CO Kuechler and CO Williamson have been working on the ATV problem
at Wildcat Ridge WMA. CO Kuechler apprehended two individuals
using ATVs to access an area in which they were bow hunting, unfortunately
for the two hunters that area was not open to hunting at the time.
Complaints were signed for hunting deer closed season and operating
off road vehicles on a WMA. In an unrelated incident, CO Williamson
apprehended five individuals riding ATVs and motorcycles on the
WMA. Two complaints were signed against two adults and three warnings
were issued to juveniles.
CO Applegate and Lieutenant Cole attended the Hunterdon County
Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs meeting.
CO Nestel apprehended four individuals for over the limit violations
on trout at the Flatbrook Fly-fishing area in Sussex County.
CO Williamson attended the Morris County Federation of Sportsmen’s
CO Panico apprehended an individual bow hunting within 450 feet
of a school in Lebanon Township in Hunterdon County. An inspection
of the hunter’s equipment revealed blood on one of the arrows.
After questioning, the hunter admitted to killing a deer a few
days earlier and not tagging or registering it. Complaints were
signed for the 450 violation, as well as failure to register deer.
Senior Communications Operator Colao received a call from an individual
at the NRO regarding deer violations and other issues which were
reported in Oakland in Bergen County. After spending a great deal
of time with the caller on the telephone, she convinced him to
leave a telephone number in order for officers to call him if
they had additional questions. A substantial amount of supportive
information was obtained by Senior Comm. Operator Colao using
the Division database, and the call was turned over for investigation
to Lieutenant Fletcher and CO Hutchinson. Based on information
supplied by the caller during several telephone conversations,
the officers were able to locate the kill sight and contact the
suspect. Blood evidence was found in the suspect’s vehicle
and an admission was obtained from the individual. The investigation
determined that the deer was falsely reported for a zone with
no earn-a-buck requirement. A complaint was signed for bow hunting
within 450 feet of a school. Complaints for improper tagging of
a deer and failure to meet the earn-a-buck requirement are pending.
CO Applegate and Lieutenant Cole interviewed an individual in
Delaware Township in Hunterdon County at the request of authorities
from the state of Colorado. The interview involved the illegal
killing of several mule deer, which were documented on videotape
seized during the execution of a search warrant by Colorado Officers.
The interview was transcribed and forwarded to investigators for
the filing of charges.
COs Nestel and Williamson, assisted by Deputy Schleifer and Lieutenant
Fletcher, patrolled the Hyper Humus Area of Paulinskill River
WMA on opening day of the waterfowl season. Two individuals were
apprehended for hunting ducks after hours and failing to procure
a HIP number.
CO Williamson and Lieutenant Cole apprehended seven individuals
riding ATVs on Pequest WMA. Both adults and juveniles were involved
and the appropriate complaints and warnings were signed.
CO Applegate and Lieutenant Cole responded to a call to assist
Police in Readington Township in Hunterdon County regarding a
night hunting incident at 1 am. The police, using an Infrared
Scope, had located three individuals involved, hidden in a nearby
wooded area. An eight-point buck, killed with an arrow, was located
a short distance away. Complaints were filed for hunting during
hours of darkness, hunting with aid of a light, hunting with aid
of a motor vehicle, bow hunting within 450 feet of dwelling, trespass
and earn-a-buck violations.
CO Samona investigated an incident of trash being dumped on the
Silver Lake WMA in Sussex County. Several mailing labels for a
local resident were located in the trash and the officer was able
to obtain an admission from the resident of dumping. The appropriate
complaint was signed.
A large fifteen-point buck, which escaped from a Kingwood Township
Hunterdon County Preserve two years ago, was killed shortly thereafter
by a local bow-hunter. Recently, COs Applegate and Martiak received
information that the deer had been presented for registration
by a second bow-hunter to circumvent the earn-a-buck requirement
for the area. An investigation uncovered additional information
regarding the incident and CO Applegate was able to confront the
hunter and obtain an admission of guilt. Complaints were signed
for improper tagging and the earn-a-buck violations. The mounted
head of the deer will be displayed at the Pequest Hatchery and
Natural Resource Center.
An OGT complaint regarding an earn-a-buck violation was investigated
by CO Williamson. During the course of the investigation the officer
was able to gain a confession from the hunter. Complaints were
signed for improperly tagging a deer and the earn-a-buck violation.
Captain Cussen attended the Sussex County and Warren County Federation
of Sportsmen’s Clubs Meetings.
Central Region Highlights
After being remanded from Ocean County Superior Court to Jackson
Twp. Municipal Court, Officer Fresco successfully convicted three
individuals who eluded apprehension while riding ATV’s on
the Colliers Mills WMA. Officer Fresco was almost struck by an
ATV as these individuals were fleeing the scene. Officers Fresco
and Falzon were able to later apprehend the culprits, who were
found hiding at the residence of one of the suspects. The three
defendants were fined two thousand dollars each, totaling six
thousand dollars in penalties.
Officer Mutone arrived on the scene of an ATV accident in the
Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area, along with Lacey Twp.
Emergency Services. They were tending to an ATV rider who was
injured in an accident. The operator involved in the accident
sustained a serious back injury and was transported to the area
hospital. At this location, a group of six individuals were apprehended
for the illegal operation of ATV’s and off-road vehicles.
Two ATV’s were impounded and a total of six wildlife management
and motor vehicle summonses were issued.
After responding to a call regarding lost hunters on the Colliers
Mills Wildlife Management Area, Officers Mutone and McManus encountered
a large group of unruly individuals that were illegally camping
on the management area. The officers observed the destruction
of vegetation, litter, alcohol and illegal campfires. The majority
of persons were intoxicated and officers made arrangements for
a number of subjects to find alternative transportation home.
At the completion of this investigation, a total of forty summonses
Officer Mutone had been notified by Manchester Police that a local
resident was trying to obtain a deer road kill permit for a dead
bear he found in Dover Twp. Officer Mutone and a Manchester Patrolman
met up with the subject who had the bear in the back of his pickup
truck. After a short interview, the bear was confiscated and a
summons for the illegal possession of a bear was issued. The bear
was a victim of a motor vehicle incident.
CO McManus apprehended a fisherman on the Delaware River in Trenton
fishing without a license. Upon verification of the man’s
identity it was determined that there was an outstanding warrant
on the individual. Based on a visible tattoo on the individual’s
forearm, CO McManus believed he had a local gang member. Trenton
P.D. was contacted for backup and the individual was turned over
CO Martiak continued to find a number of violations along the
Morgan Creek in Sayreville during this monthly period. While watching
two men fishing, Officer Martiak observed them putting fish into
a bag that was hidden in the weeds. Upon inspection, the fishermen
claimed they hadn’t caught any fish. Officer Martiak then
pulled the bag from the weeds. The fishermen claimed they didn’t
know whose fish they were. As Officer Martiak walked the fishermen
out to their car, he asked them if they had any porgies in their
car. They stated no, however upon inspection, more sub-legal fish
were located. As Officer Martiak was conducting the inspection,
he noticed a female quickly attempting to get into her car. Officer
Martiak stopped the woman and asked if she had any fish. She stated
she didn’t however, upon inspection 12 sub-legal porgies
hidden in the vehicle. While all this was going on, Officer Martiak
also observed another man throwing garbage into the river while
he was fishing. In all, 2 interference, 1 littering and 5 sub-legal
fish summonses were issued.
CO’s Martiak and Szalaj were on night patrol in the Colliers
Mills WMA when they came across an abandoned jeep, which had been
crashed into a tree. The vehicle had a military sticker on the
windshield, so Officer Martiak contacted the MP’s at Fort
Dix for assistance. The MP’s were able to locate the owner
of the vehicle who then returned to the WMA to meet with the officers.
During questioning, the owner stated that he had been driving
around the WMA and had purposely hit several other trees before
hitting the last tree and disabling the vehicle. He was charged
with careless driving, after hours and driving off the established
roadway.CO Martiak was on patrol on the Assunpink WMA when he
passed a motor vehicle at a slow rate of speed. Both Officer Martiak’s
driver’s side window and the other vehicle’s driver’s
side window were down. As the vehicles passed, Officer Martiak
smelled what he knew, through his training and experience, to
be marijuana coming from the other vehicle. Officer Martiak turned
around and pulled the vehicle over. In the course of stopping
the vehicle, Officer Martiak found that the vehicle’s registration
was expired. Upon questioning the driver admitted that he had
been smoking marijuana but that he threw it into the bushes. He
also stated he did not have insurance. The driver gave permission
to search the vehicle and Officer Martiak located a partially
smoked marijuana cigarette under the driver’s seat. The
individual was arrested and his vehicle was towed. The appropriate
charges were filed.
Southern Region Highlights
In response to complaints of people taking over their limit of
fish Officer Stites apprehended two men from Philadelphia at Mannington
Causeway, Mannington Township, Salem County. They had 30 Crappie
over the limit, and a stinkpot turtle. The men were using a cast
net in addition to rods & reels to fish. The appropriate summonses
CO. Stites responded to a complaint in Elsinboro Township, Salem
County for unlawful possession of live deer. The man in possession
of the deer had taken the two young fawns from the wild and put
them on a chain leash in his backyard. The deer were released
and the man was charged accordingly.
CO Kille attended the FBI investigator school. He learned new
tactics and techniques and made many new contacts.
Conservation Officer Massey prosecuted a hunting accident from
last January in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County. The case,
involving several members of a hunting party, was being contested
until the attorney involved read all of the discoverable material
that was provided by CO Massey. On the trial date the subject,
with the advisement of his attorney, plead guilty to negligent
discharge of a weapon and agreed to surrender his hunting license
and privileges for the next five years.
Conservation Officers Honachefsky, Batten and Ely checked several
bow hunters in Fairfield and Commercial Townships in Cumberland
County one evening and uncovered numerous tagging violations.
During a routine inspection earlier in the week CO Honachefsky
checked an individual who suspected that another hunter close-by
had harvested several deer already and was continuing to hunt.
That hunter was located in Commercial Township and after a brief
interview the hunter admitted to harvesting two bucks and utilizing
his fathers tag on the second deer. The second buck was located
at a butchers shop and seized as evidence. During another inspection
the same evening a hunter in Fairfield Township who had already
harvested two deer was found hunting without a valid possession
tag. The appropriate summonses have been issued.
Captain Eisenhuth met with Kathy Clark, Larissa Smith and volunteer
eagle observer Elmer Clegg of the non game and endangered species
program to discuss access to observe eagle nests. As more mature
eagles return to NJ to breed, access will become an increasingly
sensitive issue. While fish and game law authorizes Division employees
to access properties, it is the goal of the Division to gain partnerships
with private landowners and the endangered species program. Non
game, with input from law enforcement, has developed a brochure
entitled “Eagles, Landowners and Land Managers” that
explains our goals as they relate to the bald eagle program.
Marine Enforcement Highlights
On Sunday, September 24, 2006, while sitting on the Point Pleasant
Beach side of the Manasquan Inlet, CO Fittin observed a snorkeler
shooting tautog among the rocks along the Manasquan side of the
inlet and then passing these fish to anglers standing on the rocks.
A total of 5 tautog were taken and disposed of in this fashion.
The possession of tautog at this time of the year is 1 fish. CO
Fittin & CO Sennick confronted this individual on the Manasquan
side of the inlet at which time CO Fittin realized that the individual
had previously been issued spearfishing violations from CO Dravis.
The subject's spear gun was seized as evidence along with his
tautog. A summons was issued to the individual for taking 5 tautog
in excess of the daily bag limit of tautog. Ironically, about
an hour later, this apprehended individual, who was given CO Fittin's
State Cell Phone, called him and gave him information concerning
several individuals fishing on the Manasquan jetty who were retaining
short tautog and fluke. Responding back to the area, CO Fittin
began a surveillance of fishermen along the jetty. Eventually,
several Asian males exited the jetty, but only after having sent
a "sentinel" out ahead to scout the parking lot presumably
for our presence. CO Fittin observed one of the fishermen on the
jetty receive a cell phone call at which time all of the group
quickly proceeded off of the jetty and into the parking area.
Of this group of fishermen, the following violations were documented:
One individual with 2 tautog less than 14" in length and
1 tautog over the daily bag limit. Another individual with 6 tautog
less than 14" in length and 5 tautog over the daily bag limit.
After processing these patrons, CO Fittin advised CO Sennick that
there were probably additional violations occurring out on the
rocky jetty. CO Sennick donned a "cover" jacket and
pants and grabbed a back pack and proceeded to walk out on the
jetty during which time he was able to document additional violations
which resulted in the following apprehensions: One individual
with 3 tautog over the limit and 2 tautog less than 14" in
length, along with one mutilated summer flounder; another individual
with 3 tautog less than 14" in length.
While assisting CO Fittin at the Manasquan Inlet, CO Sennick received
a phone call from a confidential informant that a male at the
Shark River Inlet in Belmar was retaining numerous sublegal tautog.
While enroute to this complaint, CO Sennick ran across another
violation which prevented him from responding directly to the
original complaint. In an effort to assist, Lt. Chicketano covered
the complaint for CO Sennick and apprehended a man with 10 tautog
which were sublegal and over the limit. During the processing
of this violation, the individual provided Lt. Chicketano with
a New Jersey Driver's License, which was determined by Lt. Chicketano
to be fictitious. The individual was subsequently arrested and
charged with the criminal violation of NJS 2C:21-2.1d, providing
fictitious ID to a law enforcement officer as well as possession
of 10 sublegal tautog less than 14" in length, possession
of 10 tautog over the daily bag limit, and possession of 4 sublegal
On Tuesday, September 26th Conservation Officer Snellbaker responded
to a complaint about illegal crabbing in the Cohansey River. When
Officer Snellbaker arrived in the area he spotted a small aluminum
boat head up into a small tributary off of the Cohansey River.
Officer Snellbaker called CO Risher for additional backup surveillance.
For over an hour the officers observed the individual tend at
least 8 crab pots and possibly several more which were out of
their line of sight. When the individual returned to the dock
the officers boarded the vessel and found a bushel of crabs. The
crabber produced 4 recreational crab pot licenses from various
family members. Officer Snellbaker interviewed the crabber and
went back out into the tributary with the crabber and found additional
crab pots. Summonses were issued to the crabber for fishing more
than 2 crab pots on a recreational license, no gear ID number
and no biodegradable panels. Warnings were also issued for closed
area, no terrapin excluders and failure to tend every 72 hours.
Fall firearms training commenced during this period. Refreshers
on domestic violence and motor vehicle pursuits were also presented.
Captain Boyle assisted with basic firearms training of recruits
at the Division of Criminal Justice Academy at Sea Girt.