Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Josh Boudreaux was following up on a burning complaint in Big Bay when he heard radio traffic involving a northbound vehicle failing to stop for a deputy. CO Boudreaux responded from his location and assisted the deputy as the fleeing vehicle pulled into the driveway of a residence. The suspect was taken into custody by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department (SD) and charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office.
During the recent snowstorm, CO Josh Boudreaux came across a mini-van stuck in the ditch near Republic. The woman and her children were trying to get home from Marquette, but the blowing snow made visibility poor and they lost sight of the road. The vehicle was not stuck too far in the ditch and with a little digging and a push, the van was out of the ditch and the family was on their way home.
CO John Kamps responded to a call of an assault that just occurred in Gwinn. CO Kamps arrived on scene along with a Forsyth detective and they entered the residence to find a female subject with a gunshot wound. CO Kamps assisted local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) administer first aid to the victim before she was transported to the hospital. The initial report indicated a subject dressed in black had fled the scene through a window and officers scoured the area attempting to locate the suspect. Further investigation gave conflicting information as to the cause of the gunshot wound. The investigation is ongoing by local Forsyth Police Department (PD).
CO John Kamps completed an investigation on an individual for failing to remove two ice shacks by the designated date. The individual removed only the upper half of the ice shacks and left two large piles of garbage at two different access sites on the lakes. The CO was able to develop a suspect and conduct an interview. The individual confessed to leaving the trash at the boat access sites and was issued a ticket for litter.
CO Jeremy Sergey and PCO Anna Viau had just wrapped up an evening patrol on Lake Michigan near Cedar River when they noticed a 19-foot boat struggling to dock with the current of the river. CO Sergey walked to the end of the dock to assist the angler with mooring his boat. When the angler recognized a conservation officer standing on the dock, he aggressively backed his boat away from the dock and left the marina at a high rate of speed causing a large wake in the marina. After some time, the angler returned to the marina while on his trolling motor with his navigational lights extinguished. When the angler moored his boat, he was greeted by the COs. The angler admitted to having possession of two walleye when the current daily limit for the area is one. The angler said he went back into Lake Michigan to dump the walleye. The COs issued citations for operating after sunset without displaying navigational lights and operating a vehicle with expired registration. A report regarding the over-limit of walleye has been submitted to the Menominee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Josh Boudreaux, John Kamps and Doug Hermanson attended the “Fish to Forests” forum in Ishpeming. The evening consisted of various presenters from natural resource management agencies speaking on the relationship between forest management and stream/fish quality. COs conversed with attendees throughout the presentation and answered many questions.
CO Josh Boudreaux and a Marquette County Sheriff’s deputy conducted a presentation to a group of Boy Scouts in Marquette. The officers discussed the varying roles of their jobs, gave the scouts a tour of their patrol vehicles and ran a scenario to teach the scouts about evidence collection. The scouts were excited to have the opportunity to interact with the officers.
CO Jeremy Sergey received a report that an individual had a pile of trash in their backyard so enormous that the trash is blowing into several neighboring yards due to the wind. Neighbors have stated they can no longer keep their pigs outside due to the high volume of accumulating plastic, which the pigs eat. The individual stated they are going to clean up their garbage when the snow melts, but they are not going to pick up the garbage that blew onto their neighbors’ property. Litter charges have been filed with the court.
CO Brian Lasanen had a jury trial in Ontonagon County regarding a hunter that had shot an eight-point buck during the 2018 firearm deer season and had failed to purchase a deer license. The defendant stated he did not believe he should be required to buy a deer license to hunt on his own land. After a short deliberation, the jury found the defendant guilty of the charges.
COs Jenni Hanson and Zach Painter taught hunter safety education courses at Ironwood and Wakefield Middle Schools.
CO Jared Ferguson and Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Anna Viau participated in mock interviews held at Bay College, in Iron Mountain, for area high school students. Many young kids took part in the day, with several expressing their interest in a natural resources career.
CO Steve Butzin was following up with an individual who burnt several campers on Little Bay De Noc. The individual was instructed to clean up the litter from burning the campers. The individual failed to clean up the litter before the ice became unsafe. CO Butzin contacted a local towing service to remove the debris from the bay. Another citation was issued to the individual, this time for littering. CO Butzin also submitted a request for restitution to be paid to the tow service for cleaning up the litter.
CO Steve Butzin was on his way to a training event in Sault Ste Marie, while traveling, he encountered a main highway that was covered with black smoke which reduced visibility for motorists. CO Butzin contacted an individual who was burning several mattresses and a dresser. CO Butzin issued the individual a citation for open burning of prohibited materials, a misdemeanor offense in the State of Michigan.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual trespassing onto another’s land to hunt turkeys out of season. Upon further investigation, CO Butzin found that the individual who trespassed onto the property was a tribal member and that the tribal season for turkey was open. However, the land was private, not open to tribal hunting, and he did not have permission to hunt on the land. Furthermore, the land owner had specifically told the individual and his partner they could not hunt on his land which was well posted. Shortly after this the land owner heard a shot and found the subject with a turkey on his property directly behind two no trespassing signs. CO Butzin submitted a report to the Delta County Prosecutors Office requesting charges.
CO Steve Butzin was patrolling Nahma Township for fishing activity. While he was heading to check a popular fishing spot, he observed a vehicle operating on the gravel shoulder of the road and weaving across the center line. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle. Further investigation found the driver to be under the influence of alcoholic liquor. The driver was arrested and transported to the Delta County jail. A report was filed with the prosecutor’s office for operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual who was thought to be spearing fish out of season. CO Butzin went to the location and observed an individual wading in the water. CO Butzin made contact and found the individual to be spearing walleye. The individual was cited for possession of a walleye out of season, possession of an illegally taken fish, and using an unlawful method. The walleye and the spear were seized.
CO Steve Butzin received a complaint of an individual burning household garbage in the Gladstone area. When he arrived at the location, he could smell burning plastic and observed black smoke rising from a fire on the property. CO Butzin contacted the homeowner who admitted to burning the garbage. The homeowner received a citation for open burning prohibited materials which is a misdemeanor offense.
CO Michael Evink conducted a night fish patrol looking for smelting activity. While it was the most activity the CO has seen in years, there were not enough smelt to cause worry of over-limits. CO Evink checked licenses after watching the activity for some time.
CO Justin Vinson and Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper. J.T. Birkenhauer were called to assist Chippewa County SD involving two missing male subjects believed to be in the Paradise area. The men had been missing since the previous afternoon. Friends and family were becoming concerned about their health. The search had gone on for five hours until Trooper Birkenhauer and CO Vinson located the two men in good health just east of Pretty Lake Campground. Their truck became stuck overnight while attempting to test their new tires. A wrecker service was called to extract their vehicle and they returned home safely.
While conducting a meat processor inspection COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin noticed a suspicious intake receipt. The COs conducted a follow up interview with the hunter who confessed to shooting an 8-point buck without a license. The illegal deer was seized, and a report will be submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Mark Zitnik attended the Munising High School Seniors vs. Enforcers annual basketball game. The game was to promote and raise money for the upcoming senior’s all-nighter event.
CO Mark Zitnik was attending a meeting at the Mathias Township Hall in Trenary, when dispatch advised of a one-car accident and an overdose. CO Zitnik cleared the meeting and was first on scene at the accident. The CO rendered first aid until first responders arrived. The investigation is still ongoing.
COs Colton Gelinas and Justin Vinson participated in Newberry 4-H event held at Tahquamenon Area Schools. The COs had a fishing booth at the event allowing kids to practice their casting skills and win prizes.
CO Colton Gelinas assisted Mackinac County SD with an unresponsive female. With the assistance of local emergency medical technicians, the victim will be able to make a full recovery.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO VanOosten were on patrol in the Bay Mills area when a call about a domestic in progress was received. The officers responded and were the first on scene. The couple was separated and turned over to Bay Mills tribal officers.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO VanOosten were patrolling Luce County when they found many vehicles parked at the Dollarville flooding. The officers observed perch anglers for violations before approaching and contacting 52 anglers.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO VanOosten responded to a complaint of a deer that had no fear of humans. The deer had been reportedly trying to steal a couple's doormat and attacking their dog when it was let out of the house. The officers located the deer and determined that it looked healthy as it ran away with other deer in the area. The officers educated the landowner that the deer may have had a tough winter which has been known to result in such behavior.
CO Calvin Smith and PCO VanOosten responded to a complaint of a three-legged bear that had been knocking down bird feeders and getting into garbage. The officers instructed the landowners to remove their bird feeders and keep their trash covered in the garage.
While on patrol, CO Duane Budreau and PCO Jon Sheppard received a complaint that a person had taken an illegal badger. The subject posted a picture on Facebook of the badger saying that it would look good in his man cave. After checking to see if the subject had purchased a fur harvesters license and determining that he hadn’t, the COs went to the subject’s residence to ask about the badger. He invited the COs into his home to show them the badger in his freezer. The subject was able to show text messages trying to see if it was legal for him to take a badger that was hit by a vehicle. He called the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Gaylord Customer Service Center (CSC) to ask if it was legal and was told that it was not. At that point, he was already at work and the badger in his freezer. The COs seized the badger and issued a warning for illegal possession of a badger.
CO Andrea Albert assisted the Antrim County SD with the search for two subjects wanted in an in-progress breaking and entering of a local storage unit. Both subjects were wanted fugitives on several felony warrants. CO Albert secured and executed a search warrant for the cell phone location of the suspects. The suspects had fled the area and appear to be fleeing the state. Reports have been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for charges.
CO Andrea Erratt was working Antrim County when she received a complaint about someone burning a couch. CO Erratt patrolled to the house and observed a teenage boy putting more parts of the couch on the fire. The teenager’s mom said she had checked the DNR Burn Permit website and thought it was ok to burn. CO Erratt showed her where it explained that burn permits were for burning brush, leaves, and grass. The woman told CO Erratt that everyone had told her it was ok to burn the couch to get rid of it. CO Erratt ticketed the woman for burning improper materials.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about a grass fire in Antrim County. CO Erratt patrolled to the fire scene and met with the Banks Township fire fighters. CO Erratt talked to the man who had been burning brush in a grass field when the fire escaped, spread uphill, and burned about two acres. CO Erratt ticketed the man for failing to take precautions to stop a fire from escaping.
CO Andrea Erratt received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a man tapping sugar maple trees on state land across the road from his house. CO Erratt talked to the man who said he had tapped the trees for years. CO Erratt warned the man for damaging trees on state land and he took down his buckets the next day.
CO Andrea Erratt was working Antrim County and received a complaint about a fire that had escaped. A man had been burning leaves and had dumped ashes in a brush pile at the bottom of a hill. Some people passing by had stopped to tell the man the hill was on fire and they called 911. CO Erratt ticketed the man for failing to prevent the spread of fire.
CO Andrea Erratt received a complaint about a fire that had escaped and was burning near a propane tank. CO Erratt talked to the homeowner who said she had been burning leaves and had not checked to see if burning was allowed by the DNR. CO Erratt explained that the DNR was not allowing open burning due to the high fire danger. CO Erratt ticketed the woman for burning without a permit and warned her for failing to take precautions to stop a fire from escaping.
CO LeClerc received a RAP complaint after his shift one evening. The complainant had witnessed an individual catching and keeping multiple short Brown trout at the mouth of the Bear River. CO LeClerc responded to the area, only to find the suspect had left. An interview was conducted on scene with the complainant and they were asked to call the RAP hotline if he returned. Approximately three minutes later, CO LeClerc was contacted by the RAP hotline informing him that the suspect was back and was fishing again. CO LeClerc returned to the scene and witnessed one individual fishing at the mouth of the river. The vehicle and plates matched the description from the complainant. When approaching the suspect, CO LeClerc nearly stepped on a trout that was thrown on the sidewalk. CO LeClerc announced himself and talked with the suspect. The suspect claimed that he did not know the size limits, daily limit, or species of fish he was catching. The suspect had caught and kept five Brown trout that were too small. CO LeClerc explained it is the angler’s responsibility to know the rules presented in the fishing digest. CO LeClerc gave the suspect a 2019 fishing digest and a ticket for taking undersize trout. A warning was given for an over-limit of Brown trout.
CO Ethen Mapes attended the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Young State Park in Boyne City where over a hundred kids scavenged for eggs filled with candy and prizes. CO Mapes spoke with community members and answered many questions.
CO Tim Rosochacki was the first on the scene at a single-vehicle roll-over accident. Even though he arrived within minutes of the call, CO Rosochacki discovered the vehicle was abandoned. After checking with some of the surrounding residences to locate the driver, it was determined that the subject had gotten a ride from the scene. As CO Rosochacki and an MSP trooper pulled into the suspect’s address, a male subject ran out the back of the residence and into the woods. After a short foot pursuit, the suspect came to his senses and gave up. The MSP trooper issued numerous traffic tickets to the suspect, and he was released with a date to appear in court.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a complaint of a wildfire which originated from an unattended brush fire. Upon investigation of the still active fire, it was discovered that the property owner was burning a large pile of brush and non-burnable refuse, which spread into the surrounding field. A ticket was issued and given to the property owner.
COs Tim Rosochacki, Matt Theunick, and PCO Ariel Corr assisted the Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club with their hunter safety field day. The COs assisted on the rifle range, reinforcing safe firearm handling and marksmanship.
COs Tom Oberg and Kyle Cherry responded to a report of a deer in Otsego County that appeared sick and was displaying unusual behavior, as it would not leave the caller’s yard for the past hour. COs responded to the location and observed that the deer had moderate hair loss, was not afraid of humans, and attempted to approach the COs multiple times. The deer was dispatched safely and sent down to Michigan State University’s Wildlife Laboratory for disease testing.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when he was passed by a motorist who displayed a license plate violation. CO Cherry initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and attempted to advise the driver of the issue. The driver became very upset and stated he always gets in trouble with the cops around Easter. Further investigation revealed, the driver had put a license plate on his vehicle that did not belong to his car and was not registered to any vehicle at all. The driver was issued a ticket.
COs Sidney Collins and Jessica Curtis worked a fish patrol in Alpena County. The COs checked several compliant anglers who were walleye fishing. One subject was seen smoking what was believed to be marijuana. When approached by the COs, the subject threw the alleged marijuana in the river. A ticket was issued for littering.
COs Sidney Collins and Jessica Curtis assisted the Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputies with a verbal argument at a residence. A subject asked a friend to borrow her car to drive to the store to pick up more alcohol. The friend did not let the subject take the vehicle, since they were already intoxicated, so an argument then broke out. Upon further investigation, the subject had several warrants and was transported to Alpena County jail.
CO Paul Fox finalized a four-month investigation in Otsego County regarding a felon in possession of a firearm and the illegal taking and possessing of multiple deer. Felony and misdemeanor warrants were authorized by the prosecutor’s office. The case is scheduled for further court hearings.
CO Paul Fox has seen an uptick in Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) activity in Presque Isle County as the weather warms. Unfortunately, ORVs are starting to operate in closed areas, wetlands, and failing to obtain current ORV licenses. Several ORVs have been stopped and violations addressed.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of an injured Snowy owl at residence in Alpena County. CO Curtis went and caught the owl, and found a puncture wound on the wing. The snowy owl was taken to a rehabilitation center where it was determined to not have a broken wing and is suspected to make a full recovery.
CO William Haskin was observing an individual fishing in what appeared to be an attempt to take walleye. CO Haskin watched for some time and the angler kept looking around and talking on his phone. The individual eventually hooked a fish and reeled it close to shore without taking it out of the water. The angler called someone on his phone, who showed up a few minutes later with a bucket. The angler retrieved a walleye from the water, attached to his line and put it in the bucket, and then hid the bucket. CO Haskin contacted the two suspects who initially denied catching any fish. After an interview and explaining the situation, the two anglers confessed, and a citation was written for take walleye closed season and attempt to take walleye closed season.
CO Rebecca Hubers and PCO Dan Liestenfeltz were checking perch anglers in Northport. During this time, they noticed a boat that did not have a proper registration decal. A verbal warning was given, and PCO Liestenfeltz stated the decal needed to be properly affixed onto the boat before it entered the water again. The following day, PCO Liestenfeltz was on patrol in Northport with Sergeant (Sgt.) Dan Bigger, when PCO Liestenfeltz noticed that the same boat was being launched into the water. Upon contact, it was determined the individual had yet to put the registration decal on the boat. A citation was issued for failing to display a valid registration decal.
CO Rebecca Hubers and PCO Dan Liestenfeltz received a complaint from Benzie County Dispatch that a Jeep was stuck on a portion of state land in Colfax Township. Upon arriving, it was determined that a Jeep Wrangler had gone off-road through mud and water holes and was unable to make it all the way through. This did cause damage to the land. After talking with the individuals, a citation was issued to the registered owner of the vehicle for operating where prohibited. After clearing the contact, CO Hubers noticed a second set of taillights tucked back along a tree line behind the mud hole where the first Jeep was stuck. A second Jeep was also located in a place where vehicles were not allowed. After circling back and contacting the driver, he admitted to driving through the same mud hole prior to the arrival of the conservation officers. The driver was also issued a citation for operating where prohibited.
CO Amanda Lake was on patrol in Leelanau County when a call came through central dispatch of four teenage boys who had gone missing during a volunteer beach cleanup day at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. CO Lake responded along with two federal park rangers who each took a section of beach to patrol on foot. During the search, the boys were safely located by one of the park rangers. They were cold but in otherwise good condition and glad to be reunited with their families.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling the Betsie River when he observed an angler walk pass several no trespassing signs to gain access to the river. The CO contacted the angler who stated that he had seen them but didn’t really think much of it at the time. The angler was cited for recreational trespass.
CO Patrick McManus assisted the Leelanau County SD with a suicidal subject who stated they were experiencing episodes of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” from previous experience in the military. CO McManus, along with a Leelanau County Sheriff’s deputy, were able to contact the subject and convince him to seek help at a local hospital. Upon follow-up with the subject over a week later, they expressed their appreciation for the officers’ actions and the time they took to not only listen to them, but also care for their safety.
CO William Kinney worked on a fire case complaint where an investigation was done on a suspect who had started demolishing an old house and burning pieces of it. The fire department was called to what they thought was a structure fire. Upon arrival, it was discovered the suspect was hired to remove the house and discard it, but in turn he was burning it. The suspect was later interviewed where he took responsibility for his action and gave a full written statement. Case report will be submitted for unlawful burning of solid waste charges.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Breanna Reed were on patrol in Oceana County at Hart Dam doing surveillance on anglers. When approaching the anglers, one individual dropped his fishing rod, then walked away. The COs asked the subject for his fishing license and identification (ID), which he was unable to provide. The subject then gave the COs a name and date of birth. With the information given, they were still unable to ID him. Overhearing the radio traffic, an MSP trooper arrived with their mobile fingerprint identification device and immediately after taking fingerprints the subject was identified. It was determined that the subject supplied the COs with a fake name to cover up the fact that he had a warrant for his arrest out of Oceana County and he was illegally in the United States. Talking with the subject’s wife, the COs found out that the subject had been deported in 2016 back to Mexico and had already came back over the border illegally again. The COs arrested the subject and lodged him on the warrant and notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After contacting ICE, they placed a hold on the subject.
PCO Timothy Barboza and CO Sam Koscinski received a call from Manistee County Central Dispatch that they were on the line with a man claiming he was being attacked by a cougar and still was being chased. PCO Barboza and CO Koscinski responded to the call. While heading to the location of the caller, the COs were informed by dispatch that the caller was not physically attacked but was charged and had fired at the animal multiple times. Upon arriving on scene, the COs found the individual running along the road and made contact. Upon further investigation, it was determined the animal the man had seen was a sow bear protecting its’ cubs. PCO Barboza and CO Koscinski searched the area and found no sign that the bear had been injured.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a vehicle that appeared to have an expired registration decal. CO Killingbeck ran the plate and discovered that the plate had been expired since 2016. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle and discovered that the subject driving was the same one he had arrested last year for driving without a license. The subject produced a driver’s license that expired in 2011, and said that there had been no insurance on the vehicle since 2016. The subject told CO Killingbeck that he is from Canada and his passport had expired years ago and that is why he is driving illegally. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail for driving without a license and no insurance. ICE was contacted, and the investigation is ongoing.
While on patrol in Manistee County, CO Steven Converse and PCO Noah Thompson responded with the Manistee County SD to a suicidal subject armed with a long gun. After tracking the subject through the fresh snowfall and a few hours of negotiating, a Manistee County deputy was able to talk the subject out of the elevated deer blind. The subject was then taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while patrolling an illegal ORV hill climb area on a utility right-of-way, observed two ORVs trespassing. CO Killingbeck observed both subjects look at him as they went by. CO Killingbeck activated his emergency lights and siren and observed both subjects look back at him as they began fleeing. CO Killingbeck initiated a pursuit with the ORVs, who disregarded numerous stop signs and drove recklessly. During the pursuit, the two suspects kept looking back at CO Killingbeck numerous times and even circled CO Killingbeck’s truck. The ORVs eventually went down a dead-end road and trespassed around a guard rail where they thought they could get away. However, just beyond the guard rail was a river the ORVs were unable to get across and bordered by a fence on one side and a swamp on the other. The two suspects eventually complied with CO Killingbeck’s commands and were taken into custody without incident and lodged in the Lake County jail. Both subjects were charged with Felony Flee and Elude, Reckless Driving, ORV Trespass along with several other ORV violations. Both subjects told CO Killingbeck that they had ran because they did not believe they were doing anything wrong and thought they could outrun CO Killingbeck.
CO Josiah Killingbeck made a traffic stop on a vehicle in a very rural area of Lake County for several motor vehicle code violations. CO Killingbeck discovered that the driver had a suspended operator’s license. When asking the driver about his suspension, he explained to CO Killingbeck that since it’s a rural area, not having a driver’s license was not a big deal. With the assistance of CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Brianna Reed, the male subject was taken into custody for driving while license suspended. While PCO Reed was handcuffing the subject, CO Killingbeck and CO Publiski both observed the passenger door open and a female passenger acting suspiciously - as if she was throwing things out of the vehicle. CO Publiski and CO Killingbeck discovered that she had attempted to dispose of several drug pipes, and two bags plus one small container all believed to be containing crystal methamphetamine (meth). A field test of the substance tested positive for meth. The female immediately told the COs that “the meth was not hers.” A K-9 unit was requested to the scene to search the vehicle. Another drug pipe was discovered in the vehicle along with numerous phones. It was also discovered that there was no insurance on the vehicle. The vehicle was towed and both subjects were arrested and lodged in the Lake County jail on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. The investigation is ongoing.
PCO Timothy Barboza and CO Sam Koscinski, along with Manistee County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Sekuris, instructed a marine safety class at the Manistee Middle School. All ten of the students involved in the class were successful in the completion of the course and are looking forward to getting out on the water this summer.
CO Kyle Publiski and PCO Breanna Reed attended a hunter’s safety class at the Fin & Feather Club in Mason County. The COs touched on important topics, such as hunter orange, safety zone, firearms in a motor vehicle, immediately tagging game, and trespassing. The students were engaged and asked many questions. Fifty students and parents were present.
COs Kyle Publiski, Brian Brosky and PCO Breanna Reed went to Westshore Community College to talk with the police recruits about conservation law and different situations that they might run into while working in the field. The recruits were given many resources to refer to if they were faced with a hunter, angler, ORV, and snowmobile violations.
While going through meat processor records, CO Steven Converse and PCO Noah Thompson came across an individual that had never taken hunter safety and still purchased a deer hunting tag. After a follow-up interview, it was discovered that a deer had been harvested and then the tag was purchased. PCO Thompson was able to gain a confession that the deer had been illegally taken and transported. Charges are being sought through the Manistee County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Troy Mueller served an 11-count warrant against an owner of a captive cervid facility for multiple charges. The warrant was the result of a year-long investigation by area COs and included the assistance of detectives from the Wildlife Resource Protection Unit.
CO Mike Wells and PCO Josh Reed were dispatched to a fire in the Village of Hesperia. During the investigation, two burn containers were observed filled with bundles of Highlights News advertisements from a paper route. Paper, which was still on fire, was blowing past COs and fire personnel in the direction the fire had travelled. The suspect denied any responsibility for the fire. The fire had started on the suspect’s property and had travelled onto the complainant’s land, consuming 10.7 acres. A warrant request will be submitted with the Oceana County Prosecutor.
CO Mike Wells and PCO Josh Reed were conducting mobile patrol in the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA). COs came upon a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) stuck on a two-track which crosses a stream and goes up a steep hill. While observing the stuck SUV, a truck went up the hill and turned around heading back to the SUV. Contact was made with three vehicles and several juveniles who were there to pull the SUV out. The juveniles were educated on operating their vehicles in an erosive manner.
CO Jeff Ginn observed another watercraft traveling down river and having difficulty navigating between the high number of boats. CO Ginn observed this watercraft crash right into the bow of the vessel they had just provided personal floatation devices, knocking everyone down in the boats. Upon contacting the operator of the vessel, the operator stated there were too many boats, the water was flowing too fast, and was going back to the ramp. CO Ginn and PCO Andrea Dani decided to cite the man for careless operation. CO Ginn gave the men some instruction on operating a watercraft on the high water. The COs offered to assist them back to the boat ramp, but the men had calmed down and were confident they would make it safely.
COs Mike Hearn, Charlie Jones, and PCO Byron Parks responded to a call for assistance from the Kalkaska County SD. The three COs assisted two deputies set up a perimeter around a house of a mentally unstable person who had threatened the deputies. The suspect advised he had a gun in his pocket while holding a knife in his hand. The disturbed man made many threats and threw a jack stand at responding officers, breaking out a window of a patrol car. The suspect went inside of a residence and would not come out. The suspect started a fire in the house and soon caused the interior of the home to become ablaze. CO Hearn, along with Sgt. Kevin Schaub from the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office, were able to talk the suspect out of the house onto the porch. As the suspect moved even farther from the residence, CO Jones got in position behind him without his knowledge. The suspect started heading toward officers carrying a hammer and metal pipe in his hands. As CO Hearn and Sgt. Schaub walked toward the man, he raised his hammer and CO Jones was able to deploy his TASER. The TASER shot was successful, and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
CO John Huspen assisted Crawford County SD and MSP with a vehicle that had gone off the road and hit some trees. The driver was very combative and fought with law enforcement all the way to the jail. The driver is suspected of Operating While Intoxicated, child endangerment, and several counts of resisting arrest.
COs Charlie Jones, Ben McAteer and Matt Zultak assisted MSP with the search and arrest of a suspect who had fled on foot after a felonious assault and breaking and entering of a dwelling.
CO Ben McAteer was on patrol in Crawford County when he observed a large plume of black smoke. CO McAteer arrived at a private residence and observed a shed and two cars engulfed in flames. CO McAteer utilized his fire extinguisher and prevented the fire from reaching the home and propane tank that were only inches away. As CO McAteer extinguished the fire, two neighbors came and helped. After CO McAteer’s fire extinguisher was empty, he returned to the residence where the neighbors had contacted the 91-year-old homeowner. CO McAteer and the neighbors assisted the owner and his dog out of the home to a safe location as several propane tanks in the shed began to ignite. After conducting multiple interviews, CO McAteer discovered that a family member had left a fire un-attended in a burn barrel which escaped and caused the fire. The case is pending review by the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Matt Zultak, Chuck McPherson, and PCO Michael Olesen attended a Whitetails Unlimited banquet in Houghton Lake. The COs answered law questions and other hunting-related questions brought to them by attendees.
CO Casey Pullum and PCO Anna Cullen were patrolling state land two-tracks in Oscoda County and located a suspicious vehicle parked. Two passengers were identified, an elderly male and younger female. A consent search of the vehicle was conducted, and multiple narcotic pills were located with a pill crusher. A powder residue was located on the female’s nostril. Both were taken into custody for possession of Schedule 2 and 4 narcotics and transported to the Oscoda County jail. Subsequent interviews were conducted at the jail, and a confession was obtained regarding delivery of the controlled substance as well as prostitution. Charges are pending with the Oscoda County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Brad Bellville and Sgt. Bobbi Lively conducted a plainclothes patrol targeting fishing activity on closed trout streams in Iosco and Ogemaw Counties. They located and ticketed several individuals for fishing on the closed portions of streams.
CO Phil Hudson was contacted by the Bay County SD regarding a request to identify a subject from an ORV sticker. A Bay County Sheriff’s deputy had attempted to stop an ORV that had been involved in a hit and run accident. The attempted traffic stop resulted in a pursuit and while trying to evade arrest, the ORV operator crashed completely through a fence in a backyard. The crash caused damage to the ORV. Deputies located pieces of the plastic fender with the ORV license and trail permit stickers still attached; however, the ORV operator managed to escape. At that point, CO Mark Papineau was contacted and the ORV stickers were scanned for purchaser information. Using an application on CO Papineau’s iPhone, the identity of the suspect was revealed after scanning the stickers. The information was provided to the Bay County Sheriff’s deputy, who responded to the suspect’s house. At the residence, the deputy obtained a confession and located the damaged ORV. Numerous charges are being sought by the Bay County SD.
CO Josh Russell was patrolling SGAs in Montcalm County when he heard a “Be on the Lookout” come over the radio for a vehicle all over the roadway and hitting mail boxes. The last known location of the vehicle was just south of CO Russell. CO Russell turned around and began heading south and located the vehicle stopped at an intersection. CO Russell made contact with the individual and noticed he was sweaty and was extremely red faced. After speaking to the subject, CO Russell determined the individual was having a diabetic episode. CO Russell called for an ambulance to check the individual out. EMS arrived on scene and was able to get the driver’s sugar level back to normal.
COs Jason King and Quincy Gowenlock were conducting a marine patrol on the Cass River during the walleye closure. While on patrol, the COs came across two subjects who were fishing with artificial lures. When contacted the subjects stated they were bass fishing. The COs informed them that it was illegal to use artificial lures in that area during the closure for walleye. The subjects stated they called the DNR office and asked if bass season was year-round, which they were told it was. The COs explained that while bass fishing is year-round, anglers still needed to abide by seasonal gear restrictions. The subjects were issued citations for the use of artificial lures during the closure.
While on patrol in Sanilac County, CO Mark Siemen stopped two young kids riding trail bikes on the roadway in the village of Applegate. CO Siemen stopped the bikes for not having ORV licenses and spoke with the two kids and asked where their parents were. CO Siemen followed the kids home and spoke with the parents about operating ORVs underage on the roadway and not having ORV licenses. Warnings were given to the parents for these violations.
CO John Person and PCO Adam Schiller were checking on a vehicle left on the side of the roadway when they noticed a large recreational vehicle (RV) blocking the roadway approximately a half of a mile in front of them. The COs approached the RV and were told by the owner that he was trying to back out of his driveway when he backed partially into the ditch. The COs assisted the tow company by blocking the roadway so the RV could be removed from the ditch. The RV was removed and parked back at the owner’s residence.
CO Dan Robinson was patrolling the south part of Isabella County in a marked department ORV when he witnessed a four-wheeler take off suddenly and head north at a high rate of speed. The CO followed the vehicle until a stop could safely be made. While following the vehicle the operator was witnessed weaving across the road, ran several stop signs, and was traveling at a high rate of speed. The operator did not look back to check his surroundings and did not realize he was being followed by CO Robinson for several miles. After getting next to the vehicle and signaling for the operator to stop, CO Robinson addressed the many issues present. An appearance ticket and several warnings were given.
CO Dan Robinson assisted other law enforcement units in Isabella County during a mid-April snowstorm. CO Robinson was the first law enforcement officer at a personal injury accident involving two badly damaged pick-up trucks and assisted as needed. He also was dispatched to a slide-off on US-127, where a driver had run off the highway and was stuck in the snow. In addition to the accidents he also backed-up MSP on an unknown/domestic situation.
CO Dan Robinson presented to a group of Central Michigan University students who were traveling through Isabella County as part of a geological studies course. The students were studying the Chippewa River specifically and taking measurements looking at natural water flow occurrences. CO Robinson was asked to meet them at one of the parks to discuss the role of conservation officers and the everyday tasks and experiences they might encounter. There were many good questions about the job and how the DNR works together to manage Michigan’s natural resources.
While patrolling in western Isabella County, COs Mike Haas and Josh Russell witnessed a truck driving erratically down a roadway. The COs caught up to the vehicle and paced the truck at approximately 80-miles per hour (mph) in a 55-mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted, and it was determined that the driver and passenger were in a heated argument and didn’t realize their excessive speed. A citation for violating the basic speed law was issued.
COs Mike Haas and Josh Russell were speaking with numerous anglers on the Saginaw River when they noticed two others in a small cove away from everyone else. The Saginaw River had gear restrictions in effect due to the walleye spawning season. The COs found that the two anglers were using illegal, artificial lures. The anglers stated that they were planning on throwing back any walleye that were caught. Citations were issued for fishing with restricted gear.
CO Carter Woodwyk received a RAP complaint of subjects operating ORVs on the roadway and trespassing through farmers’ fields in Allegan County. The complaint stated this was an on-going issue and stated it occurs nearly every evening and weekend days. CO Woodwyk conducted a stationary patrol in the area and within about 15 minutes witnessed an ORV trespassing through a planted farm field. CO Woodwyk figured out who the ORV operator was and located him at his residence nearby. The ORV operator was under 16 years of age, did not have an ORV safety certificate, and was not being supervised by an adult as required by law. A citation was issued for allowing youth to operate an ORV unsupervised.
CO Carter Woodwyk was about to check an angler fishing the Kalamazoo River when he heard an ORV operating on a snowmobile trail that was closed to ORV use in the Allegan SGA. CO Woodwyk stopped the ORV and the operator immediately stated that he knew he was not allowed to be on the trail and even thought he would get caught riding the trail. Throughout the contact, the suspect stated approximately ten more times that he knew he was not allowed to take his ORV on the snowmobile trail. Additionally, the suspect was not wearing a helmet while operating the ORV. A citation was issued for operating an ORV in a closed area.
CO Carter Woodwyk assisted the Allegan County SD and MSP with searching for a missing 9-year-old girl along the Lake Michigan shore line in Allegan County. The search was successful, and the girl was located at a residence a few miles away from the original location where she originally went missing.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling state land in Allegan County when he encountered a slow rolling vehicle. The vehicle stopped to speak with CO Schluckbier about target shooting in the state game area. During a check of his firearms, CO Schluckbier found a shotgun not secured in a case. CO Schluckbier educated the driver on the laws for transporting firearms. A citation was issued for the safety violation.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked angler activity in the Flat River. During one check, CO Beavers checked anglers fishing in the river where it crosses Long Lake Road. During his check, CO Beavers made contact with a subject who was sitting in a chair near the riverbank. The subject had a pole between his legs, sitting on a holder and next to him was a bag of tackle. CO Beavers asked to see licenses, and the subject stated he was just watching the pole, not fishing. CO Beavers asked who he was watching the pole for, since everyone in the area had one in their hand. CO Beavers then asked if the bag belonged to him and he stated yes. CO Beavers then asked once again if the pole, sitting between his legs with a line in the water, was his. The subject then admitted to fishing and not having a license. The subject was issued a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Justin Ulberg received a tip that a subject was observed fishing in a closed trout stream. CO Ulberg responded to the area and was able to observe the subject snag and keep a steelhead. CO Ulberg eventually contacted the angler and questioned him about the fish. The subject claimed the only reason he snagged the fish was because there was a fishing lure stuck in the fish’s back and he wanted to remove it. CO Ulberg pointed out that didn’t seem to be the case since he watched the subject place the fish on the bank of the stream. CO Ulberg issued the subject a citation for the violation. The subject was apparently upset with receiving the citation and proceeded in breaking his fishing pole into several pieces.
CO Travis Dragomer observed an individual fishing at the French Papermill Dam in Niles, Berrien County. The angler disregarded the fence and no trespassing signs that are to prohibit anyone from entering the location. CO Dragomer advised the individual of the safety issues at hand. A citation for recreational trespass was issued.
Sgt. Stephen Mooney and CO Kyle McQueer were patrolling St. Joseph County when they observed an individual standing next to a bucket, taking a fish off his hook. As CO McQueer stopped his patrol truck, Sgt. Mooney observed three other individuals fishing in the river next to the bridge. Sgt. Mooney and CO McQueer contacted the four anglers. After contacting the four anglers, Sgt. Mooney and CO McQueer counted 61 bluegills and a 16-inch bass inside the bucket. Three of the anglers could not produce the current year’s fishing license and the last individual was 16-years-old and was not required to have a fishing license. Three citations were issued, and 25 bluegills were returned to the 16-year-old since he was the only one allowed to legally possess the fish.
CO Pete Purdy and PCO Jaime Salisbury were on patrol in northern Livingston County. During their patrol the officers received a call from DNR dispatch in Lansing regarding a possible over-limit of walleye from the Detroit River. The information came in to the RAP hotline from an anonymous individual stating that three males were driving from Detroit to Grand Rapids via I-96 west, were pulling a boat and were in possession of over 80 walleyes. The COs began patrolling I-96 shortly after receiving the information from dispatch and ultimately observed the vehicle. The COs performed a traffic stop after observing the driver change lanes without using a turn signal. The COs had the driver step out of the vehicle and asked him to be honest about how many walleyes they had in their possession. The driver hung his head in a shameful way and stated, “too many.” The individuals in the vehicle all admitted to fishing earlier in the day and that they had all caught and kept too many fish. In total the three anglers were in possession of 80 walleyes, 65 over the daily limit. The COs issued the driver a citation for failing to use a turn signal and possessing an over-limit of walleye. The others were issued a citation for possessing an over-limit of walleye. Reimbursement for each fish over the legal limit is being sought as is license revocation through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman received a call from Branch County Central Dispatch about an injured owl in the city of Coldwater. Upon arriving on scene, CO Wellman noticed the great horned owl had an injured left wing and was having trouble flying. CO Wellman retrieved a coat from his patrol truck, snuck up behind the owl, and captured the injured bird. CO Wellman then met a rehabilitator from Eaton County and turned the injured bird over to her for rehabilitation.
CO Nick Wellman received a report of trespassing on a local landowner’s property after the landowner had checked his trail cameras and noticed several pictures of an individual hunting on the property. CO Wellman looked at the photos and asked around to see if anyone knew who the suspect was. Meanwhile, the landowner posted the pictures to social media asking for help in identifying the suspect. After a short time, the suspect called the Lansing CSC and explained that he had seen his pictures on Facebook and wanted to turn himself in. CO Wellman interviewed the suspect and identified several other misdemeanor violations along with recreational trespass. The man admitted to all the violations and a report will be sent to the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
While patrolling the Maple River at the Maple River SGA, CO Larn R. Strawn observed a person operating a 14-foot aluminum fishing boat after dark with no navigation lights. CO Strawn waited and watched the boat pull into the boat launch. CO Strawn contacted two people after they got out of the boat and were walking to their truck and trailer. He asked if they were fishing and one said “yes” and the other responded saying “no” they weren’t. CO Strawn explained the marine violations he observed and as he spoke with the operator it became apparent the subject was highly intoxicated. CO Strawn conducted a series of sobriety tests with the operator and ultimately arrested him for operating the vessel while intoxicated. The intoxicated operator was taken to the Clinton County jail and lodged for the offense.
CO Todd Thorn and PCO Nathan Beelman received a complaint about a video posted to YouTube involving an individual killing a mourning dove and eating it. The suspect found the injured dove outside of his home and brought it inside where he made a YouTube video that showed the dead bird after he used a knife to kill it. The subject then cooked the dove. The subject was interviewed, and a full confession was obtained. The video generated many complaints online and was eventually taken down from YouTube. The case is being reviewed by the Ingham County Prosecutor.
CO Katie Stawara assisted Shiawassee Animal Control where a nuisance animal control company was securing baby raccoons in live traps in order to use their distress calls as a lure to trap the mom. Interviews were conducted, and confessions obtained. Both the company owner and technician admitted to using this practice on multiple occasions. Evidence was seized, and a request for a warrant was submitted for prosecution of animal cruelty.
CO Joseph Deppen received a complaint of a man shooting a turkey off his porch in Macomb County. CO Deppen contacted the complainant on his way to the north end of the county. CO Deppen pulled into the subject’s address and found a male matching the description of the shooter sitting in the garage. Next to the man was a 20-gauge shotgun. CO Deppen interviewed the subject and secured the firearm in his patrol vehicle. The subject gave CO Deppen permission to search his property. CO Deppen found a large pile of turkey feathers and blood with tracks leading up to the residence. CO Deppen confronted the man about the evidence, and the subject said, “No, no there is no turkey here.” CO Deppen continued his search and found a hen turkey stuffed in a cardboard box outside the garage. The firearm, ammunition, and turkey were seized, and CO Deppen is seeking multiple charges including taking turkey in a closed season, shooting a non-bearded turkey during the spring hunt, and safety zone violations.
While on wildlife patrol in Macomb County, CO Joseph Deppen responded to a call over the radio of a female who just shot her boyfriend in a vehicle. CO Deppen was relatively close and headed toward the scene. As CO Deppen arrived on scene, deputies were securing the suspected shooter and the male subject was 200 yards north on the side of the road. CO Deppen and another deputy had the subject sit down and started first aid. The male sustained a gunshot wound just below his left armpit. The subject’s bleeding was controlled, and he stayed conscious and breathing as medical personnel arrived on scene. Paramedics took over and loaded the subject into an ambulance and he was taken to a local hospital for his injuries. CO Deppen cleared the scene and continued wildlife patrol.
While en-route from Grand Rapids, CO Joseph Deppen was passed by a vehicle at a high rate of speed. CO Deppen clocked the vehicle at 101-mph / 70-mph. A traffic stop was conducted. The driver had no license on him and said he was unaware of his speed. CO Deppen had the registered owner who had a valid driver’s license on her switch with the current driver and take control of the vehicle. The original driver was cited for speeding and released.
CO Raymond Gardner responded to a complaint about an injured deer that appeared to have had its antlers cut off. Upon arrival, CO Gardner saw the deer on the side of the road and contacted the complainant, who told him they thought the deer was dead until it lifted its head up while they were driving by. The complainant told CO Gardner that he noticed blood on the top off the deer’s head and thought the antlers had been cut off. CO Gardner then approached the deer and found that the antlers had not been cut off. CO Gardner found evidence that the deer had been struck by a vehicle and was slowly dying. CO Gardner dispatched the deer and removed it from the area.
While on patrol near Lake St. Clair, CO Kris Kiel and PCO Jesse Grzechowski observed a lone angler fishing and made contact. The COs discovered the man had live gobies in his bucket and was asked to reel in his lines. It was found that the angler was also using live gobies for bait. The COs also found a fish basket that contained a Smallmouth bass which the man admitted to keeping. The fish was seized, photographed, and released. A citation was written for possession of a Smallmouth bass during the catch and immediately release season and a warning was issued for possession/using live gobies.
While checking vessels in the mouth of the Detroit River, CO Kris Kiel and PCO Jesse Grzechowski checked a three man limit of walleye. One of the subjects failed to purchase a fishing license. His five walleyes were seized, and he received a citation for possession of fish without a license. Reimbursement will be sought.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Jesse Grzechowski received a RAP complaint of a wild turkey that was killed by a dog and a post was seen on Facebook asking if anyone wanted an early Thanksgiving dinner. The COs interviewed the dog owners and they admitted that the dog will kill anything that comes into the yard. The dog owners were not cooperative at all and would not give the COs the turkey or information on who it was given to. A report was written and will be submitted to the prosecutor for possession of a wild turkey during the closed season.
CO Kris Kiel and PCO Jesse Grzechowski worked two launches on the Detroit River. The COs checked well over 70 vessels on Easter Sunday. Two citations were written for taking an over-limit of walleye and one for possession of undersized walleye. Multiple verbal warnings were given for minor marine violations.
CO Ben Lasher stopped two ORVs riding down the middle of the road in St. Clair County, two citations were issued for failing to license ORVs.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers at Hellenberg Park in the City of Monroe when he contacted an angler who advised CO Ingersoll that he had left his fishing license at home. After checking the angler’s license history, it was determined that the angler did not purchase a fishing license for 2019, and it was also determined that the individual had three outstanding traffic warrants. The angler was cited for fishing without a license. The individual was also arrested and transferred over to Canton PD for his warrants.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll received a complaint that individuals were riding ORVs carelessly on Laginess Road in Monroe County. Monroe County is closed to ORV use on the roadways. While talking to the complainant CO Ingersoll observed the two individuals driving down Laginess Road and CO Ingersoll initiated a traffic stop. CO Ingersoll advised the two individuals that they were not allowed to ride their ORVs on the roadways in Monroe County. CO Ingersoll also advised both individuals that they needed to have their ORVs licensed and to be wearing a helmet. CO Ingersoll issued a citation to both individuals for failure to license ORV and issued warnings to both for failure to wear a helmet and operate ORVs on roadway.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers at Hellenberg Park in the City of Monroe when he was watching an angler fish from shore. After watching the angler for a little while CO Ingersoll contacted the angler. The angler stated he had just got there and was not fishing yet. CO Ingersoll advised the individual that he was watching him fish for the last ten minutes and asked to see his fishing license. The angler did not realize CO Ingersoll was watching and advised the CO that he did not have his license yet. CO Ingersoll issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Dave Schaumburger received an anonymous complaint that two anglers had posted a limit of walleye in the morning on social media and were both out fishing again in the evening. The CO found the angler's vehicle parked at a boat ramp and waited for the pair to return. When the pair returned, the CO counted 25 walleyes for the five people fishing, including the two anglers from the morning. The CO separated the anglers and interviewed them where one of the anglers admitted to taking two limits. The angler that admitted to taking an over-limit of walleye was the same angler that CO Schaumburger had caught with 46 walleyes among three anglers in 2016. A report will be written and submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
CO Joseph Deppen, CO Kris Kiel and CO Dave Schaumburger all received different complaints of a pair of anglers who were taking multiple fishing trips and subsequently taking over their limits of walleye. COs Schaumburger, Danielle Zubek and Keven Luther set up surveillance in an unmarked vehicle and sat from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Easter Sunday watching the anglers. The anglers returned from their first fishing trip at 10:20 a.m. with 10 walleyes, left for 15 minutes, and returned for a second trip. The anglers returned from their second trip at 1:30 p.m. with an additional eight walleye. The anglers did not return for their third and final trip until 5:35 p.m. and they returned form that trip with 12 walleyes. COs Kiel, Brad Silorey and PCO Jesse Grzechowski contacted both anglers who hung their heads and confessed to taking three trips and 30 walleyes between the two of them. Their phones were seized to gain further evidence and a report will be written and submitted to the prosecutor’s office for a warrant request. To top things off, as the COs were leaving, they noticed a “Report All Poaching” bumper sticker on the suspects dashboard.
While conducting a group patrol on Easter Sunday along the Detroit River, COs Chris Knights, Dan Walzak and Sgt. Damon Owens contacted several walleye anglers down river. CO Walzak asked to see licenses from a vessel with three anglers aboard. One of the anglers produced a 2018 license and when told that the license was expired responded that he thought that the license was good until June. A check through dispatch confirmed that the subject had not yet purchased anything for 2019 and the subject was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Justin Muehlhauser observed a group of anglers at the Holloway Dam. It quickly became apparent that each member of the party was violating the Flint River gear restrictions. During the spawning runs, no artificial bait can be used downstream of the Holloway Dam. The CO made contact and noticed that there was a Largemouth bass on a stringer. One of the anglers claimed responsibility for the fish and said that they were just keeping it to see who would catch the biggest fish. The CO explained that once the fish is placed on a stringer it has been reduced to the angler’s possession. Fortunately, the fish was released unharmed. Each angler was cited for using artificial bait during the closed season.
Det. Trey Luce of the Environmental Investigation Unit (EIU), contacted a Menominee County property owner who stated that someone had crossed over onto his property, causing significant damage to a section of his land. The owner surveyed the scene the next day and confirmed that the damages were in fact on his property. Menominee County Sheriff’s responded to the scene. The Deputy interviewed the owner and adjacent property owner and determined the neighbor was the responsible party. The neighbor claimed he had been out cutting firewood and got lost, not realizing that he had crossed onto his neighbor’s property. The Sheriff’s Department told the complainant that it was a civil matter and that he would have to file a claim. The complainant reached out to EIS for assistance due to the damage being caused in a wetland. A site visit by EIS and Department of Environmental Quality staff was conducted and determined the scene to be a violation of Parts 301 and 303 of NREPA. A confession was obtained regarding the damage done, which consisted of 0.7 acres of damaged forested wetlands and two damaged stream crossings of Boyle Creek. The damage was a result of operating a bulldozer and excavator in the wetland without a permit or permission from the landowner. Two charges were filed with the Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney for the damages caused. The following were the charges filed: Dredge/Fill wetland without a permit and Interfere with natural flow of stream. The suspect plead guilty to one count of a Wetlands Violation under Part 303. The Part 301 charge was dismissed as a part of the plea agreement. He was sentenced to $525.00 fines and costs. As a result, this case will be closed.
Lt. Erick Thorson reports that in May 2015, the Chesaning/Brady Fire Department in Saginaw County responded to an unattended fire burning in a rural area. Upon arrival, they found an older residence that was being demolished was burning. The fire was visible from 2 miles away. The 28-year-old owner of the property told firefighters that he was demolishing the residence to put up a double wide home on the site to rent out. The owner said he was currently living in Arizona. The Chesaning/Brady Fire Chief contacted EIS to file a complaint. The completed investigation was forwarded to the Saginaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A misdemeanor complaint and warrant for Illegal Disposal of Solid Waste 324.11506 was authorized in July 2015. EIS contacted the suspect in Arizona and advised him of the outstanding warrant. The suspect advised he would take care of the warrant when he comes back to visit family in Michigan in December of 2015, which he failed to do. In December 2018, the suspect was arrested for the outstanding warrant in Eaton County. The suspect entered a guilty plea in Saginaw County Court in February 2019 and a fine of $325 was assessed. The case is now closed.