Skip to main content



Conservation Officer (CO) Brian Lasanen and Sergeant (Sgt.) Marc Pomroy worked in conjunction with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers and National Park rangers to address illegal charter fishing in and around Isle Royale National Park. Contact was made with an unlicensed charter boat operating in Michigan waters off the national park. Enforcement action is being sought for the illegal charter fishing, along with violations of the national park regulations, as well as US/Canadian custom and border violations.

COs Pete Shambaugh and Zach Painter were dispatched to an off-road vehicle (ORV) accident in the village of Ontonagon. Witnesses observed a side-by-side drive off the trail, down an embankment, and into the Ontonagon River. The COs located the operator, who was injured and displayed signs of intoxication. The subject was transported by ambulance to the hospital. A report will be submitted for review to the Ontonagon County prosecutor for potential charges.

CO Jenni Hanson assisted two Iron County schools with a salmon release at the Black River Harbor. The students raised about 150 salmon in their classroom before releasing the fry into Lake Superior.

CO Jenni Hanson was requested by local law enforcement in Gogebic County to assist in the removal of a deer caught in a net. A deer had become tangled in a soccer net at the Bessemer School. CO Hanson responded to the location and was able to cut the deer free.

CO Alex VanWagner observed a vehicle driving donuts on the highway in Iron River. The CO observed the vehicle take a side road and got behind it as it continued to drive donuts in front of houses. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver was issued a citation for careless driving.

CO Alex VanWagner responded to an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash near Crystal Falls with a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper. Two juveniles were riding quads without supervision, when one of them left the roadway on a sweeping curve. The juvenile suffered a leg injury on scene and was transported via emergency medical services (EMS) to the hospital for further treatment. A report will be submitted to the Iron County prosecutor for review.

CO Shannon Wicklund attended a Salmon in the Classroom event. The smolt-sized salmon were released in Menominee County by students who raised the chinook salmon from eggs and were educated about their life cycles. CO Wicklund educated the students on how conservation laws protect the salmon increasing the likelihood that they will return to the river once they are large enough to spawn. The salmon were released in the Cedar River and will eventually make their way to Lake Michigan.

In Menominee County, CO Steve Sajtar responded to a complaint of a large burning pile of debris near a residence. CO Sajtar arrived on scene to find a pile of old farm equipment and tires burning. When asked about the fire, the suspect stated, “I waited until after dark so I could get rid of all this stuff.”  The suspect also stated he was burning the debris to prepare the nearby residence for sale. A citation was issued.

CO Steve Sajtar responded to a motorcycle versus deer crash in northern Menominee County. CO Sajtar arrived first on scene to the crash where the motorcycle driver was laying on the side of the road unconscious, unresponsive, and bleeding severely. CO Sajtar administered first aid until EMS arrived and transported the victim to Wisconsin for further medical treatment.

CO Jared Ferguson contacted a boat that was taking on water due to not having its drain plug in. CO Ferguson found that the operator didn’t have personal flotation devices (PFDs) for the occupants of the vessel. A citation for fail to provide PFDs was issued.

CO John Kamps was checking fishermen along a river when he observed an angler suspiciously walking along the bank. The CO watched the individual as he attempted to snag spawning fishing in front of him. After a short amount of time, the individual snagged a fish by the belly, brought it to shore, and put it in his fishing bag. The CO made contact and found the only tackle in the angler’s possession to be large treble hooks and weights. A citation was issued for snagging.

A man was sentenced to the Marquette County Jail after a multiple year hunter harassment investigation involving COs John Kamps, Jackson Kelly, Jeremy Sergey, and Cody Smith. Over the last three waterfowl seasons, the COs received multiple hunter harassment complaints all coming from the same residence. Complaints included fireworks being shot off during their hunts, yelling at hunters, signs being posted to deter people from public property, and even firearms being fired in the direction of hunters. On opening day of early goose season in 2023, COs Kamps and Kelly were able to capture video footage of the suspect firing a rifle in the direction of three hunters. The COs had set up next to the hunters and captured the suspect stepping out onto their deck and firing their rifle in their direction whenever the hunters shot at a goose. The suspect fired the rifle twice and the rounds could be heard landing in the trees to the right of the COs. A search warrant for the house was obtained and executed shortly after the incident with multiple COs and MSP troopers assisting. Multiple firearms and ammunition were seized along with drug paraphernalia and two 30.06 shell casings on the back deck of the residence. Along with the jail sentence, the suspect received fines and costs, probation, and was ordered to forfeit all firearms and ammunition seized during the execution of a search warrant.


While checking anglers in Alger County, CO Andrea Dani observed a motorized vessel with three occupants fishing. Upon checking them, the operator admitted he knew he did not have PFDs for everyone on board. He displayed one throwable PFD. The need for the safety devices was discussed and a citation was issued.

While checking boaters at a boat launch in Alger County, CO Andrea Dani observed a new vessel with a strange and lengthy registration number displayed. Upon verifying the paper registration, CO Dani informed the owner that he had labeled his vessel with his hull identification number instead of the registration number. He was advised to change the numbers.

CO Jason Ruth assisted the MSP with a personal injury accident. The traffic crash happened on US 2 near H 33. Three vehicles were involved with one pulling a trailer hauling a large storage container. CO Ruth assisted with gathering information from witnesses and traffic control.

CO Cole VanOosten was finishing a day of patrol when a call for a lost elderly mushroom picker came out. The wife of the missing man waited in the car while her husband went to look for morel mushrooms on an area of state land. After waiting for four hours, the wife left to call for help. The woman was unable to find the location of where her husband had exited the vehicle but remembered seeing no trespassing signs and aspen trees. In an area of thousands of acres of state land and not having much to go on COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten used their knowledge of the area to narrow down where the man may have walked into. The COs were able to define a search area by matching tracks in the dirt to the vehicle the man and wife had been driving and walking roads looking for foot tracks. A short time before dark the man was able to self-rescue and call 911 to inform that he was safe and out of the woods. Assisting agencies included the Luce County Sheriff’s Department and the MSP K-9 team.

CO Cole VanOosten was on marine patrol when he encountered a group fishing out of a boat in a quiet area where motorized boats were prohibited. CO VanOosten observed the men trolling using a 15-horsepower motor around the lake several times. Upon contact, it was also determined that the boat did not have enough PFDs for the members aboard. A citation was issued for no PFDs and a warning was given for using a motorized boat where prohibited.

COs Justin Vinson and Jason Ruth had just finished patrolling the Tahquamenon River when they heard a call of a woman having a seizure on the shoreline of Lake Superior. COs Vinson and Ruth unhooked their patrol boat and responded to the call. The woman was located and was determined to be unconscious. CO Vinson asked two Muskallonge Lake State Park rangers to bring a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) down a nearby two track that leads to the beach. The two COs, Luce County Sheriff’s Department deputies, and Luce County EMS loaded the woman onto the Muskallonge Lake State Park’s UTV where she was driven off the shoreline to the nearest county road and transported by Luce County EMS to Helen Newberry Joy hospital for further evaluation.

CO Mike Olesen responded to a call of a motorcycle personal injury accident in Chippewa County. CO Olesen was second on scene behind an MSP trooper. CO Olesen and the trooper provided aid to the individual injured in the crash until EMS arrived on scene and took over care for the individual. The subject was transported to the local hospital and then to another facility downstate for further treatment.


COs Jack Gorno and Nate Beelman participated in a career day in Boyne City Public School’s fifth grade. The COs explained job duties, answered job-related questions, and had students tour equipment such as patrol vessels, personal watercrafts (PWCs), and trucks.

CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he observed two subjects fishing a lake from shore. CO Cherry contacted the anglers for a routine check. Neither angler possessed a fishing license. One stated he had not had a license for years and the other had never had a license. Tickets were issued.

COs Tom Oberg, Duane Budreau, Dan Liestenfeltz, Adam LeClerc, and Jack Gorno attended the MiCareer Quest at the Ellison Place in Gaylord. The COs set up a booth and had a variety of items that the COs use in their day-to-day job duties as well as displays of their patrol truck, snowmobile, PWC, and side-by-side. Many students from across northern Michigan attended and got to see firsthand all the different displays from other businesses and departments, including the Law Enforcement Division (LED). The COs explained to the students on what a CO does and what a day can consist of on the job.

CO Tom Oberg was on patrol when he came across several four-wheelers. CO Oberg pulled up alongside them and noticed their ORV licenses were expired. CO Oberg recognized one of the individuals and realized that he had given him a warning for the same violation a year prior. A ticket was issued for operating without an ORV license.

CO Matt Theunick responded to a fire on private property near the south end of Cheboygan County. Upon arrival, a large pile of trash was burning on the ground. The Wolverine Fire Department was on scene and extinguished the fire. This was on a no-burn day. A ticket was issued for the violation.

CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling in Montmorency County when he observed two ORVs traveling down a public roadway at approximately 58 mph. The speed limit for ORVs in Montmorency County is 25 mph. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the operators of the ORVs and observed very clear signs of intoxication on one of the operators. CO Liestenfeltz conducted standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) which the subject did not pass. The subject blew a .136 on the preliminary breath test (PBT) and was ultimately lodged and charged with operating and ORV greater than 25 mph and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI).

CO Alex Bourgeois was patrolling around Beaver Lake in Alpena County when he observed a side-by-side with an expired ORV license. CO Bourgeois initiated a traffic stop and upon contact with the operator, discovered that the driver and passenger of the side-by-side were 17 years old. While talking to the minors, CO Bourgeois could smell marijuana very strongly. CO Bourgeois confronted the minors about the smell, and they stated that they had just smoked marijuana at the park down the street and that their house was the next block over. CO Bourgeois issued the operator a ticket for no ORV license and minor in possession of marijuana. Arrangements were made to return them back to their residence.


COs Zackary Walters and Amanda Weaver conducted a marine patrol on Lake Michigan out of Frankfort. When they returned, they observed a vehicle parked on a piece of private property that had recurring trespass problems. COs Walters and Weaver contacted a subject there who was planning on fishing from the property. The subject had received a warning from CO Weaver the day prior. A citation was issued to the individual for recreational trespass.

COs William Haskin and Kevin Bunce were patrolling Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell over the Memorial Day weekend. The COs noticed a vessel traveling across the lake, well after dark, with no navigation lights on. A stop was made, and the vessel had an expired registration, inoperable navigation lights, the vessel was purchased in 2021, and the ownership had not been transferred over to the new owner. A citation and warnings were issued.

Acting Sgt. Ben Shively was patrolling Oceana County when he observed a side-by-side making a sharp turn at speed, causing the machine to roll on its side. The two-seat side-by-side was occupied by one adult and four juveniles. Three juveniles were ejected from the homemade seat in the bed of the side-by-side sending them onto the pavement. Sgt. Shively activated his emergency lights and contacted the occupants to assess injuries. He immediately called for EMS to respond to the scene. One juvenile had a broken collar bone, and another struck her face on the pavement resulting in swelling on the side of her face and a possible concussion. All occupants were transported to the hospital. The driver of the side-by-side was cited for careless operation of an ORV.


COs Matthew Zultak and Ben McAteer were conducting an ORV patrol in Roscommon County. The two COs observed a side-by-side fleeing from a Richfield Township officer. The ORV failed to stop at a traffic control device and almost struck another vehicle. The COs joined the pursuit activating their lights and sirens. The side-by-side turned onto a trail unnavigable by the police vehicle. The COs took the primary as the chase vehicle and continued the pursuit in their patrol truck. After a very short distance, the ORV struck a large sand berm and damaged their vehicle. The damaged vehicle was unable to continue. The COs secured the occupants until the township police arrived on scene. Two of the occupants were placed under arrest for fleeing and elude, OWI, and other alcohol violations.

CO Jeff Goss worked an illegal hill climb in Gladwin County. There are no less than 15 signs marking the area closed to ORV activity. CO Goss was parked in the woods near the illegal hill climb when he heard a side-by-side machine approaching the area. CO Goss listened as the vehicle stopped and the driver told the passenger, “This is that area the DNR is trying to keep people out of.”  Just after that, the driver entered the closed area and started tearing around the expansive hill climb area. CO Goss quickly located and stopped the machine. A ticket was written for operating an ORV in a closed area. CO Goss spent most of the evening in that location and wrote multiple tickets for operating an ORV in a closed area, operating an ORV without a helmet, and creating erosive conditions.

CO Josh Russell was on an evening patrol in the Trout Lake State Campground when he observed several campers that had not registered or paid for their campsites. The campers stated they had been there eight hours and didn’t have cash. CO Russell issued citations for the violations.

CO Josh Russell received a complaint from Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) personnel that someone had removed fencing and boulders that were being used to block a closed boat launch. CO Russell responded to the scene and located several vehicles and empty trailers down by the boat launch. During the investigation, CO Russell established that the vehicles belonged to a construction company that was doing work at a nearby residence. The workers came back to the launch where CO Russell contacted them. The foreman of the group stated he thought if the DNR didn’t want them using the launch, they would put a sign up. CO Russell stated that the DNR had put up a fence and placed boulders in the driveway to keep people out. The foreman agreed that he and his crew should’ve taken the fence and boulders as a good sign the boat launch was closed. A citation for the violation was issued.

CO Josh Russell patrolled an illegal hill climb in Gladwin County where he observed two ORVs drive over a red “NO ORV” sign and operate in the closed area. CO Russell contacted the ORV operators and asked them why they ran over the sign. The lead operator said he “didn’t see the sign.”  CO Russell asked if either operator saw the approximately 20 other signs that were blocking the area. The operators stated they saw the signs but wanted to park there so they drove into the closed area. The operators were educated on the rules of the road and advised where they could legally operate. Citations were issued for operating in a closed area and for driving over the sign.


No Report


CO Cameron Wright was patrolling St. Joseph County when he observed a vehicle run a stop sign without even attempting to slow down before the intersection. CO Wright conducted a traffic stop and quickly learned that the driver was on his way home from a fishing trip at the river. After further discussion, it was discovered that an out-of-season and short largemouth bass was stashed in the trunk of the car. Enforcement action was taken for the violations.

CO Cameron Wright was patrolling St. Joseph County when a call came out from central dispatch reporting a 20-year-old male who was run over by a pickup truck. CO Wright was one of the first responders on scene and learned that the man was lying under his Chevy 2500 pickup truck attempting to fix it when the parking brake gave way. This caused the truck to roll downhill while the man was under it. The driver-side front tire rolled right over the man's head, chest, and entire right side of his body. The male was suffering from crush injuries to the chest and was struggling to breathe. Due to his injuries, Med Flight was activated while EMS and the other first responders attempted to stabilize the man’s injuries. He was eventually flown by Med Flight to a nearby hospital and his condition is unknown at this time.


CO Chris Reynolds while on marine patrol in Hillsdale County checked a group of anglers out on a lake in separate boats. While checking the second boat, the CO noticed that the fishing license appeared to have similar license numbers as one of the anglers on the other boat. After a short conversation, it was found the angler took a picture of his friend’s license to try to save money as he was from out of state. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.

CO Elliot Worel was checking a group of young anglers when he discovered that none of them had fishing licenses. The trio were out fishing alone and did not realize that they needed to purchase a license after turning 17. CO Worel educated them on the law requiring them to have licenses. Before CO Worel completed his check, he noticed an odor of alcohol coming from one of the young anglers. CO Worel found that one of the under-aged men had alcohol in his possession and had already drunk three 25-ounce beers. After submitting to a PBT, the young man blew a .071 blood alcohol content. The underage angler was issued a citation for being a minor in possession of alcohol. All three were given warnings for fishing without a license.


COs Brad Silorey, Joe Deppen, Zack Cardinal, and Sgt. Seth Rhodea worked on Lake St. Clair during the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend. The COs checked a subject fishing from a vessel that was observed to be fishing with too many lines. Upon contact, the suspect had four lines in the water and was in possession of a largemouth bass in his live well which was out of season. The suspect also was missing required marine equipment including a fire extinguisher, a Type IV PFD, and did not have paper registration on board. The suspect was cited for possessing a bass out of season, too many lines and one marine violation. He was given a warning for the remaining violations.

CO Joseph Deppen received a call from Sgts. Mike Mshar and Seth Rhodea when he was out of service. They passed on information that an out of state detective was fishing locally in the area and he noticed that anglers were keeping a large cooler of largemouth and smallmouth bass out of season at a local hotel. CO Deppen got dressed and called CO Silorey. CO Silorey was shopping at Lowe’s and was less than two minutes from the hotel where the out of state anglers were staying. CO Silorey received all the information, left Lowe’s, and made the location to get eyes on the cooler and boat. CO Deppen arrived shortly after, and CO Silorey located the boat and a cooler that matched the description given, but there were no anglers around. CO Deppen parked across the street and CO Silorey contacted hotel managers to get a look at the anglers from surveillance videos in the parking lot. The managers said the anglers were charging their batteries and should be out in less than an hour. CO Silorey waited in plain clothes in the lobby and CO Deppen waited across the street where he could see the boat and vehicle. Three anglers came out of the hotel and CO Silorey texted they were headed to the boat. Three anglers got into the vehicle and started to pull out. CO Deppen conducted a traffic stop and all three anglers were interviewed. The anglers admitted to catching and keeping largemouth and smallmouth bass and they were in the cooler in the bed of the truck. The anglers exited and pulled out their cooler and emptied it in the grass. The anglers were in possession of 25 bass out of season. Each angler was cited for take/possess bass during the closed season and were given verbal warnings for over-limit of bass.

CO Brandon Hartleben was patrolling the Portage Lake Chain when he observed a vessel not displaying a registration that was also towing a wakeboarder with no observer on board. CO Hartleben contacted the operator to discuss the violations. The operator did in fact have the registration on board the vessel but was waiting on their numbers and letters to come in before putting everything on. A citation was issued for towing without an observer.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking for activity along the Sandy Creek Road Railroad tracks when he observed a vehicle driving to a known fishing hole along the tracks. CO Ingersoll stopped the vehicle for operating on railroad property and determined that one of the occupants of the vehicle had a felony warrant for dangerous drugs out of Monroe County’s 38th Circuit Court. CO Ingersoll arrested the individual for his warrant and warned the occupants of the vehicle for being on railroad property. The individual was lodged at the Monroe County Jail without incident.

CO Cody Bourgeois received a complaint about people trespassing and fishing in a local quarry. CO Bourgeois arrived at the quarry and located four vehicles parked in front of a yellow gate with no trespassing signs. CO Bourgeois proceeded to locate the violators on the sand quarry property and issued seven recreational trespassing tickets.


CO Chris Reynolds, while working a Belle Isle 1st shift, heard a “be on the lookout” to the units on the island regarding an individual who was planning on coming to the island to commit suicide. The CO located the vehicle waiting in line to enter the park. The CO stopped and talked with the person for a few minutes, was able to talk the person down, and had him pull into a parking area. After the individual parked, the CO was able to get the person calmed down and talking in a reasonable manner. During this time, a Detroit Police Crisis officer showed up and was able to talk the individual down some more. At this point, the officers located a gun under the person’s seat. Ultimately, the officers got the person in a better mind set and he was taken for a medical evaluation.

While working a Belle Isle shift, CO Thomas Jaakkola was dispatched to a motorcycle accident on the Douglas MacArthur Bridge. It was determined that the driver swerved to miss a small backpack that was in the roadway but at the same time hit his front brakes too hard causing the motorcycle to flip, sending the driver over the handlebars. The driver sustained minor injuries and was transported by EMS to the hospital.

CO Joseph Deppen worked Belle Isle on Memorial Day. While doubled up with Sgt. Chris Maher, the COs issued citations for driving while license suspended, speed, failing to have a recreation passport, no insurance, alcohol, window tint, use of marijuana in public, disregarding stop signs, and driving the wrong way down a one way. Vehicles were impounded and multiple warnings were also given.

While working Belle Isle, COs Kyle Bucholtz, Brandon Hartleben, Elliot Worel, and Sgt. Jason Becker responded to a call of felonious assault. Several COs along with MSP troopers were searching the island for the suspect and trying to locate other victims and witnesses. CO Hartleben was able to assist the MSP in stopping the suspect vehicle and ultimately arresting the subjects for felonious assault and concealed carry weapon (CCW).

During a Belle Isle shift the day before Memorial Day, CO Les Bleil was responding to a complaint of double parking at the beach area. While gathering information on license plates for ticketing purposes, CO Bleil was approached by a very worried mother. The woman stated that her children were stuck on the Detroit River due to the current and outside of the swim zone. CO Bleil stopped what he was doing and immediately acquired his department issued throw-bag. CO Bleil identified the individuals in the small raft floating down the Detroit River, close to the pier next to the MacArthur Bridge. CO Bleil went into the river to attempt to secure the individuals approximately 30 feet from the shoreline. CO Bleil asked a nearby jet skier to assist him, and they complied. CO Bleil got on the back of the jet ski and secured the throw-bag rope to the raft and escorted the children to the shoreline where they were handed over to their mother. In total, there were three children under nine years old and one adult being 18 years old. The mother was very grateful for the CO’s quick action and response. Belle Isle visitors on the shoreline congratulated the CO on his efforts as well.


Corporal (Cpl.) Troy Van Gelderen assisted COs Sam Koscinski and Scott MacNeill with the "Tightlines for Troops" fishing tournament in Manistee. The COs led over 50 boats out to Lake Michigan for the parade, led them back into Manistee Lake after the tournament, and checked several boats for compliance during the tournament.

CO Steve Butzin and Cpl. Chris Lynch patrolled the Little Bay De Noc on the walleye opener. Several contacts were made, and the bite was a little slow compared to prior years. A couple of violations were encountered, to include an expired boat registration and failing to provide PFDs.

Cpl. Tom Peterson assisted Cpl. Doug Hermansen and District 1 Officers by helping instruct a hunter education field day. The officers instructed/assisted approximately 40 students with shooting clay pigeons on the range, while teaching safe firearm handling.

Cpl. Mike Hammill assisted with over 100 3rd graders at the DNR Pocket Park in Escanaba.  The kids were able to shoot pellet guns and bows and learn about outdoor survival.