CO Applegate and Lieutenant Cole responded to a residence in Milford,
Hunterdon County regarding reports of a six-foot caiman in a greenhouse
on the property. The reports were accurate, as the owner stated
that he had purchased the caiman several years before in Pennsylvania.
The officers left the animal in Custodial Care in order to arrange
for relocation. The incident is currently under investigation.
During the week prior to Trout Season, COs Hutchinson and Kuechler
encountered many individuals fishing closed waters. The officers
working in city environments, apprehended 41 individuals, signing
19 complaints and 12 written warnings.
Lieutenant Fletcher and CO Hutchinson assisted the West Milford
Police Department with an investigation of an unattended death
at the Wanaque Wildlife Management Area in Passaic County. The
woman had been missing for approximately two months and was found
in her vehicle in approximately 30 feet of water in Green Turtle
CO Nestel attended the Sussex County Federation Dinner and was
presented with an award for Public Service and Supporting Hunting
by the organization.
Lieutenant Cole and COs Nestel and Williamson assisted with the
Annual Open House at the Pequest Hatchery. Officers manned the
Law Enforcement display and answered questions from the public.
CO Williamson and Captain Cussen attended the Morris County Farmer-Sportsman
CO Hutchinson and Captain Cussen attended the Passaic County Farmer-Sportsman
Federation Meeting. In addition, the Somerset and Hunterdon County
Meetings were also attended.
Lieutenant Cole apprehended two individuals on Opening day of
Trout Season exceeding the daily limit of trout on the Musconetcong
River in Hunterdon County. Complaints were signed against the
fishermen who had one and three trout over the limit.
CO Applegate responded to a complaint of a turkey hunter killing
three gobblers at one time in White Township in Warren County.
After interviewing the suspect with little luck, the officer met
with the complainant at the scene. CO Applegate located two jake
gobblers hidden in a hedgerow and recovered ballistic evidence
at the scene to corroborate the complainant’s information.
Complaints are to be signed for trespass, take more than the daily
limit of turkey, untagged turkey, interference and fail to register
turkey by 3 p.m. on date killed.
Central Region Highlights
Officers from the Central Region conducted an evening patrol of
the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area located in Jackson
Twp. During the evening, Officer’s Fresco, Martiak, and
Szalaj issued a total of 29 summonses for wildlife management
and motor vehicle violations that involved illegal campfires,
under age drinking, after hours, littering and operating a motor
vehicle while diving privileges were suspended. During one particular
incident CO Fresco attempted to stop a motor vehicle using his
emergency lights and siren. The driver after being instructed
to stop drove around the officers patrol vehicle and fled the
scene. As the officers continued to inspect other members of the
group, the vehicle that had fled earlier returned and was now
being driven by another operator. Officer Fresco realizing this
was the same vehicle, made the stop. He was able to identify a
passenger in the vehicle as the driver during the earlier encounter.
It turns out that the suspect was driving while his privileges
were suspended and probably the reason why he refused to stop.
That individual was issued summonses for driving while suspended
and after hours on a wildlife management area.
CO Tonnesen stopped a pickup truck that was being operated on
the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area for a motor vehicle
infraction and subsequently arrested two individuals for the illegal
possession of marijuana. With the assistance of the State Police
both subjects were taken to the Tuckerton State Police barracks
where they were processed and released.
On the opening day of Trout Season Captain Boyle and CO Mutone
stopped to inspect a group of fisherman on the North Branch of
the Metedeconk River located in Jackson Township. During the inspection
Officer Mutone noticed that one individual was acting a little
nervous and when questioned was unable to produce a fishing license
or a valid trout stamp. When the officer asked for identification
the subject gave conflicting and vague information. With the little
information they could confirm, it was finally determined that
the subject had eleven active warrants for his arrest. They were
for aggravated assault, illegal possession of CDS and various
motor vehicle charges. With the assistance of the Jackson Twp
Police the subject was arrested, processed at the Jackson Twp.
Police Department and then transported to the Ocean County Jail.
Summonses for fish no license and attempting to take trout without
a trout stamp were issued.
On the opening day of Trout Season CO Fresco assigned Deputy Manfredi
to work undercover at the Hamilton Fire Pond located in Neptune.
After a short period of time Deputy Manfredi observed a fisherman
catch over his limit of trout. CO Fresco was called in to make
an inspection and apprehended the fisherman with four trout over
While CO’s Tonnesen and Mutone were monitoring a group of
individuals that were participating in a sanctioned road rally
within the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area located in
Lacey Twp., they encountered a large group of riders that were
illegally operating their all-terrain vehicles on the management
property. Using their skills and coordinating their efforts, the
CO’s were able to apprehend fourteen of the riders without
CO McManus was on patrol along the Delaware River in Trenton when
he observed an individual tying a white plastic bag that appeared
to have a large fish inside. The man looked around the area and
then placed the bag in the back of his truck behind the spare
tire and returned to the river to fish. CO McManus approached
the man and asked him if he had caught any fish. The fisherman
stated “no”. CO McManus then asked what kind of fish
was in the bag that he had put in his truck. After a long pause
and some stuttering, the man claimed it was a carp. He retrieved
the bag from the truck after CO McManus asked to see the fish.
Upon inspection, the bag was found to contain a 34-inch shortnose
sturgeon. The fish was still alive so CO McManus photographed
it and returned it to the water. The man stated that his friend
had caught the fish and given it to him. The man was issued a
summons for possession of an endangered species while his friend
was issued a summons for taking a shortnose sturgeon. During the
course of the inspection, it was also determined that both individuals
had outstanding warrants, one of which was for a ticket issued
by CO Sennick. They were turned over to the proper authorities.
CO’s Martiak, McManus, Szalaj and DCO Kalis conducted a
night patrol of the Assunpink and Collier’s Mills Wildlife
Management Areas on a recent Saturday night. A total of six summonses
were issued on Collier’s Mills for after-hours violations.
Twenty-eight summonses were issued on Assunpink WMA for violations
of after-hours, alcohol, operating a vehicle off the established
road and littering. Two Title 39 summonses were also issued to
two juveniles. CO McManus also issued five fishing related summonses
prior to dark for violations including no license, loaning a license,
littering and consumption of alcohol. CO Martiak also issued nine
summonses to fishermen prior to dark for violations of fishing
without a license and littering.
Southern Region Highlights
CO Kille attended a Criminal Investigation School
offered at Gloucester County College that provided instruction
on investigation techniques used in apprehending various offenders.
While on ATV Patrol in the Glassboro WMA, CO Kille had three ATV’s
elude him. The same ATV’s were observed earlier that afternoon
at a home on an adjacent street. CO Kille returned to that location
and stopped a truck attempting to leave the property. One of the
occupants appeared to have been riding. That individual was detained
and questioned about his involvement and/or knowledge of the ATV
riders. He provided CO Kille with a false identity and refused
to cooperate. CO Ely, DCO Santini and DCO Chiusolo arrived and
the individual remembered his correct identity that revealed he
had a $614 warrant out for his arrest. He was subsequently charged
with Hindering Apprehension and Interference. Prior to posting
bail he provided the officers with first names of the other two
riders and a trailer park in which they might be found. The investigation
then continued with CO Kille and DCO Chiusolo going door to door
in a trailer park looking for an individual by the first name
of Chris that was about 20 years old. After talking to 15 or so
people the CO’s discovered where “Chris” resides.
Although no one was home charges are pending for that individual
as well.. The third rider was then apprehended after the CO’s
paid a visit to the home of the first individual that had just
CO Vazquez has devoted considerable time to freshwater fishing
patrols in Camden County. He recently checked 6 fishermen together
at New Brooklyn Lake, Camden County. Five who did not possess
a fishing license were charged.
Conservation Officer Massey is investigating an osprey nest that
was moved in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County. The nest, which
was adjacent to a newly proposed marina, was moved several hundred
yards from its original location. Several interviews conducted
in the neighborhood suggested that the maintenance crew from the
marina were responsible for moving the nest. The marina owner
denies the allegations, however one neighbor states that the marina
owner admitted to relocating the nest platform. Personnel from
the non-game section said that the nest could have been moved
without any detrimental effects if it would have been moved earlier
in the year. The investigation is ongoing and may be settled with
a NOV and the construction of several new nest platforms to mitigate
the nest that was re-located during the breeding season.
During a routine patrol of the Great Egg Harbor River Wildlife
Management Area in Mizpah, Atlantic County, CO Massey encountered
a parked vehicle that had off-loaded several ATV's. Conservation
Officer Massey waited at the vehicle and eventually stopped four
individuals on two ATV's. While issuing the appropriate summonses
for unlawfully operating the ATV's, CO Massey ran the VIN numbers
and one of the ATV's was listed as stolen. Hamilton Township Police
Department responded and the individual was taken into custody.
The appropriate charges were issued.
While patrolling Union Lake Wildlife Management Area in Cumberland
County, Conservation Officer Honachefsky observed three individuals
throwing cast nets attempting to catch herring. During the inspection
all three nets were measured and found to be over the legal four-foot
radius size limit. The appropriate summonses were issued and the
nets were seized.
Conservation Officers Ely and Honachefsky were conducting a herring
operation in Mays Landing, Atlantic County. During the operation,
CO Honachefsky observed two individuals catch 41 fish over their
limit of 35 herring and called CO Ely to conduct the uniformed
inspection. During the inspection the two individuals attempted
to tell CO Ely that the female occupant had caught her limit as
well and that they were only six fish over their combined limit.
A quick interview, with a little insight from CO Honachefsky who
had been fishing next to them in plainclothes, yielded a confession.
The appropriate summonses were issued.
Conservation Officer Honachefsky was returning to his station
from patrol when he encountered a motorcycle on the Bevans Wildlife
Management Area in Cumberland County. The operator, who was on
a street bike without a helmet or tags, immediately fled from
CO Honachefsky when he activated his emergency lights. As the
first bike fled six additional motorcycles approached the CO and
they all attempted to elude him. Conservation Officer Honachefsky
attempted to stop the riders on the opposite side of a guardrail
and was almost struck by several of the riders. One rider got
stuck and CO Honachefsky was able to stop him and remove him from
his bike. The rider was charged criminally with eluding and received
four additional fish and wildlife summonses.
Conservation Officer's Ely and Kille assisted the marine officers
in a trapping investigation in Cape May County. The subjects were
apprehended near the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area with
several illegal-trapping sets. During the field inspection, the
subjects indicated that they had already trapped several coyotes
and muskrat. Conservation Officers Ely and Kille assisted the
marine officers in a subsequent interview and inspection at one
subjects’ home. Conservation Officer Kille had just taken
the trapper education class with the two subjects and had a lot
of intelligence to add to the subsequent interviews. Both individuals
had been trapping prior to taking the trapper education class
without a license and had numerous animals, including an otter,
that had been taken illegally. The marine officers issued the
appropriate summonses and the case has been settled in court.
Conservation Ely investigated a dumping case on the Peaslee Wildlife
Management Area in Maurice River Township in Cumberland County.
The dumpsite was located by the land management crew and several
labels from a Lowe's store were recovered. Conservation Officer
Ely went to the Lowe's store and was able to ascertain who ordered
the building materials. The homeowner that ordered the supplies
advised CO Ely that he had contracted with a builder to install
the material and paid him to dispose of the waste from the job
site. An interview with the builder resulted in a confession and
the appropriate summonses were issued.
Conservation Officer Ely encountered several ATV's during a routine
patrol of the Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area in Millville,
Cumberland County. Of the five individuals that he attempted to
stop two eluded him and three were apprehended. An area of the
WMA that had been planted with trees as mitigation for the damage
caused by the Greenbriar Enduro race, a motorcycle race sanctioned
by the Division of Fish and Wildlife on another adjacent WMA,
has been destroyed by the recent increase in riding activity.
This increase in riding activity has prompted an increase in patrol
activity in the area. The appropriate summonses have been issued.
Captain Eisenhuth presented background and operational information
to a group of about 60 police chiefs from various departments
throughout south Jersey in Deptford, Gloucester County. A brochure
listing useful Division phone numbers and ways to contact Cos
was distributed, as well as WMA maps and Digests.
Charges for the taking of bald eagles filed against Cherokee Pennsauken
and a consultant they hired were upheld in a recent court hearing
in Trenton. Briefs by defense attorneys and the Attorney general’s
Office were considered by the judge, who set a time table in order
to move the case along. He commented that there was a “considerable
amount of discovery” to come out in the case.
COs Massey and Kille, and Captain Eisenhuth met with a security
consulting company hired by the US Coast Guard to update their
port security study completed a year ago. Information pertaining
to observations made by COs on the water was shared, and will
become part of the federal study.
Marine Enforcement Highlights
On March 25, 2006 Officers inspected the party
boat Jamaica out of Brielle, NJ. This vessel was on a special
black sea bass fishing trip, having left the dock at 0100 and
returned the same day at 1830. On this day, there were approximately
45 patrons aboard. Upon leaving the vessel, each patron's catch
was inspected, many of whom had limits of 25 black sea bass. Resultant
to this inspection, 3 warnings and 3 summonses were issued for
the following violations. Two of the patrons were issued warnings
for 1 black sea bass over the 25 fish limit. The vessel was issued
a warning against its fillet permit for having removed the skin
from several of the black sea bass fillets. One of the patrons
received a summons for personally filleting his fish at sea, fish
which were virtually unidentifiable without the skin on. Another
patron received a summons for 5 black sea bass over the 25 fish
limit and for a black sea bass less than 12" in length."
On April 15, 2006 Conservation Officer Fresco was working with
Lt. Chicketano along Matawan Creek in Keyport. While watching
vessels return to their docks, the two officers observed a 16’
aluminum boat with 2 white males enter the Matawan Creek. Along
their route, they suddenly and inexplicably turned into an area
along the creek which had several floating docks without boats
in the slips. CO Fresco observed the one individual tie off something
in the water. The vessel then left these slips and continued upstream.
Lt. Chicketano and CO Fresco observed the vessel travel approximately
_ mile upstream before stopping at another marina. The officers
then drove to that marina only to find that the vessel had vanished.
Lt. Chicketano and CO Fresco then returned to the empty slips
where the vessel had stopped. At that location, CO Fresco pulled
several lines which were descending down into the water and found
a soft sided “Coors” cooler filled with sublegal striped
bass attached to one of these lines. At this time, the officers
returned to their vehicle and “ran” the boat’s
registration which CO Fresco had dutifully written down and was
thus able to determine the vessel’s registered owner. The
officers then canvassed the local ramp areas, finding a Pennsylvania
registered vehicle and trailer which matched the boat owner’s
information. While checking the adjoining areas of Matawan Creek,
CO Fresco spotted the boat in question pulled into yet another
marina. After identifying himself, CO Fresco ordered the individual
to remain at their location, at which time Lt. Chicketano approached
the vessel. Both individuals initially denied knowing about the
“extra” striped bass, but subsequently both admitted
and apologized for their actions. One individual was issued a
summons for two sublegal striped bass and the other individual
was issued a summons for one sublegal striped bass.
On Wednesday, April 19, 2006 Officer Canale conducted a routine
inspection of Frank’s Fish in Galloway Twp. When Officer
Canale entered the packing room he noticed a fisherman weighing
out bluefish. Upon questioning the fisherman, the fisherman admitted
that his charter vessel in Cape May caught the bluefish by hook
and line. Upon questioning the dealer the dealer admitted not
having a Federal Dealer Bluefish Permit. Appropriate summonses
were issued to the dealer for accepting bluefish without a dealer
permit and the fisherman was issued summonses for selling bluefish
by hook and line during the closed season and not having a federal
Bluefish Permit. Sixty-seven pounds of bluefish was seized and
donated to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.
Deputy Conservation Officers attended a refresher
class on impact weapons and CPR. Three days were devoted to this
training. Captain Boyle and CO Mutone conducted training on impact
weapons while Lieutenant Brown and CO Martiak provided CPR class.
Captain Boyle assisted with a rifle instructor class held at the
Division of Criminal Justice Range at Fort Dix.
Captain Boyle taught a low light instructor class at the Burlington
County Police Academy. Sixteen law enforcements were certified
as instructors after completing the three day program.
Captain Boyle and Lieutenant Brown met with members of the Federal
Air Marshalls Service in reference to building a range in Berkshire