Department of Natural Resources
Corporal (Cpl.) Brett DeLonge and Conservation Officers (COs) Jeremy Sergey and Anna Viau were instructors at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) weekend at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay. The COs instructed a self-confidence class that taught women how increase their situational awareness and to defend themselves in the case of danger. About 25 women took part in the classes over the weekend. The women were very interactive and seemed to enjoy the material, especially when they had the opportunity to practice their new skills on CO Sergey wearing a padded suit.
After a long day of patrol, CO Viau had just arrived at her residence when a call came over the radio of a man being stabbed in the chest at a nearby apartment building. CO Viau and a local police officer responded to the apartment building to find a highly intoxicated older man conscious and talking. His face and chest were covered in blood, but thankfully there was no stab wound. Instead, the blood had come from a severely busted lip. Due to his intoxication, the subject did not remember what had happened. The officers assisted EMS in getting the man safely into the ambulance.
CO Cody Smith was returning from First Aid Training when a call came across the radio of a possible automated external defibrillator incident. CO Smith responded first to the scene and was able to check the individual’s vitals. The individual had a pulse and was breathing but was overall non-responsive. Bay Emergency Medical Service (EMS) arrived on scene shortly after and CO Smith assisted loading the patient for transport to the hospital.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when a call came out for a snowmobile personal injury accident near Covington Township involving a high rate of speed, severe injuries, and trees. CO Smith expedited toward Covington as location and injury details were given by dispatch. Upon arrival to the area, CO Smith jumped on the back of a snowmobile and was given a ride to the victim. The individual was alert and was able to answer all questions given by CO Smith. First on scene, CO Smith was able to relay information to dispatch and responding Bay EMS. CO Smith assisted Bay EMS with extracting the victim from the woods to the ambulance. After missing a turn and being ejected from their snowmobile at approximately 50 mph, the victim was observed to have broken both arms and one leg. The subject had pelvis and rib injuries as well.
CO Josh Boudreaux responded to a report of a snowmobile accident with injuries on Trail 14 in Powell Township. It was reported that one of the patients was already extricated via snowmobile but the other, a juvenile, was seriously injured and still at the crash site. CO Boudreaux met with Powell Township Fire/EMS and UP Health Systems EMS and coordinated the response. CO Boudreaux transported a paramedic to the scene via snowmobile while the fire department retrieved their rescue sled for extrication. Upon arrival on scene, the juvenile patient was found to have significant injuries to his lower extremities. The patient was stabilized and loaded into the rescue sled where he was able to be transported a short distance to the next trail crossing where the ambulance was staged. After wrapping up the first incident, CO Boudreaux and a Marquette County Sheriff’s deputy encountered a second injured snowmobiler from an unrelated crash. The officers escorted the riders seven miles to Big Bay where they were able to seek medical attention for less severe injuries.
CO Josh Boudreaux was off duty in Negaunee when he witnessed a sedan passing through an intersection get T-boned by a small pickup truck. CO Boudreaux used his vehicle to block the affected lane of traffic and checked on both patients who denied the need for medical attention. CO Boudreaux was able to assist them with moving their vehicles from the highway into a nearby parking lot where an on-duty officer could meet with them and take the crash report.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Zach Painter attended a career fair at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood. Numerous students asked the COs about the job that conservation officers perform and what the hiring process is like.
COs Doug Hermanson, Brian Lasanen, and Sgt. Marc Pomroy conducted a group snowmobile patrol in southern Houghton County to address sound violations. The group tested multiple snowmobiles and cited one for being above the 88-decibel limit. Other violations addressed include failing to attach trial permits, failing to register a snowmobile, and careless operation.
CO Jenni Hanson worked the annual fishing derby on Sunday Lake to raise funds for Wakefield’s volunteer fire fighters. Many people attended to make the event a success.
CO Jenni Hanson was first on scene of a medical where a 74-year old subject collapsed and became unconscious at the Caribou Lodge at Big Powderhorn Ski Resort. CO Hanson rendered first aid until Beacon Ambulance arrived.
COs Andrea Dani, Mark Zitnik, and Undersheriff Steve Blank responded to Grand Island landing where two anglers were driving their snowmobile across the west channel of Munising Bay when the ice beneath them broke. The two anglers were very lucky to have gotten out of the water, but the snowmobile was lost in the 180 plus feet of water.
CO Robert Freeborn received a complaint of a possible illegal deer that was shot in the last few weeks. CO Freeborn located the subject’s residence and conducted an interview. It was determined the subject had shot a deer during muzzleloader season and had just finished processing it. The subject was very cooperative and showed CO Freeborn all the remains including the head that was still in his garage. Everything checked out with the hunter and deer who concluded that it was probably his ex-wife that called since they had just gotten divorced and has been constantly trying to get him in trouble.
COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin successfully served several arrest warrants without incident from three different cases. Two cases were from two illegally taken 8-point bucks that COs Lynch and Butzin investigated. The third case investigated by CO Lynch included multiple charges involving a trapper that took a fisher out of season.
COs Todd Sumbera and Justin Vinson were conducting a snowmobile patrol on the edge of Luce County. COs Sumbera and Vinson watched a group of about seven snowmobiles pull off to the side of the trail near a stop sign. A few minutes later watched another rider drive right through the intersection at a high rate of speed without stopping. When asked if he saw the stop sign, he claimed, “I was with the group.” The rider in violation was also without a trail sticker. A citation was issued for careless operation.
CO Colton Gelinas attended the winter session of Becoming an Outdoors Woman event held in Big Bay. CO Gelinas instructed Wilderness Survival/First Aid. This event gets over 100 women from all over the country together for a weekend of learning activities and experiences related to the outdoors.
CO Mike Olesen patrolled to northern Chippewa County and performed a property check of a few cabins located off a snowmobile trail as Chippewa Central Dispatch had received a call of an individual on snowshoes approaching many cabins in the area. CO Olesen checked cabins around the area that the activity was reported with no signs of any damage or theft from the cabins.
As CO Mike Olesen began a patrol from his residence, a personal injury crash between a county plow truck and a passenger car was called out close to his location. CO Olesen responded to the location of the crash and checked on both the operator of the plow truck and the driver of the passenger car. The driver of the passenger car had received multiple injuries from the crash and was unable to get out of the vehicle. CO Olesen used emergency blankets to attempt to keep the driver of the passenger vehicle comfortable and alert until EMS arrived on scene. Upon arrival of EMS, CO Olesen transitioned to directing traffic to alternate routes until the scene of the crash was clear and traffic could resume.
CO Justin Vinson gave a presentation at a local Head Start school. CO Vinson’s presentation was on introducing the students to ice and water safety, as well as describing common job duties, and fish and game that can be found in Michigan.
CO Duane Budreau was patrolling Crooked Lake in Emmet County when he came across a group of young anglers with a short walleye on the ice. When asked how big the walleye was, one of the anglers boldly stated, “Thirteen and a half inches, we measured it.” CO Budreau asked the two anglers in the shanty if they knew the size limit on walleye. Again, the young angler confidently stated, “Thirteen inches, I looked it up, and you can have eight.” CO Budreau advised the young men that walleye had to be fifteen inches and the daily limit was five fish. CO Budreau explained that there were specific exceptions; however, Crooked Lake was not one of those. The young angler pulled out his phone and showed CO Budreau that he had Google searched the rule; however, did not read it in its entirety. The young angler was given a warning and CO Budreau showed him how to download the Michigan Fishing Guide onto his phone.
COs Tim Rosochacki and Matt Theunick focused on speed enforcement along a speed limit-controlled portion of trail in Cheboygan County. Four tickets were issued for traveling in excess of the posted speed limit.
COs Matt Theunick and Tim Rosochacki participated in the Michigan Burn Camp held at the United Auto Workers camp in Cheboygan County. The COs answered questions and had taxidermy skulls and furs for the kids to handle.
CO Eric Bottorff responded to a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint on President's Day regarding a camper that was backcountry camping in the Pigeon River Forest and got lost while returning to his site. The camper drove several miles down seasonal county roads that had only been traveled by snowmobiles and got his vehicle stuck for over six hours. CO Bottorff was able to locate the subject, drive in with his patrol vehicle, and assist with digging out the camper's truck. After about an hour, the camper was able to get moving again and made it safely back to a paved road.
CO Eric Bottorff reports that two local men who were prosecuted for conspiring to illegally shoot a Great Blue Heron and then dispose of the carcass in a wood-burning stove were sentenced to over $1,700 in fines, loss of hunting privileges until 2023, several days of community service, and probation.
CO Tom Oberg was on snowmobile patrol when he overheard on the radio a medical call regarding a possible aggressive patient who was having diabetic issues. An Otsego County Sheriff’s deputy was responding to the location and was looking for another unit to respond as well. The address happened to be right off the snowmobile trail CO Oberg was patrolling. CO Oberg arrived on scene with his snowmobile and assisted the deputy and EMS.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he initiated a traffic stop. Upon contacting the driver, it was determined that the driver was operating on a suspended driver’s license and did not have insurance on the vehicle. This specific subject was also someone that CO Sidney Collins has been attempting to contact in reference to other charges. CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody, and he was lodged at the Montmorency County Jail with no issues.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz patrolled an area of Trail 429 in Montmorency County which receives multiple complaints of careless operation from snowmobilers. CO Liestenfeltz contacted many snowmobilers and issued multiple tickets for carless operation of a snowmobile.
COs Dan Liestenfeltz, Sidney Collins, Jessie Curtis, and Paul Fox conducted a sound meter patrol in Montmorency County. The COs contacted over 100 snowmobiles and multiple tickets were issued for exceeding the maximum decibels allowed and licensing issues. Verbal warnings were also given.
CO Sidney Collins reports a subject who was charged this past fall for illegally taking an elk pled guilty. The subject killed a cow elk during rifle season, thinking it was a deer. The subject turned himself in after the incident. The subject was responsible for costs and restitution over $1,500.
CO Troy Ludwig responded to a snowmobile accident with Michigan State Police (MSP) in Wexford County. The snowmobiler had injured his ankle in the accident. During the investigation of the accident, it was discovered that the snowmobile was reported stolen out of Illinois.
Over the Presidents’ Day weekend, COs Josiah Killingbeck, Kyle Publiski, Brian Brosky, Scott MacNeill, Steve Converse, and Sgt. Grant Emery conducted a joint snowmobile/ sound enforcement patrol with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. During the group patrol, over 250 contacts were made. Twenty-three citations were issued for excessive noise, recreational trespass, speed, registration violations, careless operation, and driving while license suspended violations. Fifty-one additional warnings were also given for various other violations.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Bob Meyers of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department were on snowmobile patrol when they observed two snowmobiles drive past them without trail permits. CO Killingbeck stopped the snowmobiles and inquired why there were no trail permits attached. The subject told CO Killingbeck that the store he normally buys trail permits at told him that he no longer needs them. CO Killingbeck asked the subject which store this was and when he was told that a trail permit was not needed. CO Killingbeck and Sgt. Meyers, being very familiar with the store in question, told the subject that the store he was naming had burned down in the summer of 2019. The subject realizing that he had been caught in a lie admitted that he just did not want to spend the money on snowmobile trail permits. A citation was issued for operating without a trail permit.
CO Josiah Killingbeck and Sgt. Bob Meyers of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department were on snowmobile patrol when Lake County Dispatch advised them of a snowmobile crash. CO Killingbeck and Sgt. Meyers were first on scene of the crash and discovered that an inexperienced rider had been operating too fast for conditions, failed to negotiate a curve and left the trail striking a tree, and had been pinned under the snowmobile. CO Killingbeck evaluated the subject’s injuries and requested an Aero Med Helicopter due to the extent of the injuries. CO Killingbeck provided first aid, along with the assistance of CO Brian Brosky and CO Ryan Andrews, until EMS arrived on scene. The subject was flown to a trauma center to be treated for her injuries.
CO Josh Reed was at Tubbs Lake Campground checking ice anglers. While watching the group, a side-by-side and a snowmobile were observed traveling down the access road to boat access site. The operator of the snowmobile was not wearing a helmet, so CO Reed gave the operator of the snowmobile a hand signal to stop. The operator slowed down next to CO Reed but did not come to a stop. CO Reed then ordered the operator to stop using his voice and the operator stopped. CO Reed asked the operator to turn off the snowmobile, which the operator had a hard time doing. CO Reed ended up having to turn off the snowmobile for him. The operator showed signs of impairment, slow slurred speech, and glassy eyes. Field sobriety tests were conducted which the operator failed. A preliminary breath test (PBT) was administered which resulted in the operator being over three times the legal limit. The subject was arrested for operating while intoxicated on a snowmobile and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.
CO Angela Greenway attended the career fair at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center (MOCC). This is a great opportunity for the students to practice face-to-face meet and greet of employers. For most of the students, this is the first time they speak to adults about job opportunities and hiring. CO Greenway provided an opportunity to educate the students on how to build their resumes and practice talking to professionals. MOCC staff does a wonderful job helping these students for “real world” career readiness.
CO Ben Shively conducted a weekday snowmobile patrol along the Hart Montague Rail Trail in Oceana County. CO Shively had just finished citing a subject that was displaying an expired registration and no trail permit when he observed a snowmobile cut from the Rail Trail onto private property and pull up to a residence. CO Shively did not see any registration or trail permit on the snowmobile. CO Shively pulled in and contacted the subject. CO Shively had cited two years previous for the same offense. As CO Shively was citing the subject, a file check indicated that the subject had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for aggravated assault/domestic violence out of Muskegon County. The subject was issued his citation and taken into custody on the warrant. MSP Sgt. Trevor Beck arrived on scene and transported the subject.
CO Ben Shively and Oceana County Deputy Donnie Hansen were on stationary snowmobile patrol at the Trail 19 and Trail 191 intersection in Oceana County when they were contacted by a snowmobiler who advised there was an accident just north of their location. They responded to the scene and found a subject who was lying along the trail in the brush and was unresponsive. CO Shively checked the subject and was able to wake him. CO Shively determined that the subject was highly intoxicated and had not been involved in accident but had passed out while walking along the trail. EMS arrived on scene and the subject was taken to the ambulance to be evaluated and checked for hypothermia. A PBT was given to the subject who was found to be four times the legal limit at a .33. The subject was voluntarily taken to the hospital for evaluation.
CO Charlie Jones responded to a snowmobile crash on Trail 55 north of Island Lake Road in Kalkaska Township, Kalkaska County. The driver of the snowmobile had lost control and overturned the machine. Local EMS and fire crews also assisted at the scene. The driver was transported to Munson Hospital for further evaluation.
COs in District 5 Area 2, along with US Forest Service Huron Shores District Law Enforcement, conducted a special patrol to focus on excessive noise caused by snowmobiles in Iosco County. Several snowmobiles were identified and tested during the patrol. Some of the snowmobiles tested in excess of 94 decibels, considerably louder than the legal, 88 decibel limit. Citations were issued for those in violation. Additionally, during the patrol, COs took several other enforcement actions for violations of trail permits and registrations. Numerous contacts were made, and most snowmobilers were happy to see the noise enforcement taking place.
CO Joshua Wright received a complaint of household trash that was dumped at the end of a dead-end road in rural Clare County. The complainant provided a picture of some of the trash within the bag. COs Wright and Josh Russell ran out to the location to verify and document the scene. Suspect names were gathered from the trash pile. The COs attempted contact with the suspect at the address that was found in the trash pile, but no one was home. A few days later, CO Wright was able to contact the suspect. CO Wright asked about the trash and the suspect claimed that she and her boyfriend got stuck on the dead-end road a few weeks back and, in an attempt to make the truck lighter, they unloaded the trash from the vehicle. She claimed that they intended to go back and pick the trash up. She also claimed that she typically takes her trash to her parent’s house on Thursday for trash pickup. CO Wright issued a citation for littering and she agreed to clean the trash up by midnight of the same day.
COs Chad Foerster, Seth Rhodea, and Joe Myers worked the Saginaw River while hundreds of anglers enjoyed the world class fishery. CO Foerster observed a vessel earlier in the day with four anglers doing very well. Several hours later, the CO watched as the boat dropped off two of the anglers with all their fish and then return to fishing. CO Foerster stayed in the area near the boat and again watched as the now two anglers boated many more walleye. CO Foerster advised COs Myers and Rhodea that the boat was headed for the launch. The COs found the two anglers in possession of their limit of walleye. COs Myers and Rhodea were able to get confessions from the anglers for catching fish earlier in the day, dropping off their friends with the fish they caught, and returning to catch fish during the afternoon. Warrants are being sought on the anglers for possessing an over-limit of walleye.
CO Quincy Gowenlock conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle which was driving erratically and failing to maintain the traffic lane. As the CO was approaching the stopped vehicle, a second driver stopped and informed the CO that he had been on the phone with 911 the last 20 minutes trying to get an officer to stop the vehicle but was told no one was available. The second driver went on to thank the CO and said it was only a matter of time before they would have caused an accident and really hurt someone. The CO then approached the suspect vehicle and made contact and found the driver to be showing signs of drug impairment. When asked for the driver’s license, the driver stated he did not have his license on him and gave his name and date of birth. A subsequent check returned with no match. The driver was taken into custody and a search was conducted of the vehicle. While CO Gowenlock was performing the vehicle search, CO Jason King arrived on scene to assist. The COs found drug paraphernalia and located several used hypodermic needles in the vehicle including one which was preloaded with what appeared to be heroin. The driver was transported and booked into the county jail. While at the jail, the suspect’s prints were processed, and a positive match came back to a person with multiple felony warrants out of three counties.
While patrolling Isabella County, COs Dan Robinson and Adam Schiller received a call from an off-duty officer who stated that there was a possible impaired driver in the area. COs Robinson and Schiller were nearby and responded. After following the individual for a few miles and witnessing several moving violations, a traffic stop was made. After conducting the field sobrieties, the COs had probable cause to arrest the individual for operating under the influence of alcohol. The subject was lodged and charged under the “super drunk” statute due to his high blood alcohol content.
CO Dan Robinson was working Montcalm County when he saw a large cloud of heavy dark smoke. CO Robinson located the source of the smoke and could see several individuals sitting around a large fire. While talking to the group, they stated that they were getting rid of furniture and had several more pieces they were planning on burning. CO Robinson advised them against that and issued a citation for open burning of illegal materials.
COs Josh Jackson and Dan Robinson were on patrol during the 11th Annual Crystal Lake Winter Festival in Montcalm County. Although the ice races and fishing tournament were canceled, several people braved the cold winds to participate in a chili cook-off, a polar plunge, and enjoy a spectacular firework show. The COs made several positive contacts.
While on ice fishing patrol on Rock Lake in Gratiot County, CO Adam Schiller checked an individual who started to pack up his fishing equipment while the CO was approaching him. The CO asked if the individual had any luck fishing and the individual stated that he had some luck. CO Schiller asked to see the fish he kept. The individual showed the CO the bucket and the couple bluegills that were kept in there. The CO saw an additional fish in the individual’s jet sled. Upon further investigation, the CO saw the fish was a largemouth bass which is currently not in season to possess. A citation was written for keeping the fish during the closed season.
CO Anna Cullen, along with an officer from the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department, responded to a complaint regarding two individuals on quads trespassing and riding recklessly on the roadway. The deputy and CO Cullen were able to stop both individuals after observing them trespass and illegally operate on a road. After further observation, it was determined there were no ORV stickers on either quad. The two individuals were cited by both the deputy and CO Cullen for their numerous violations.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling a snowmobile trail in northern Muskegon County when she stopped an individual for not having a visible registration on their snowmobile. The rider advised they didn’t know there was law enforcement on the trails and admitted to their sled not being registered. A citation was issued for the violation.
COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich responded to a complaint regarding ORVs and snowmobiles driving recklessly in Muskegon County. Along with the reckless driving, a snowmobile was said to be pulling a person sitting in a couch on skis behind it. Both COs responded to the area and were able to locate the quad and snowmobile in question. Citations were issued for the violations.
In August, COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer received a complaint of a seine net along a Type 1 Trout Stream in Berrien County. They received this complaint the same time that the Skamania Steelhead run was beginning. The COs began to work the area and set up surveillance for a possible suspect. The COs checked the surveillance camera and located photographs of two individuals utilizing the seine net illegally to block the stream and take Skamania Steelhead with a hand net on August 4, 2019. The COs investigated the photographs but were unable to locate suspects. On November 20, 2019, CO Bauer received a complaint of a hunter shooting a deer without a license. Further investigation revealed that the suspect that shot the deer without a license is one of the suspects that utilized the seine net on August 4, 2019. COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer conducted interviews with both suspects who stated that they did utilize the net, and the other suspect also confessed to shooting a deer without a license. Reports were submitted to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office where charges were approved for multiple counts of using illegal seine net, multiple counts of Illegal method of taking fish, larceny, taking a deer without a license, and borrowing another’s kill-tag.
CO Travis Dragomer located an individual fishing upon the Galien River in New Buffalo, Berrien County. CO Dragomer conducted a fish license check on the angler, and it was determined that he did not have a valid fishing license. A citation was written for fishing without a license.
CO Jeff Robinette had just arrived back at his residence when an emergency call from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department came out over the radio regarding a man through the ice on Eagle Lake. CO Robinette was only a few miles from the location and responded to the location. CO Robinette arrived behind an Edwardsburg Police Department unit as the second police unit on scene. The subject was approximately 50 yards from shore in chest deep water but was unable to pull himself out and onto the ice. CO Robinette assisted the Edwardsburg Police Department officer and an Edwardsburg firefighter in pulling the individual out of the ice using a rescue throw bag. The subject was guided safely back to shore on the ice by CO Robinette and the Edwardsburg police officer. The subject refused treatment from local EMS and was able to drive himself home. The temperature was approximately 50 degrees with sunshine at the time of the incident. This incident serves as a reminder of the dangerous ice conditions in southern Michigan this time of year.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling in Allegan County when he observed an ORV rider operating illegally on a public roadway and without a helmet. He was able to stop the ORV as it entered the parking lot of a local convenience store. Further investigation revealed the operator’s license had been suspended as well. A citation was issued for the safety violations.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling various lakes in Allegan County for ice fishing activity. The CO was checking multiple subjects on a lake that was producing a lot of perch and panfish. Upon checking two subjects in a shanty, he observed a large number of perch scattered all over the ice floor in the shanty. When asked if the subjects knew the limit on perch, they both replied with 25. CO Woodwyk asked if they knew how many they had and they replied no, but stated it was probably time to start counting them. A citation was issued for being 26 fish over limit.
CO Sam Schluckbier was checking ice anglers on an inland lake in Allegan County when he encountered a subject with several open warrants. The subject had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant out of Grand Rapids for child support and a felony warrant out of the Attorney General’s Office for child support. The angler was found to be without a license as well. A citation was issued, and the subject was lodged in the Allegan County Jail.
COs Carter Woodwyk, Justin Ulberg, and Sam Schluckbier were on snowmobile patrol in Van Buren County when they encountered a snowmobile without a valid trail permit. When speaking with the driver, he pulled a 2020 trail permit out of his pocket and advised he was testing two of his snowmobiles and deciding which one he was going to use it on. CO Schluckbier explained that in order to ride the trails, he would need to place it on the snowmobile he was currently using. The driver became upset and claimed the COs were harassing him. After further discussion, CO Schluckbier discovered the snowmobile had not been registered after change of ownership over a year ago. The driver later admitted to riding over 70 miles prior to being stopped by the COs. Enforcement action was taken on the registration and permit violations.
CO Richard Cardenas received a littering complaint near Otis Lake in the Barry State Game Area. A small game hunter contacted the RAP line and reported that he was hunting, left for a break, returned to the area, and found litter scattered in the area that was not there when he was hunting earlier. The hunter advised that he witnessed a vehicle and two suspects leave the area as soon as he arrived. The hunter was able to obtain a license plate number, vehicle description, and provided the information to Lansing Station 20 dispatchers. CO Cardenas arrived in the area and located the litter. Some mail evidence was obtained, and CO Cardenas was able to obtain the registered owner’s information from the license plate provided by the complainant. CO Cardenas made contact with the suspects at their home and obtained a full confession that they cleaned their car out. Enforcement action was taken, and the suspects were instructed to go back and pick up their litter.
CO Nathan Beelman investigated snowmobiles entering a county park after hours and riding on groomed ski and hiking trails. CO Beelman followed tracks to a nearby residence where multiple snowmobiles were observed and contacted the homeowner. CO Beelman checked and photographed several snowmobiles which were unregistered and had not been transferred to the current owner. CO Beelman ran the vehicle identification numbers and discovered one of the snowmobiles was stolen out of Eaton County. The suspect stated that he had just recently traded a car for two snowmobiles, including the stolen one. CO Beelman was assisted by the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department who is handling the ongoing investigation into the stolen snowmobile. The snowmobile was returned to the rightful owner.
CO Jim Nason responded to a 911 call in Branch County for a plane that had crashed at the Branch County Memorial Airport. CO Nason assisted MSP and Branch County deputies in securing the scene of the crash and ensuring civilian safety. The six-seater plane was occupied by four subjects and the pilot lost control while trying to land. The Federal Aviation Administration was contacted, and an agent arrived on scene to conduct an official investigation of the crash. No one involved in the crash suffered any serious injuries.
Sgt. Rich Nickols received a phone call from a Wildlife Division employee who was ice fishing with a friend on Muskrat Lake and they had both broken through the ice when returning to shore. The employee stated there were four more anglers still fishing on the lake. Sgt. Nickols responded and found one of the anglers up to his waist in the water. The man stated his two teenage sons were on the ice attempting to bring their equipment to shore. Sgt. Nickols assisted the subjects to shore, all of whom broke through into waist deep water.
CO David Schaumburger attended an arraignment for a case where the defendant took 32 too many walleyes. The defendant pleaded not guilty. The Judge approved of CO Schaumburger’s request for one term of the bond to prohibit the defendant from fishing until the case is resolved.
COs Ariel Young and Keven Luther stopped out at the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) in Detroit to participate in the free fishing class held by staff at the OAC. The COs helped the young anglers with fish identification and later in the class with casting poles and attempting to catch fish in the Detroit River. Even with frightful temperatures and whipping wind, the young anglers had fun trying to catch all the big fish!
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when he observed multiple vehicles parked in a local marina. The new owner of the marina had recently reached out to COs Joseph Deppen and Silorey to express their concern about people trespassing in their marina to fish. Several weeks ago, CO Silorey advised the owner of the marina that better signage was needed at all points of entry to advise people of no trespassing. The owner posted the property with dozens of large no trespassing signs days later. CO Silorey pulled into the marina and contacted multiple trespassers who were parked and fishing on the ice. The subjects parked directly in front of multiple no trespassing signs and walked past several other signs to gain access to the ice. CO Silorey issued recreational trespassing citations to four anglers who were in violation and parked on private property.
CO Brad Silorey was concluding an interview for a background investigation when he received an in-progress over-limit of fish complaint from DNR Dispatch. The complaint stated that there were two ice anglers who were catching limits of fish, walking them back to a nearby home, then coming back out with an empty bucket and continuing to fish. CO Silorey contacted the complainant to gather additional information and verify that the anglers were still fishing. CO Silorey arrived in the area shortly after receiving the call. After speaking with the complainant several more times, CO Silorey decided to contact both anglers who were beginning to walk off the ice. Once CO Silorey made contact, he counted both anglers’ fish. One angler was several fish under his possession limit; however, the other angler was one fish over his possession limit of pan fish. With the information provided by the complainant, CO Silorey knew that the angler who was one fish over was also the angler who had already dumped a bucket of fish several hours prior. CO Silorey questioned the subject on the other fish caught that day. The subject stated that the other fish are gone, and that someone had picked them up already. After further questioning, CO Silorey discovered that the suspect had hidden another 18 fish in a plastic bucket in the back of his vehicle. The suspect willingly showed CO Silorey the additional 18 pan fish for a total of 44 fish. The suspect was in possession of 19 fish over his daily possession limit and was cited for the over-limit.
CO Jaime Salisbury was on his way to survival tactics training when he noticed a motorist weaving in and out of traffic at a high speed in his rear-view mirror. The vehicle traveling at a high speed nearly sideswiped CO Salisbury’s patrol truck. CO Salisbury had to drive over 110 mph to catch the speeding motorist on I-75. CO Salisbury conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and asked the driver why he was driving so fast and carelessly. The driver stated that he had to use the restroom. CO Salisbury told the driver that was a poor excuse for putting others in danger and issued a citation for careless driving.
CO Tom Peterson was on patrol in Oakland County and encountered an ice angler fishing with four lines, two tip-ups, and two poles. The CO questioned the individual if he knew the law on how many lines he was lawfully allowed to have. The angler admitted to knowing the law but proceeded to set four lines regardless. The CO cited the individual for fishing with too many lines.
CO Luke Robare received a RAP complaint about two individuals snagging and keeping walleye at the Holloway Dam. CO Robare responded and located the two individuals who were reportedly snagging. CO Robare watched both anglers fish and observed one of the individuals retain a snagged walleye and place it on his stringer. CO Robare contacted the two anglers and discovered that it was a father and his teenage son. CO Robare issued the father a citation for retaining a fish that was not hooked in the mouth and educated the teenage son about ethical fishing.
CO Luke Robare was patrolling the Flint River near the Holloway Dam and saw a young teenage boy fishing and violently jerking the rod in a snagging motion. CO Robare continued to watch the individual snag two walleye. It appeared that the boy’s father was on the shore and assisting his son by landing and unhooking the fish. The father proceeded to snag a walleye near the dorsal fin and drag it up on shore. He then took it behind a tree stump, unhooked it, and placed it on his stringer. CO Robare contacted the anglers, and upon inspection of the fish, there were five fish that had been snagged and one was undersized. A citation was issued to the father and CO Robare spoke to the teenage son and educated him about the rules and regulations of fishing.
CO Justin Muehlhauser was en route to Holly Recreation Area and noticed an ORV being operated west bound on Baldwin Road. CO Muehlhauser stopped the ORV and the operator advised that he was coming from Vassar Road which was approximately two miles away. He also stated that he was just going to a private drive approximately a quarter mile further. The CO informed the operator that he could not operate the ORV on the public roadway. The operator advised that he knew he couldn’t operate on the road and was taking a chance and didn’t think he would be caught that early on a Sunday morning. The operator was cited for operating an ORV on the roadway.
Sgt. Jason Becker responded to an in-progress RAP complaint of subjects keeping bass out of season on a local lake in Oakland County. Sgt. Becker checked the group of anglers suspected of keeping bass. Sgt. Becker observed four pike laying on the ice next to the angler’s equipment. Upon measuring the pike, it was discovered that one of the pike was more than three inches short. Sgt. Becker issued a citation for possession of an undersized pike and gave warnings for not having names on tip-ups.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and Acting Sgt. (A/Sgt.) Shane Webster were patrolling Milan Township for ORV activity when they observed a Polaris RZR approach them at a high rate of speed. The COs initiated a traffic stop on the RZR due to Monroe County being closed to ORV use on the public roadways. The driver stated that he was testing out his buddy’s RZR because he wanted to purchase one himself. The RZR did not have an ORV license attached. The COs issued a citation for no ORV license and issued a warning for operating an ORV on the public roadway.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and A/Sgt. Shane Webster were patrolling Milan Township for ORV activity when they observed a quad in the distance driving down the roadway and they were able to catch up to the ORV. As they approached, they observed a quad with two adults and an infant without helmets riding down the roadway. The COs were able to initiate a traffic stop on the quad and advised the driver of the multiple violations. The driver stated he was just out for a Sunday cruise and was driving slowly. The COs advised the driver that Monroe County was closed to ORV use, they were not wearing helmets, they were operating the ORV with more passengers than it was designed for, expired ORV license, and advised them of the safety issues of carrying an infant on the quad. The driver was educated about the safety issues and issued a citation for no ORV license and issued warnings on the other violations. The infant and mother walked home while the husband returned the quad to their residence.
While patrolling through Lenawee County on the way to meet with CO Nicholas Ingersoll, A/Sgt. Shane Webster noted a side-by-side ORV being operated on the roadway. With Lenawee county being closed to roadway ORV operation, A/Sgt. Webster made a traffic stop, noting the ORV was also unlicensed. A citation was issued for the lack of an ORV license and a warning was given for the roadway operation.
Det. Dan Lee reports: This case originated through a complaint to Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Water Resources Division (WRD) regarding a possible unpermitted Seawall.
The investigation began with a citizen’s complaint to EGLE WRD about a possible unpermitted seawall. The violations took place on three separate private properties in Baldwin Township, Iosco County. Water Resources staff investigated the complaint and found a newly installed seawall which had not been permitted. Further investigation by Det. Dan Lee of the DNR LED Environmental Investigation Section and WRD found that two other adjacent properties also had newly installed seawalls that had not been permitted. All three seawalls had utilized broken concrete in their construction, which is a prohibited material. All three landowners provided Detective Lee with contracts they had signed. In order to come into compliance with Great Lakes Shoreline Protections regulations, all three landowners were required by WRD to remove the broken concrete and replace it with approved materials.
The suspect was charged with six misdemeanors and arraigned on June 6, 2019. The charges include three counts of Great Lakes Shoreline Protection – altering bottomlands without a permit, and three counts of Great Lakes Shoreline Protection – using unauthorized materials.
During court proceedings, the suspect failed to appear for a court date and was charged with contempt of court in addition to the other charges.
On December 17, 2019, the suspect plead guilty to three charges of building a seawall without a permit and for the contempt of court – fail to appear. The three charges for unauthorized materials were dismissed.
On February 22, 2020, the suspect was sentenced to fines and costs totaling $1,975. He was ordered to spend two days in jail and ordered to pay restitution to the landowners of $21,500.00.