an old wooden seawall. The seawall is located adjacent to a wetland parcel owned by the DNR. The contractor completed a lot of work outside the issued permit including the dredging of a wetland area approximately 170 feet by 38 feet wide and several feet deep for the purpose of creating an artificial canal connecting the waterway to an unpermitted boat-well. Furthermore, the contractor placed hundreds of cubic yards of fill material into the wetlands for the purpose of extending the upland property. Detective Griffin conducted multiple interviews resulting in admissions from both the property owner and the contractor. The property owner directed the contractor to alter the seawall contrary to the approved plans. The contractor admitted to knowing additional work was completed well beyond the limitations of the approved permit. 

Detective Griffin filed three misdemeanor charges against the contractor under Part 303, Wetlands Protection and one misdemeanor charge under Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands: Willful/reckless permit violation first offense, dredging of coastal wetlands without a permit, filling of coastal wetlands without a permit, and altering great lakes bottomlands without a permit. 

Restoration with guidance from EGLE staff was ordered by the court. EGLE’s Water Resources Division approved the restoration completed by the contractor. Ultimately, a plea agreement between the St. Clair County prosecutor and the suspects was reached. The charge filed against the property owner was dismissed without prejudice. Three of the four charges against the contractor were dismissed; however, the contractor plead guilty to the charge of willfully and recklessly violating a permit, first offense. Due to the subject’s efforts restoring the wetlands, the contractor was ordered to pay the minimum fine of $2500.00. 


Several Great Lakes Enforcement Unit (GLEU) officers took part in Operation Seafood Express, a multi-jurisdiction, multi-location detail investigating shipments at the U.S./Canada border. Along with law enforcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United State Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers inspected shipments and packages entering the country for any contraband. No violations of state law were discovered, but officers assisted their federal partners in investigating questionable shipments, intelligence was gathered, and connections were made to further future details and investigations.

Corporal (Cpl.) Mike Hammill responded to a complaint of an individual leaving unattended lines on the ice overnight. Cpl. Hammill contacted the individual, who claimed to have lost the lines in the heavy fog the night before. Cpl. Hammill looked through the individual’s GPS and Navionics account before deciding whether to issue a citation on the violation. Ultimately a warning was issued; Due to the unusually warm weather, heavy fog had been affecting the Bay de Noc area. This area was dangerous with open water not far away. Cpl. Hammill left a card with contact information if something like this happens again.

Cpl. Tom Peterson and CO Byron Parks stopped a group of snowmobilers operating on the side of M-26. After further inspection, the COs noted all the sleds were registered in Minnesota, and two were expired. They cited the two unregistered sled operators and warned the rest of the group about operating on state highways.