Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officers (CO) Zach Painter and Ethen Mapes were on patrol in Ontonagon County and observed four ORVs with multiple violations. The COs attempted to stop the ORVs and one of them fled. CO Painter pursued the ORV and observed beer cans in both occupant’s cup holders and watched the passenger drink from hers. CO Painter pursued the ORV approximately one-half mile until it went around a locked gate with several no trespassing signs and flipped CO Painter off as they drove away. CO Mapes had the other three ORVs stopped and learned the identity of the operator of the ORV that fled. He learned that they were all going to a camp nearby. The COs went to the camp with the rest of the group and waited for the subject who fled to return. Not long after they arrived, the subject pulled into the camp yard. The COs made contact and noticed several signs of impairment. CO Painter ran the subject through standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) which led to the arrest of the subject for operating an ORV under the influence of an intoxicating liquor. Citations were also issued for ORV trespass, open intoxicants, and fail to license ORV. A report has been forwarded to the Ontonagon County Prosecutor’s Office for review and charges of flee and elude.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and responded to an officer calling for backup on a Department of Health and Human Safety assist. While assisting, CO Painter was shown a pet grey squirrel in a cage by one of the children in the home. CO Painter asked the child how he got the squirrel and he stated that he was outside one day, and the squirrel just started crawling on him. CO Painter removed the squirrel from the home and released it in the woods. A warning was issued to the mother for having the squirrel in captivity.
CO Ethen Mapes received a complaint about possible set lines from docks and people keeping walleye during closed season on Lake Gogebic. The complainant stated that it was happening in the middle of the night. COs Mapes and Zach Painter patrolled the area of the complaint via boat and found the set lines. The COs watched the dock from a distance and watched two subjects check their set lines. Both subjects had fish on their lines but one broke off. The anglers put their lines away and brought the walleye up to their cabin. Upon contact, one of the subjects had just finished cleaning the walleye. The anglers were issued citations for taking walleye during closed season and fishing without a license.
COs Byron Parks and Ethen Mapes were patrolling Lake Gogebic the evening before the opener of walleye season. During their patrol, the COs observed what looked to be two fishing poles set out on a dock with nobody in sight. The COs continued past the dock in order to watch the fishing poles from a distance and see if someone comes to attend them. After a short wait, the COs decided to approach the dock. When they arrived, still nobody came over to the fishing poles. A few minutes later two subjects that the COs already checked out on the lake walked down the dock. CO Mapes asked whose fishing poles these were, the subjects stated that the poles belonged to the owner of the property, and that he was not home. CO Mapes then asked where he was, and they stated that he went to town to buy more fishing lures. About 10 minutes later a car pulled up to the property. The owner of the property got out of the car and came down to the dock. The subject immediately admitted that he left his fishing lines out while he went to buy lures. CO Mapes remembered the subject because he wrote him a couple years prior for the same violation. The COs cited the subject again for fishing with lines not in immediate control.
CO Ethen Mapes witnessed a boat operating after sunset on Lake Gogebic. Upon contact the operator was originally understanding but quickly became irritated along with another belligerent occupant of the boat. The operator was issued a civil infraction for operating a vessel after sunset without navigation lights.
CO Zach Painter trapped a nuisance bear in Gogebic County near the city of Ironwood. The bear was taken and released in a more rural part of the county.
Sgt. Brian Bacon contacted anglers during the opening morning of the walleye season, many fish where being caught and anglers where happy to be catching fish and be out of the house. One warning was given for no fishing license in possession, COVID-19 social distancing, and one nonresident traveling into Michigan. One angler was cited for undersized walleye, being an inch under the minimal size limit and another was issued a warning for no watercraft MC numbers.
Sgt. Brian Bacon responded to a capsized boat on an inland lake in Dickinson County. Sgt. Bacon was pulling off an area lake when a 911 call was received by Dickinson County dispatch of a small aluminum boat that was capsized. A county deputy and Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper also responded. The deputy was able to get a fishing vessel to assist, the deputy, Sgt. Bacon and Trooper Floriano located the overturned vessel. The vessel still was still at anchor and had fishing equipment still under the boat along with a personal floatation device (PFD). Officers were able to identify the equipment with a fishing license that was in a plastic bag that was recovered. Officers where on scene removing the vessel and equipment while a trooper contacted the wife at the residence. The wife of the victim had been contacted by the husband and he was able to swim to shore and was safe but left the area to go get help to recover the boat. The victim had lost his balance and fell overboard; high winds made it impossible for him to overturn the vessel.
COs Jeffrey Dell and Corporal (Cpl.) Brett DeLonge received information regarding a boat taking on water in Lake Michigan. CO Dell and Cpl. DeLonge where at the Marina at the time and were able to locate the vessel and check on the boaters. Due to strong winds the officers were able to escort the boat back to the harbor under its own power.
CO Jared Ferguson was patrolling the Ford River for trout anglers when he came across two young kids fishing at the Ralph Bridge. CO Ferguson checked their creel and found they were in possession of two Northern pike. CO Ferguson addressed to the kids that Northern pike season is not open for a couple days. CO Ferguson went back to his truck and grabbed his 2020 fishing guide and showed them how to look up season dates for different species of fish. Afterwards the fish were released, and warnings were given.
CO Jared Ferguson patrolled the Groveland Mine ponds addressing the Governor’s Executive Order (EO). Multiple warnings were given for fail to social distance and camping on state land.
CO Shannon Kritz was checking anglers on Lake Michigan when she observed two people fishing. CO Kritz approached the anglers and asked for their fishing licenses. One angler was able to produce his fishing license. The second angler told CO Kritz that he did not have his license on him. CO Kritz asked the angler if he had purchased his 2020 fishing license, and he assured her that he did. CO Kritz verified this information through dispatch and found out it had been over a year since the angler had purchased a license. CO Kritz relayed this information to the angler who happened to just remember that he did not purchase his license yet this year. He was cited for fishing without a license.
CO Anna Viau assisted an Iron River officer with the recovery of two stolen dirt bikes. The bikes had been stolen from the front porch of an Iron River residence a week prior. A property owner had discovered the bikes had been discarded on his property near the city. The two officers returned the bikes to their owner, who was very grateful.
CO Jeffrey Dell observed two subjects fishing on a Michigan River. When they noticed the CO, both stopped fishing and walked to a picnic table. When asked for licenses both subjects produced Wisconsin fishing licenses and claimed they believed they were fishing boundary waters. Both subjects were cited for fishing without a license.
CO Jared Ferguson contacted an ORV operating along a forest roadway that did not have a valid ORV license attached. The operator was adamant that he purchased an ORV license hours before going for a ride. CO Ferguson gave the subject the benefit of the doubt because of purchasing ORV licenses and COVID-19 issues. CO Ferguson followed up three days later. The subject still had no licensees purchased for ORV. CO Ferguson contacted the subject and issued a civil infraction for fail to license an ORV.
CO Josh Boudreaux was talking with a pair of anglers prior to starting his shift on the walleye opener in Marquette County. After talking about fishing for a bit and learning the two have had a productive morning catching many walleye, one of the anglers asked CO Boudreaux if he had seen the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) out on the lake yet today. CO Boudreaux, who was not in uniform yet, replied that he hadn’t. The two men thanked him and continued fishing nearby. CO Boudreaux thought there was something “fishy” about the pair based on their “DNR presence” question, so he quickly grabbed his badge and hopped into his canoe, wanting to check the pair before they got any further away. Upon contacting the two anglers it was discovered that in addition to the eight walleye they had caught they also had a Smallmouth bass in possession which was out of season. The fish was photographed and released back into the water and the angler was issued a citation for possessing a smallmouth bass out of season.
CO John Kamps pulled into a gas station for fuel and was approached by an individual. The individual stated that three guys walked out of the gas station with a case of beer, opened two of them, and drove off. The CO obtained a description of the vehicle and was able to catch up to it several miles down the road. CO Kamps observed their driving behavior and pulled the vehicle over for tailgating and going 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. Upon the stop it was determined the complainant was correct and there was open beer in the vehicle. Additionally, CO Kamps determined that all the passengers were from different states and traveling to Copper Harbor on vacation. CO Kamps issued the driver a citation for the traffic infractions and notified all three passengers that they would need to return home for violating Covid-19 laws.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when a call of a small brush fire came out on the radio. CO Smith responded to the scene locating multiple locals directing him to the blaze. Upon seeing the fire CO Smith estimated it had already burned through a few acres of woods. CO Smith requested dispatch of DNR Fire as he began fighting the fire with locals until Arvon Township Fire Department showed up. Upon arrival of trucks from Arvon Fire, CO Smith assisted with dragging a hose through the woods so they could extinguish the fire. DNR Fire arrived and was able to cut a road around it with their dozer containing the fire at six acres. After talking to the property owner, the blaze is suspected to have been lit by a pair of young males that were observed fleeing the scene. The day before there was also a smaller brush fire suspiciously lit at the mouth of the Huron River. Both are under investigation and the public has been asked to provide tips about the suspects.
CO Smith was on patrol when a Be On the Lookout (BOL) for a vehicle came out. The Ford Ranger containing the owner’s dog was stolen from the Holiday gas station in L’Anse Michigan. Shortly after the call, a Baraga Police Department car located the vehicle travelling on US 41. Upon activation of emergency lights, the suspect started to flee in the vehicle and a pursuit was engaged through the city of Baraga. Shortly after, a Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Tribal car, Baraga County deputy and L’Anse Police Department joined in the pursuit traveling Southbound on US 41 toward Marquette County. As CO Smith neared L’Anse the suspect decided to turn the stolen vehicle around heading back toward L’Anse. CO Smith assisted a deputy in stopping southbound traffic as the pursuit came north. After the pursuit passed CO Smith, he followed to give assistance. The pursuit continued north past the city of Baraga until the suspect attempted to turn down an old two-track, losing control of the stolen vehicle. The stolen vehicle was then pinned between a tree and a patrol vehicle as they fled into the woods. L’Anse Village, Baraga City, Baraga County deputies, KBIC Tribal, MSP K9, and CO Smith assisted with the apprehension of the fleeing suspect without incident. The vehicle was towed, and the owner’s dog was returned unharmed.
COs Robert Freeborn and Andrea Dani patrolled Lake Superior by boat between Munising and Deerton. While checking two anglers in Trout Bay, CO Freeborn observed a seventh fishing rod with a baited line laying low in the stern of the boat. The owner of the seventh rod was issued a citation for fishing more than three lines.
COs Mark Zitnik and Andrea Dani patrolled Lake Superior by boat between Munising and Grand Marais. Near Grand Marais, the COs observed a boat with a single angler and four rods and planer boards being utilized. The angler was issued a citation for fishing more than three lines.
CO Mark Zitnik received a complaint of dispersed camping along the Sucker River. CO Zitnik responded to the complaint in Grand Marais and spoke with the campers. The CO informed them that camping was not allowed at the time due to a portion of the Governor’s EO to stay-at-home. They responded that they were aware, but they thought they might get away with it. The campers prepared to leave in the morning.
CO Michael Evink responded to a complaint from Indian Lake State Park personnel. The complaint stated that someone had driven around barricades and camped in the closed state park. Once on-scene CO Evink contacted a vehicle pulling a trailer. The driver stated that she was a traveling nurse who had been working in New York City in support of the COVID-19 situation. She was in the process of traveling to her next nursing assignment on the West Coast. She felt that the state park was a safer spot than a truck stop parking lot. CO Evink issued a warning for camping while the state park was closed.
CO Steve Butzin was on ORV patrol in Delta County when he encountered several violations. These violations included, an individual operating a motor vehicle on the Escanaba to Hermansville Trail, an individual who made a fraudulent ORV permit and trail permit, and one minor operating an ORV without supervision. The minor and his parents were neighbors to another minor who CO Butzin had went on a serious ORV accident to just the previous week, who was also found to be operating without supervision. All three individuals were cited.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol when he received a complaint from Delta County Central Dispatch of a fire that had escaped onto a neighbor’s property. CO Butzin went to the location and found that the individual’s debris fire escaped onto two of his neighbor’s properties. CO Butzin was at this residence almost a year ago and warned the individual that is was dangerous to be burning where he was. The individual did not believe it was a big deal as he always has a garden hose ready. Escanaba Township Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire. A report is being submitted to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office requesting the charge of failing to prevent the spread of fire.
CO Robert Freeborn received a complaint of an enclosed trailer on a remote section of beach on Lake Superior. CO Freeborn was able to determine that the trailer belonged to a local construction company that was installing a foot bridge for the North County Pathway Trail System. The company stated it got snowed in last fall and were waiting for load restrictions to lift so they can retrieve it.
COs Robert Freeborn and Steve Butzin received a complaint of a dead eagle near a camp. The COs located the eagle which appeared to have died of natural causes. The eagle was turned over to Wildlife Division.
CO Robert Freeborn was on routine patrol in a remote area of Schoolcraft County where he was checking a few camps in the area that have had issues with Trespassing and Malicious Destruction of Property in the past. Upon arrival it was determined that the gate on the driveway had been damaged and pulled from the ground and all the trail cameras have been shut off and cards removed. CO Freeborn called the camp owner who was grateful for the camp check and advised he would be up to check everything out further.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on marine patrol on the walleye opener. As the COs approached a boat with four lines out and only one angler on board, the angler quickly grabbed a line and began reeling it up. The COs advised him it was a little too late and the angler received a citation for fish more than three lines.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when they were dispatched to a stranded vessel on Lake Michigan. The COs were able to locate the stranded vessel with three anglers on board. The COs towed the vessel back safely to a boat launch despite the windy and wavy conditions.
CO Colton Gelinas received a call from a DNR fire officer referencing an illegal burn in Mackinac County. CO Gelinas responded to the fire where he discovered the landowner burning illegal debris, as well as failing to obtain a burn permit for that day. CO Gelinas issued a citation for failing to obtain a burn permit and a verbal warning was given for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Colton Gelinas responded to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint in Mackinac County for a report of illegal taking of fox. CO Gelinas arrived on scene and talked to a complainant who stated their neighbor intentionally filled in an active fox den. CO Gelinas located the fox den and observed the fox den to be open and fox tracks around.
COs Justin Vinson, Cole VanOosten, Colton Gelinas, and Sgt. Calvin Smith worked a timber theft complaint in southern Luce County. The COs contacted the suspect while cutting trees down on state land. The COs interviewed two other suspects and several witnesses. All three suspects admitted to cutting standing timber without a timber permit on state land. Three reports were taken and are awaiting review by the Luce County Prosecutor.
CO Justin Vinson worked several inland lakes in western Luce County during the Upper Peninsula’s (UP) walleye opener. Fishing was slow but several anglers were out, and only minor violations were found with warnings issued.
CO Mike Olesen was on routine patrol and checking a river in Chippewa County when he came across an angler that was quickly jerking his lure across the top of spawning steelhead. CO Olesen observed the activity for approximately 15 minutes prior to contacting the angler. CO Olesen contacted the angler, and upon further investigation and interview, it was determined that the angler had retained one foul hooked fish that he currently had in his possession. The angler was issued a citation for possessing a fish that was not hooked in the mouth.
CO Mike Olesen patrolled Chippewa County for the opening of walleye and pike season in the UP. CO Olesen checked Munuscong Bay, Charlotte River, and Tahquamenon River for angler activity. Results showed a slow start to the fishing season with a few boats having expired registrations. Due to COVID-19, warnings were issued to the expired boat registrations.
CO Mike Olesen patrolled ORV trails along the Lake Superior shoreline. During the patrol CO Olesen encountered many groups of ORV riders. Riders were checked for proper equipment and ORV licenses. Groups that were gathering at locations and not adhering to social distancing rules were warned about the EO restrictions.
CO Todd Sumbera responded to a call from central dispatch of an assault with a deadly weapon. CO Sumbera arrived first on scene to find the victim alone; MSP troopers arrived shortly after. The victim stated that he checked on some property and, when seeing an individual, he backed out, later to be flagged down by that same individual who got out of his vehicle and proceeded to peer into the victim’s vehicle. The victim opened his driver side door to grab his cellphone when doing so the subject held him at gunpoint, the victim explained he was calling 911. The subject hit the victim in the back of the head with the butt of his pistol and fled the scene. While gathering information from the witness a green colored vehicle was travelling northbound toward CO Sumbera and the troopers. The victim identified this vehicle as the subject that assaulted him. CO Sumbera and the troopers managed to stop the vehicle and detain the suspect for further investigation. The suspect was taken into custody by MSP and is facing several charges.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when he observed a vehicle without a license plate speed away from an access site. A traffic stop was conducted, and, upon initial contact, CO VanOosten could smell an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Standardized field sobriety tests were conducted on the individual to determine if he was safe to drive. A ticket was issued for operating a vehicle without insurance and a warning was given for operating an unregistered vehicle.
CO Andrea Erratt lead a surprise 50th birthday party parade for an East Jordan Middle School teacher who lives near Horton Bay.
CO Andrea Albert investigated several wildfires during the dry windy weather in Antrim County. One subject who decided to burn cardboard boxes in his fire ring during windy conditions ended up burning about half an acre of grasslands and woodlot. The fire department was called to extinguish the wildfire and a ticket was issued for allowing fire to escape.
CO Duane Budreau is investigating a land/water complaint with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Detective Chris Bowen where a subject in Bay Harbor has manipulated the shoreline and choked off an inlet mouth to a small tributary that is filled with steelhead. The fish have become trapped in the small stream making them easy targets for predation, mainly eagles.
CO Duane Budreau has been working with the Oden Fish Hatchery on trying to identify what they believe to be young boys sneaking onto the property from Conway Commons. At first the subjects were simply leaving some plastic bottles behind that they had been shooting at with airsoft guns, but this past week they have graduated to spray paint and decided to spray paint graffiti on several trees, some pipes and a pumphouse on state property.
CO Adam LeClerc received a call from Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet (CCE) Dispatch asking for assistance with a truck and trailer that had been lost in the Cheboygan River. The truck was launching a boat when it slipped out of park and was sent into the river. CO LeClerc gave guidance to the Cheboygan City Police officer handling the scene. The truck had travelled approximately 1,200 feet down river when divers found it the following day. It was removed from the water with the assistance from the local dive team and wrecker service.
CO Adam LeClerc was returning from a sturgeon protection shift on the Black River, when a call came over central dispatch of a breaking and entering in progress in Indian River. CO LeClerc backed up Tuscarora Township Police and searched for a suspect. After interviewing the renter, it was determined the suspect was on the lease and had permission to be there but had recently moved out.
CO Chad Baldwin participated in a drive-by birthday parade for a young boy in Charlevoix County. Multiple units from the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office, fire department, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indian Conservation Officers, and many friends and family of the birthday boy also joined the parade.
CO Chad Baldwin investigated a complaint involving a seasonal resident who had just returned home from Florida and found that his house had been shot multiple times with a firearm. CO Baldwin traced the bullet holes on the exterior of the home through several walls and into the garage. The rounds had passed directly through the entryway of the home and CO Baldwin was able to locate one slug lodged in a piece of wooden trim. The complaint is ongoing.
Sgt. William Webster patrolled the Chandler Hills area contacting many individuals out looking for mushrooms. No one was finding any. During the patrol, he warned two camping parties for dispersed camping during the EOs.
CO Sidney Collins responded to a land fire. A nearby homeowner admitted to setting trash and several household items on fire in his burn pit then walking inside, not attending the fire. When the subject noticed a vehicle in the driveway, he came out with a weapon to find a local fire officer notifying him of the fire. The subject was written a ticket for failure to prevent spread of fire and was given verbal warnings for burning on a no permit day and burning household items.
CO Sidney Collins stopped several ORVs for minor violations. Verbal warnings were given for wrong placement of ORV stickers, no license on person, and no ORV safety permit.
CO Sidney Collins responded to a dirt bike accident. The subject was scratched up and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. While interviewing other subjects at the scene, it was found that two other ORV riders had suspended drivers’ licenses. Both were issued tickets for driving without a license. Their dirt bikes were towed, and they were given a ride back to their cabin.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he overheard radio traffic on the DNR fire frequency about a yard fire close to his location. CO Liestenfeltz responded and was first to arrive on scene. CO Liestenfeltz observed the fire being extremely close to the house and was continuing to grow very rapidly. CO Liestenfeltz contacted the homeowners who were asleep at the time and had no idea their yard was on fire. After making contact, CO Liestenfeltz went to the back of the house where he noticed the flames were underneath the porch and were very close to catching the home on fire. CO Liestenfeltz was able to put out that area of the fire before causing too much damage to the home. It was determined that the individuals inside the home had been burning trash in a barrel and did not feel the need to watch it. A ticket was issued for failing to prevent the spread of fire.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was checking anglers along the Thunder Bay River in Atlanta when he observed one of the younger subjects put down his fishing pole when he saw the CO. After making contact, the subject stated he had a fishing license, but did not have it on him. After doing a license check, it was determined that the subject never had a fishing license. After having a long discussion with the young subject explaining that honesty goes a long way, a ticket was issued for fishing without license in possession.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he observed a quad driving towards him down the middle of the road and the operator did not have a helmet on. CO Liestenfeltz turned around to stop the ORV and right before he initiated the stop, the ORV drove into the left-hand turn lane of the road for approximately 100 yards passing three vehicles and running other vehicles off the roadway. CO Liestenfeltz was eventually able to stop the ORV and it was determined that the operator was also lacking his ORV licenses. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject tickets for operating an ORV on a public highway, carless operation of an ORV, no helmet, and no ORV license.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Briley Township in Montmorency County when he observed a quad drive past him with two people on it. CO Liestenfeltz stopped the ORV and it was determined that the operator was operating on a suspended license. CO Liestenfeltz issued the operator a ticket for riding double and a written warning for driving on a suspended license. The passenger of the ORV drove them away from the scene.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a small brush fire in Montmorency Township. It was determined that a subject had been burning in a poorly contained fire pit and the fire escaped causing damage to the subject’s property and adjacent state land. CO Liestenfeltz issued the subject a ticket for failing to prevent the spread of fire.
COs Jessie Curtis and Jon Sheppard responded to a complaint of an overturned kayak in the Thunder Bay River. Two juveniles had occupied the kayak. The COs picked up their patrol boats and were preparing to launch when they were advised that the juveniles had made it back to their parents safely.
CO Jessie Curtis assisted Alpena County Sheriff’s deputies with a personal injury crash. CO Curtis rendered first aid and assisted with traffic control.
CO Jessie Curtis investigated a complaint of a possible captive fawn. CO Curtis arrived on scene along with Alpena County Animal Control and determined that no fawn or deer was being held captive. However, the subject possessed nearly 100 cats in the residence. CO Curtis assisted animal control officers with removal and transportation of the cats to the local animal control shelter.
CO Jessie Curtis assisted MSP troopers in Alpena with a fugitive apprehension. The subject was successfully located and arrested on outstanding warrants.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint in Alpena County of a subject taking a squirrel out of season and hunting within a safety zone. CO Curtis investigated the scene and was able to contact the suspect. The individual confessed to shooting the squirrel out of season and within a safety zone. In addition, the subject did not have a valid hunting license. Charges are being submitted to the prosecutor’s office for the violations.
CO Jon Sheppard was on patrol when he observed an ORV operating on the roadway. The operator was not wearing a helmet and did not have valid ORV registration stickers. A traffic stop was made, and the operator was contacted. A ticket was issued for failing to wear a helmet and a warning was given for failing to license the ORV.
CO Jon Sheppard received a complaint near the Lafarge Plant regarding two dead beavers that had been found. CO Sheppard investigated the animals but was unable to determine a cause of death.
CO Jon Sheppard was on patrol when he observed an ORV travelling down the roadway. The ORV was not on the far-right side of the road and was exceeding the 25 mph speed limit. A traffic stop was made, and the operator was warned for the violations.
CO Jon Sheppard was on patrol when he observed a vehicle roll through a stop sign. A traffic stop was made, and the occupants were contacted. Further investigation revealed that the subjects were in possession of two firearms in the vehicle. The firearms were unloaded and cased, but one of the cases was not fully closed. CO Shepperd educated the subject about the casing requirements.
CO Jon Sheppard assisted an MSP trooper in Alpena County with a horse that had gotten loose. The CO and trooper prevented the horse from wandering into traffic and helped get the horse back to its owner.
CO Jon Sklba was patrolling the Tower Pond area when he observed a subject fishing from shore. CO Sklba contacted the angler who did not expect to be checked. Upon investigation, it was found that the subject was also littering and smoking marijuana in public. A ticket was issued.
CO Jon Sklba was patrolling the Black River in Cheboygan County when he observed a subject fishing in a closed section of the river. Contact was made with the individual who was unaware that portion of the river was closed. CO Sklba advised the subject that several signs were posted of the spawning closure in that portion of the river as well as in the fishing guide. A ticket was issued for fishing in a closed stream.
CO William Kinney received a recreational trespass complaint from a property owner in Grand Traverse County. The property owner had obtained a trail camera photo of an individual in full camouflage carrying a firearm onto his property. The turkey hunter was interviewed several days later, and a confession was obtained for the trespass. It was also discovered the individual had been hunting on that date and time without a license. A warrant request is being submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review.
CO Amanda McCurdy participated in a training course held by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department Marine Division. This training was conducted on Suttons Bay and focused on the retrieval of conscious and unconscious victims from the water. Leelanau County COs work very closely with the marine division, which is comprised of a new team of deputies this year. The training provided exposure and practice with various types of retrieval equipment and was also a valuable opportunity to establish a relationship with the new marine division.
CO Patrick McManus was patrolling state land for ORV activity when he noticed a pickup truck parked in the middle of the road impeding the flow of traffic. When CO McManus approached the truck, he observed the driver quickly hiding objects in the vehicle by using other items to cover their location and identity. As soon as CO McManus contacted the driver, he could smell a strong odor of burned marijuana and could see the side of a beer can located in the center console of the truck. Eventually the operator admitted to recently smoking marijuana while operating his vehicle and had just started to drink his first beer of the day. CO McManus verified the operator was not intoxicated by either the marijuana or alcohol. A citation was issued for the open intoxicants in a motor vehicle. Current recreational marijuana regulations were reviewed with the driver.
COs Patrick McManus and Justin Vanderlinde contacted a large dispersed camp on state land with several members of the group visiting from various spots around Michigan, throughout the Midwest, and as far away as California. All the occupants of the camp were either turkey hunting locally or riding their ORVs along the recreational trails which are closed to ORV use in this area. None of the occupants possessed a camp permit for state land use, nor researched the land use laws stating that dispersed camping had closed the day they arrived. Furthermore, one of the subjects possessed a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) permit and pistol but did not disclose it to the COs until CO McManus asked if any of them were carrying any weapons at that time. All the subjects were also violating three separate EO rules including: social distancing guidelines, non-essential travel ban, and dispersed camping closure. The COs issued citations for the CPL violation, as well as camping on state land without permits. The group was warned on the EO violations, asked to clean up their campsite, and return to their homes around the Midwest.
CO Troy Ludwig was speaking with kayakers in the Mesick area when he heard an ORV coming off Consumers Energy property. The rider came off Consumers property after crossing through a stream and wetland area and entered onto the roadway without stopping at a high rate of speed. The CO contacted the rider who had a suspended driver’s license. The rider was cited for carless operation of an ORV and operating an ORV in a stream/wetland. The rider received multiple warning for other violations.
CO Justin Vanderlinde was one of four vehicles stopped waiting for the lead vehicle to turn left when a vehicle towing a trailer passed all four vehicles on the right-hand side driving halfway into the ditch to do so. CO Vanderlinde stopped the vehicle and when confronted, the driver stated that he thought there has a small turn lane there. CO Vanderlinde then proceeded to thoroughly explain traffic laws pertaining to passing on the right, the driver interrupted “Ok, ok, you got me.” Enforcement action taken.
CO Justin Vanderlinde responded to a complaint of distressed boaters on Crystal Lake. The complainant reported that two people in a rowboat had gotten caught by winds and were being blown out into the middle of Crystal Lake. Upon responding to the location, CO Vanderlinde located the complainant standing on shore talking to the two people in the rowboat trying to keep them calm. CO Vanderlinde introduced himself to the complainant, who immediately asked what they should do to rescue the two people in the rowboat. CO Vanderlinde stated, “Ma’am, that boat is only 50 yards from shore, tell them to keep rowing.” Two minutes later the boat was on shore.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, responded to a report of an unconscious subject not breathing. CO Killingbeck was the first on scene and found a male subject who had agonal respirations and was unresponsive. Shortly after arriving on scene, the subject stopped breathing altogether. CO Killingbeck suspected drug use and administered Narcan. With the assistance of the Luther Fire Department, the subject was kept alive until EMS arrived. Just prior to EMS arriving, the subject suddenly began breathing on his own and began regaining consciousness. The subject was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
CO Steven Converse was checking Tippy Dam for compliance with the EO which closed the recreation area. CO Converse located a vehicle parked in the upper parking lot. CO Converse searched the area and located two subjects fishing within the closed recreation area. One of the subjects was found to be in possession of several undersize trout, and the other subject was fishing without a license. Both subjects were issued tickets for entering the recreation area while posted closed and for their respective fish violations.
While checking boats and anglers on Lake Michigan, CO Kyle Publiski observed a boat that appeared to have two anglers aboard. As CO Publiski approached the vessel, the CO could count ten lines actively fishing. Now alongside the boat, CO Publiski contacted the two anglers and asked about the four extra lines. One of the men stated it was their first trip of the season and they were stretching their lines out and were just about to pull the extra ones in as they were probably stretched. CO Publiski explained to the man unfortunately there is no exception in the law to allow for stretching of lines, especially when you have spoons with dipsy divers and planer boards attached. A ticket was issued for fishing with too many lines.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, was attempting to get his daily paperwork caught up when he had an ORV driving at a high rate of speed drive past him. CO Killingbeck got onto the roadway where the ORV was travelling and began following a trail of dust. CO Killingbeck observed from the tracks that the ORV was fishtailing as it went through curves. After five miles of following the ORV, CO Killingbeck was able to get the ORVs stopped. The lead ORV operator told CO Killingbeck that he had just purchased the ORV the day prior and was “having fun.” The subject told CO Killingbeck that his machine just “wants to go fast.” The subject admitted to driving over 90 mph and said he was surprised that CO Killingbeck had caught up to him. CO Killingbeck educated the subject on ORV regulations and a citation was issued for careless ORV operation.
While working in Ludington State Park, CO Kyle Publiski noticed a kayak on Hamlin Lake sitting low in the water. Upon further inspection, CO Publiski noticed the kayak had a trolling motor attached to the side of it and was trolling for fish. As the kayak made a turn to head back out into the lake, CO Publiski waved the subject to shore. CO Publiski contacted the subject and asked if he had a registration and a PFD for the kayak. The subject stated he did not know either were required. CO Publiski explained the importance of having the required floatation device, especially with all the extra weight on board his kayak. The subject received a citation for not having a PFD.
Patrolling for ORV violations in Lake County, CO Kyle Publiski located seven side-by-side ORVs operating in a closed area. Contact was made with the ORV operators, who stated the closed area looked like more fun to operate in. Upon running files, it was determined one of the operators also had a suspended driver license. Several citations were written for operating in a closed area, and the suspended driver was charged for operating an ORV with a suspended license.
CO Scott MacNeill was patrolling for ORV activity in Manistee County when he observed an ORV riding in a closed area. After trying to catch up to the ORV, it went down the powerline and was not until it began riding down the railroad tracks that CO MacNeill caught up to it. The violations that were observed included: operating with more riders than what the machine was designed for, no ORV license, ORV trespass, and operating an ORV in a closed township.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a report of illegal burning. CO Killingbeck arrived on scene and discovered that the subject was just having a large campfire. CO Killingbeck cleared, and the fire department was leaving as well, when CO Killingbeck was called back to the scene. CO Killingbeck returned and was informed that the subject had threatened great bodily harm to fire personnel. CO Killingbeck interviewed the subject who was angry and made it clear he does not like law enforcement or the fire department. The subject made statements about using his deer rifles on the fire department if they came back. CO Killingbeck collected statements and a report is being submitted to the Lake County Prosecutor.
CO Ben Shively responded to numerous fires in Oceana County with DNR Fire Division during high fire danger. Investigation at the scenes revealed that one was started by motor vehicle exhaust and another was arson. Evidence was gathered at the arson scene for follow up.
Sgt. Mike Bomay checked five young anglers, ages 13, 11, 9, 7, and 5, fishing from the roadway at a trout stream. Sgt. Bomay asked if they had caught any fish and the anglers said yes mostly Brook trout and one Brown trout. Sgt. Bomay asked the young anglers if they knew the size limit and how many you can keep. The oldest angler said we only catch and release but went on to tell Sgt. Bomay all the legal-size limits for trout, including that they do not catch Rainbows in this creek. Sgt. Bomay provided the young anglers DNR fish identification posters.
CO Jeff Ginn observed an ORV cross M-20 without coming to a complete stop. Upon contacting the juvenile operator, it was discovered the ORV did not have proper permits. The ORV had a slow-moving vehicle placard attached. CO Ginn warned the juvenile for the violations then responded to his residence to speak with the rider’s parents. CO Ginn educated the family on the farm exemption rules vs. the requirement of having an ORV license attached.
CO Jeff Ginn was first on scene of a wildfire in Newaygo County. CO Ginn was able to alert the neighboring property owners of the fast-moving fire so they could protect their home with garden hoses. CO Ginn used a leaf rake to keep the fire from spreading further towards the house until the firefighters were on scene. CO Ginn then used a pressurized water can and extinguished a line of fire before it could enter a stand of jack pine. The fire department had a limited response of firefighters because of a working structure fire they were dealing with at the same time. The landowner was cited for allowing his fire to escape.
CO Tim Barboza was on patrol and heard a call for a missing juvenile in Sears. CO Barboza was nearby and met up with the MSP trooper and headed to the location to assist in searching for the youth. CO Barboza talked with the foster parents of the child, along with the trooper, to get a description and picture of the child. CO Barboza left the house to begin looking for the missing child, after an hour he located the individual on the side of the road and returned him back home.
CO Tim Barboza received a complaint from Osceola County dispatch of an individual taking a snapchat video saying they had lit the woods on fire. CO Barboza had heard dispatch tone out the fire department and was heading to the scene when he received screenshots of the video. When CO Barboza arrived on scene, he talked with the father and the kids involved and eventually was able to get one of them to admit that they had shot a bottle rocket into the woods and accidently started the fire. It took firefighters from three different fire departments to put it out fire due to very high winds. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor referencing the incident.
CO Tim Barboza assisted the MSP in a hit and run incident on M115. Central dispatch called out a report of a hit and run and the caller had followed the car that fled the scene to a two-track leading into the woods and was blocking the suspect vehicle’s only exit. CO Barboza responded to assist MSP in locating the suspect vehicle and was the first to arrive on scene and was able to locate the vehicle and occupants in the woods. Troopers arrived on scene and the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and will be facing multiple other charges.
CO Tim Barboza was responding to a grass fire when he heard a call for a suicidal veteran nearby. CO Barboza responded and was first on scene, he was able to talk with the individual to find out what was going on and calm him down. CO Barboza talked with the subject until deputies arrived. The subject requested to be taken to the hospital and was taken there by deputies from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Micah Hintze observed a dirt bike pass him which was not displaying a valid ORV license. The dirt bike turned onto federal land, which is closed to ORV operation, and could be heard accelerating quickly. CO Hintze met the dirt bike at the road curve and attempted to contact the operator, but as soon as the operator saw the patrol vehicle along the roadway, he accelerated again to flee. The operator fled by leaving the public roadway and traveling across private property and into a wooded area. CO Hintze lost sight of the dirt bike, but with the assistance of the Oceana County Sheriff’s deputies, was able to track the dirt bike to the basement of a residence in the area. After multiple interviews with the homeowners, a suspect was identified. Ultimately the suspect was convinced to turn himself in by his mother who had arrived on scene. Charges are pending with the Oceana County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Charlie Jones assisted at a grass/woods fire in Union Township of Grand Traverse County. CO Jones arrived on scene and observed a burn barrel without a screen/lid and many household items scattered around the homeowner’s yard. Upon further investigation, the homeowner was burning household garbage in plastic bags. Other items such as mattresses and building materials were in the mix as well. The homeowner was educated on the importance of proper burning. A citation was issued for failing to prevent the spread of fire and a warning was given for illegal disposal of solid waste.
COs Charlie Jones, Ben McAteer, and Matt Zultak were following up on a complaint of ORVs operating in a closed area of Fredric Township in Crawford County. The COs observed an ORV operating at a high rate of speed down a roadway and into a hill climb/closed area. After stopping the ORV, the COs observed alcohol containers inside. The occupants were cited for possessing open intoxicants in an ORV and given warnings for operating in an area closed to ORVs.
COs John Huspen, James Garrett, and Matt Zultak assisted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Grayling Department of Public Safety, MSP, and U.S. Forest Service with a search for a suicidal person near Wakeley Lake. The subject was located and placed in protective custody without incident.
Sgt. Bobbi Lively was on patrol in Oscoda County and contacted a family on public land who indicated they were out looking for morel mushrooms. Sgt. Lively contacted a male in the group who was in the woods and had been out of sight initially and observed him setting up a 55-gallon drum bait for bears. The date in which you can establish a bear bait in the Red Oak unit is August 13 through October 8. The individual was cited for establishing a bear bait prior to the legal date.
CO Brad Bellville was on patrol and received a complaint from an Ogemaw County deputy who was on a traffic stop and the driver had an untagged turkey in the vehicle. CO Bellville responded and contacted the driver. He determined the hunter had the tag in his wallet but chose not to tag the bird and was cited for being in possession of an untagged turkey.
CO Josh Wright investigated an unlawful disposal of solid waste complaint that he had received. The dump site was on state land where families often recreate along the Muskegon River in Clare County. There were used catheters, medical supplies, and household goods such as furniture located at the site. The complainant was able to provide CO Wright with a used medical wristband with a name and date of birth that he found at the site. CO Wright responded to the address in Osceola County. The homeowner provided the names of three subjects that were hired by him to take the trash to the dump. Luckily, the license plate number and a Facebook conversation of the agreement were kept by the homeowner. CO Wright was able to track down the suspects and interview them regarding the large amount of garbage. All three individuals admitted to dumping the garbage on state land. They tried to reason that the hundred dollars they received to properly dispose of the trash would not cover the cost of taking it to a proper licensed facility. Warrants are being sought for all three suspects through the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, clean-up will be required as part of the penalties and restitution.
CO Ethan Gainforth was patrolling northern Clare County when he saw a Dodge pickup truck pull off the side of a two-track. The vehicle appeared to be pulling over because the trail was narrow. The occupants contacted CO Gainforth asking about turkey hunting in the area. After some conversation, CO Gainforth asked the subjects if they had guns in the vehicle and they responded, “Yes.” CO Gainforth asked the subjects if the guns were unloaded and in cases and both subjects hesitated and stated, “They are in the bed of the truck.” The first shotgun was loaded with a round in the chamber and multiple rounds in the magazine. The second shotgun had three rounds in the magazine and the third shotgun, which belonged to the son of the passenger, was empty and properly cased. The subjects first stated, “We thought it was legal as long as the guns were in the bed.” Then they said they thought they were legal because they were CPL holders. CO Gainforth asked the subjects if they had taken hunter safety and they both responded, “Yes, 40 years ago!” CO Gainforth asked the son if he had taken hunter safety and he responded, “Yes.” CO Gainforth told the young hunter he must have been paying attention because his gun was the only properly transported firearm in the vehicle. CO Gainforth explained the serious safety issues with the situation and issued citations to both adults for transporting loaded firearms in a motor vehicle.
While working an ORV patrol in Midland County, CO Jay Person observed a pickup truck pull into a section of state land and back up to a large existing litter pile. The CO observed the occupant walk to the back of the truck and open the tail gate. Expecting to catch the suspect in the act of littering, the CO was surprised to see the driver begin to load the litter from the ground into the back of his truck. After a few minutes, CO Person contacted the young man and was advised that he grew up using this state land and cannot stand to see the litter. He advised he just lives up the road and has his builder’s license which gets him into the dump for free. The young man was thanked for his efforts.
CO Joe Myers was on patrol when Midland County Central Dispatch alerted him that an “uncontrollable fire” was occurring in a remote part of the county. When the CO arrived on scene, a large fire approximately 70 yards by 50 yards of piled up timber products was on fire and flames were higher than the tree line. A local fire department arrived shortly after. The fire department stated that they could not put out the blaze because they did not have a water source; DNR fire was called. The fire was managed and eventually curtailed. Charges will be sought for the lighting of an extremely large fire during the burn ban.
CO Quincy Gowenlock was on patrol and entering the Village of Saint Charles when he noticed a local police unit stopped in the middle of M-52 with what appeared to be a traffic collision. CO Gowenlock responded to the scene and offered to help. Upon arrival, the village officer informed the CO that this was a hit and run collision. The description of the suspect vehicle was noted along with the direction of travel. CO Gowenlock began to search the area for the suspect. While searching, CO Adam Beuthin arrived in the area and began to assist. The suspect and suspect vehicle were located approximately five miles from the scene driving away from the village. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver admitted to leaving the scene of an accident because she was scared. It was later determined that the driver had three warrants issued for her arrest. The driver and vehicle were turned over to the village officer.
CO Jason King investigated a possible recreational trespass complaint of a ground blind on private property in Saginaw County. CO King contacted the possible suspect at his residence and spoke with the complainant. It appeared through GIS mapping system that the blind was within the possible suspect’s property line. CO King instructed that the land would need to be surveyed and would be a civil matter at this point. An old mineral block was discovered on the property. A verbal warning was given for the mineral block and the property owner was instructed to have it removed.
CO Mike Haas was patrolling the Langston State Game Area (SGA) when he witnessed a vehicle swerving back and forth down a forest trail and spinning out. CO Haas stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver. The gentleman had an open beer in his possession and stated he had been bored at home, so he decided to drive the trails. The man received a citation to address the careless driving and open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.
COs Mike Haas and Adam Schiller stopped a four-wheeler that was operating down the middle of the roadway through the Flat River SGA. There were two young subjects on the unlicensed machine which was designed to carry only one person and neither had a helmet or eye protection on. CO Haas recognized one of the subjects and asked if they had been in trouble before with the DNR; the driver of the machine reminded the COs that they had been warned for similar violations on snowmobiles just a few months earlier almost in the same location. The COs again reiterated the safety concerns and various laws they were violating. A citation was issued to the operator to address the numerous ORV violations.
CO Dan Robinson received a complaint from the RAP hotline of a case involving two subjects who shot at a group of turkeys with rifles. CO Robinson responded to the scene and, with the help of the witnesses, located shell casings where the suspects were standing when they shot. The witnesses said that one of the subjects gave them his first name. Based on their description and the information given, a suspect was identified who lived in the area and has had previous DNR violations. The suspect was interviewed, and a search warrant was conducted by additional COs from District 6. The rifle used was recovered along with several other items for evidence. The evidence was sent to the crime lab for testing and the case is pending approval at the prosecutor’s office. Possible charges include hunting after hours, recreational trespassing, hunting with unlawful equipment, careless discharge of a firearm, and various license violations.
CO Dan Robinson was in the area for an anonymous RAP complaint. The callers reported a truck that was tearing up an area closed to vehicle traffic in the Stanton SGA. Upon arrival CO Robinson and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk intercepted the vehicles as they were leaving the trail. Sgt. Hobkirk went to the area where the incident occurred and located the damage and found a broken tow strap. The individuals were asked about their actions and about their tow straps. They pulled out the other half of the strap Sgt. Hobkirk located. The individuals admitted to tearing up the trail. A citation was issued for disorderly actions in the state game area, a non-traffic civil infraction.
CO Dan Robinson was working through Midland County checking various problem areas. He located a Jeep in an area closed to vehicle traffic. The subjects were fishing and had a fish on a stringer. CO Robinson asked the group for licenses. The individual holding the fish did not have his license with him. A ticket was issued to the operator of the Jeep who went around a marked gate to get to the closed area. A verbal warning was given to the person with the fish for failing to provide a fishing license.
CO Dan Robinson was working Isabella County when a call came out for a large illegal burn. CO Robinson arrived along with the first two firefighters. Together they worked to control the edges of the fire and get hose lines pulled. The individuals responsible were attempting to burn a smaller pile when it spread to a large, dry pile of barn wood. CO Robinson assisted on-scene until the fire crews cleared and opened the road.
CO Dan Robinson was working Isabella County when he noticed a large amount of black smoke coming from the south. At the same time, an officer with the Shepherd Police Department also noticed the smoke. Isabella Central Dispatch advised that Gratiot County had a grass and tire fire in the area. The officers responded to the area and arrived with a volunteer firefighter. Using rakes from the residence, the three worked to put out the leading edge of the fire and get it under control despite high wind conditions. The Alma Fire Department arrived and extinguished the remaining piles of tires and additional hot spots. The fire occurred from a smaller illegal burn that was unsupervised and spread to the grassy field and then to the pile of tires. The residents are facing possible charges for allowing the spread of fire, unlawful disposal of solid waste, and leaving a fire unattended. The case is under review.
CO Robert Slick was on patrol when he checked the Jenison gravel pits for fishing activity. He observed an individual fishing from shore with a white five-gallon bucket next to him. As CO Slick parked his patrol truck and headed toward the angler, the angler looked up and immediately dumped his bucket into the water. CO Slick contacted the individual and asked why he dumped his bucket. The angler stated he was just dumping out his water. CO Slick then asked for his fishing license. The individual stated he did not have one because he was not keeping fish. CO Slick issued a citation for the violation.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were checking anglers in Muskegon County when they observed three people fishing. The COs contacted the anglers and asked for their fishing licenses. They advised they did not need fishing licenses due to the current epidemic. CO Miskovich asked one of the individuals if they had any fish, the angler advised that he did not have any fish. CO Miskovich observed fish in a bag that the angler was carrying. In the bag, a short and out-of-season largemouth bass was found, along with a sunfish. The anglers were cited for their violations.
CO Anna Cullen was ready to end her shift when she observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed turn down a road in front of her. While traveling through a 35-mph zone in a heavily residential neighborhood, CO Cullen paced the vehicle at 55 mph. The vehicle then turned onto a 55-mph zone and continued to drive carelessly, passing vehicles. CO Cullen activated her emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop. CO Cullen explained the violations to the driver. They advised “they didn’t know it was a 35-mph zone.” The driver was cited for careless driving.
Sgt. Jeff Rabbers and COs Anna Cullen, Jackie Miskovich, Robert Slick, Casey Varriale, and Justin Ulberg performed a group patrol to address issues with target shooting in the Rogue River SGA. Several citations were issued to individuals shooting in a prohibited area and for target shooters littering.
During a patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers received a complaint that an angler was catching and keeping smallmouth bass during the closed season. The complaint stated the angler was at the Portland Dam and putting the bass in a white cooler. After arriving at the dam, CO Beavers spotted a subject loading fishing gear into the back of his vehicle and at the angler’s feet was a white cooler. After exiting his patrol truck and approaching the angler, CO Beavers noticed the cooler was foam and broken, allowing him to see inside. CO Beavers saw several fish that appeared to be smallmouth bass, indicating that this was the subject from his complaint. After making contact and gaining permission to look in the cooler, CO Beavers confirmed all fish in the cooler were smallmouth bass. CO Beavers removed the fish from the cooler and discovered the angler had 10 total fish. Many fish were also smaller than the required 14 inches. The subject was cited for the infractions and given a date to appear in court.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg have patrolled the Rogue River SGA in Kent County for illegal shooting activity. Throughout the patrols, the COs have written several citations for target shooting after hours, target shooting in a closed area, and target shooting at unapproved targets.
CO Casey Varriale received a complaint in Ionia County regarding the poaching of two Sandhill cranes. During an investigation, CO Varriale located the suspects and learned they were shooting the animals because they were damaging their crops. CO Varriale determined they did not obtain a crop damage permit for the taking of the Sandhill cranes. The case is pending approval from the Ionia County prosecutor.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper advised on the radio that he located an overturned vessel with a subject face down in the water. CO Bauer responded to the call and assisted the trooper with attempting to get the subject out of the water. The angler was fishing and was pronounced dead on scene.
CO Zach Bauer was contacted by a Warren Dunes Park ranger of a possible incident of a subject cutting down trees at Grand Mere State Park. CO Bauer responded to the call and met with the park ranger. CO Bauer located a pole saw and a location where it appeared someone was cutting down a portion of a tree. CO Bauer contacted a nearby homeowner and the homeowner confessed to cutting down a portion of the tree. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Carter Woodwyk responded to a report of a single vehicle injury accident in the Allegan SGA. When he arrived on scene, pedestrians had already pulled the driver away from a UTV, which was fully engulfed in flames. The driver was not injured from the crash and it was believed that a mouse nest likely caught fire near the engine, causing it to go up in flames. The local fire department arrived on scene and put the fire out, preventing it from escaping into the nearby forest.
CO Sam Schluckbier investigated a suspicious vehicle parked in the back of a state game area lot. Upon approaching the vehicle, the driver exited and shouted, “You caught us.” During questioning, the male subject admitted to smoking methamphetamine just prior to the contact. A search of the vehicle revealed a water bong and a smoking pipe. Inside the glass pipe was unused methamphetamine. The male subject was arrested and lodged in the Allegan County Jail. The female subject was advised and released on a misdemeanor warrant out of Van Buren County.
CO James Nason received a complaint that a bobcat had been hit by a car and then picked up by a passerby. Further investigation revealed the identity of the subject who picked up the animal who explained a friend of the family had stopped by and took the animal stating, “He could get some money for the fur.” CO Nason contacted the man who denied having any knowledge about a bobcat. After sharing the evidence, a confession was obtained along with the bobcat. A citation was issued for possessing a roadkill bobcat.
CO Katie Baker responded to a call from central dispatch regarding a black bear sighting in Fairfield Township. CO Baker contacted the complainant and was able to confirm the sighting with photos/videos taken. Multiple witnesses were contacted throughout the surrounding area. The bear sighting was reported to wildlife biologist Chad Fedewa who later submitted a press release on it. No sightings have occurred since.
COs Katie Baker and Peter Purdy participated in a birthday parade through the city of Howell. They were joined by MSP, Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, Howell Police Department, and EMS. Approximately 20 units participated in the event.
CO Nick Wellman had been working complaints of guys keeping smallmouth bass at the Riley Dam. CO Wellman snuck down to the dam and contacted a suspect who was described to him by complainants. CO Wellman investigated the bucket of the anglers and noticed two smallmouth bass. The man tried to say he found the bass on shore and did not catch them. When CO Wellman turned to look on the ground where the man was pointing, the man tried to grab the smallmouth bass and throw them into the river. CO Wellman grabbed the fish out of the man’s hand and seized them. The man was charged with taking bass out of season and taking undersized bass as they were both 12 inches long. CO Wellman used his state issued iPhone to translate the entire contact with the man. This proved to be very useful as it set the man at ease once the CO could effectively communicate through the Google translator.
COs Jason McCullough and Jeff Goss assisted the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department and Battle Creek Police Department with the search for a drowning victim near downtown Battle Creek. CO McCullough located the victim on Sunday afternoon.
CO Nick Wellman was meeting with a family to get a nuisance beaver permit. When one of the family members showed up, CO Wellman recognized his name as a man of interest in an illegal deer investigation. CO Wellman interviewed the man and his son later over the phone which led to a full confession on an illegal 9-point buck from the 2019 season.
CO Ariel Young received a tip that there was someone on the Riverwalk in downtown Detroit that was dumping fish in their vehicle and going back out to continue fishing. CO Young headed to the Riverwalk and had CO Dan Walzak accompany her to keep an eye on the anglers. The COs watched the angler come in with fish and contacted the individual. The individual first said he did not have any fish and when CO Young questioned him about the fish in his vehicle, he admitted to having fish. CO Young had the individual pull the fish out and counted 17 walleye. CO Young began questioning the subject about where he caught all the fish and if he knew what the limit for walleye was on the Detroit River. The individual changed his story multiple times, even stating once that the river had an unlimited possession limit. After further questions with the individual, it was discovered that he also did not have a valid fishing license. The fish were seized, and CO Young issued citations for possessing fish without a license and for having an over-limit of walleye.
CO Ariel Young was conducting a marine patrol at Lake Erie Metropark boat launch and talked to some anglers that had managed to get their limit with the extremely slow bite. Upon further investigation, the anglers were over their limit of walleye. The extra walleye was seized, and a citation was issued for the over limit.
COs Ariel Young and Breanna Reed were patrolling back toward their residences when they happened upon a disoriented elderly gentleman who was driving on the wrong side of the road. The COs stopped and determined that the driver was not fit to drive. Local units were dispatched to assist, and EMS arrived on scene to evaluate the driver. The incident was turned over to Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the driver was safely taken home.
CO Ariel Young was patrolling back to her residence when she observed an elderly woman lying on the sidewalk of a busy street. CO Young went to help the woman who had accidentally flipped her bike over. CO Young provided some first aid for skin abrasions and offered emergency medical services to the woman. The woman denied needing emergency services when a member from the Livonia Fire Department arrived on scene. The woman was taken home by Livonia Fire Department and CO Young transported her bike and talked to her husband to advise him of what happened.
During a group ORV patrol, COs Brad Silorey, Kris Kiel, and Jaime Salisbury responded to the Holloway Dam responding to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint of someone keeping bass out of season. Once arriving on scene CO Salisbury saw someone closely matching the description of the suspect. Upon checking with the angler, he was not in possession of any bass. The angler did however have five walleye in his possession that were all undersize. A citation was issued for keeping undersize walleye.
CO Tom Peterson encountered an individual operating a dirt bike on a sidewalk without a helmet and eye protection in a populated town. The CO conducted a traffic stop. It was discovered that the individual had multiple warrants out for his arrest and a suspended license. The warrants were confirmed but were outside of the pickup area. The individual was cited and advised and released on the warrants.
CO Tom Peterson was traveling through Commerce Township when he observed a vehicle driving recklessly through the intersection on Sleeth Road and Wixom Trail. The suspect vehicle almost struck another vehicle sitting at the stop light. The CO then activated his emergency lights and siren attempting to stop the vehicle. The individual failed to stop and continued driving at a high rate of speed. CO Peterson observed the individual leave the roadway and travel up an embankment when attempting to pass another vehicle then reenter the roadway, almost lose control and continue at a high rate of speed. CO Peterson deemed it unsafe to continue to pursue the individual and shutdown lights and sirens but followed from a safe distance. CO Peterson then observed the individual flee from the vehicle on foot later to be apprehended by Oakland County Sheriff’s Department only a few hundred yards from the vehicle. This individual was also involved with a reckless driving and road rage incident just a few minutes prior to CO Peterson’s attempt at a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle was impounded, and the suspect was arrested for felony flee and elude and possible Operating Under the Influence pending further investigation.
CO Christopher Knights worked a shift at Seven Lakes State Park. Because of the nice weather and high volume of park visitors, CO Knights encountered multiple parking violations. CO Knights issued four citations as well as many warnings for the violations. CO Knights also issued a citation for an expired boat registration. CO Knights assisted the general public with questions regarding the park as well as hunting and fishing knowledge.
CO Bob Watson received a complaint from a landowner in St. Clair County who was tired of chasing trespassing asparagus pickers off his property. CO Watson responded to the in-progress complaint, but the suspect had left the area by the time CO Watson was able to arrive. The farmer requested to meet with CO Watson in person. While meeting with the landowner and discussing his issue, CO Watson observed a van slowly driving along the perimeter of the farmer’s property, then park and get out to pick the asparagus growing on the farmer’s property. CO Watson contacted the asparagus picker and advised him of the trespassing issue. The farmer had requested all trespassers be prosecuted. CO Watson issued a citation for recreational trespass.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers along Lake St. Clair in Macomb County when he noticed one angler using five fishing rods. CO Deppen approached the angler and asked for a fishing license and identification. The angler said he did not purchase a fishing license yet, but he was going to. The angler was questioned about all the lines, and admitted they were all his because he wanted to increase his chances of catching fish. CO Deppen cited the angler for use of more than three lines while fishing and gave the angler a verbal warning for fishing without a license.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking anglers along Lake St. Clair, when he observed two anglers at the end of a fishing pier casting. While observing the anglers for over an hour, CO Deppen noted the anglers would use a small fishing pole and hook to catch invasive gobies along the seawall. The anglers would then take the live gobies, place them directly on their larger casting rod and cast them out for smallmouth bass. The anglers were having success catching and releasing smallmouth bass over the next hour. CO Deppen contacted the anglers. As CO Deppen approached, the anglers saw his patrol vehicle and started moving around their fishing poles and casting out two different rods. CO Deppen approached the men and had them reel in all their lines. One small goby pole had its line cut and the other was stowed with other fishing rods. The anglers denied catching or using any gobies. CO Deppen found a goby at the feet of one of the anglers and the angler said it was not his. The anglers argued for a long time that they were not using gobies and CO Deppen had bad information. CO Deppen explained this was not a compliant, and that he was watching them commit these violations over the course of an hour. CO Deppen explained to each angler what he observed, all the gear they were using, which was still present, what type of fish each angler caught, and they would be receiving citations for use/possession of aquatic invasive species. One angler said, “okay, you got me, but you can’t blame me for trying to argue.” CO Deppen issued the anglers citations and they left the area.
CO Mike Drexler was checking anglers along the Huron River in Ypsilanti Township, when one angler quickly set his fishing pole down and walked away from it as the CO approached. CO Drexler learned that the subject was just “holding” the fishing pole for his son, but not actually fishing because he did not have a license. The son, who did have a fishing license, was also in possession of a nine-inch walleye, which he said he was planning on releasing later. A citation was issued for possess walleye less than 15 inches and a warning was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Mike Drexler was working an assigned Sterling State Park detail when he was contacted by Flat Rock Police Department requesting assistance with two subjects fishing in a fish ladder. CO Drexler responded to the area and assisted Flat Rock Police Department with the violation. One subject was issued a citation for fishing in a fish ladder, and both subjects were also warned on trespassing.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers at the DTE Energy Hot Ponds in the City of Monroe when he contacted an angler who had a largemouth bass on a stringer. CO Ingersoll asked the angler if he had his fishing license, and the angler stated it was in his car. CO Ingersoll was able to conduct a license check on the angler; it was determined he did not have a fishing license. CO Ingersoll advised the angler that he did not have a valid fishing license and advised the angler that the largemouth bass that he kept was out of season. The angler released the bass and was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling Sterling State Park after hours and observed a vehicle running in the park after hours. CO Ingersoll contacted the mother and daughter who were enjoying the peaceful night and advised them the park was closed. CO Ingersoll advised the pair of the violation and ran a file check on both individuals. Monroe County advised CO Ingersoll that the mother had a felony warrant out of the county for OWI 3rd offense. CO Ingersoll arrested the mother on her felony warrant and lodged her in the Monroe County Jail for her charges. Her daughter was advised the park was closed and asked to leave so the rangers could close the gate.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither were working a trespassing issue on some county owned property in Lenawee County. The COs hung a few cameras and checked them later in the week. The suspect in question was caught on camera multiple times. Contact was made with the suspect who admitted to being back in the property. Charges are being sought through the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office for trespassing.
COs Ariel Young and Breanna Reed were working Belle Isle and checked multiple anglers fishing the river near the island. Many anglers were contacted, and multiple citations were issued for fishing without licenses and one angler was cited for using live gobies as fishing bait.
CO Keven Luther patrolled Belle Isle Park. While on patrol CO Luther overheard trespassers within the old zoo on the island. Two males were contacted and issued citations for enter/remain when posted against. CO Luther also issued ten social distancing verbal warnings while on patrol.