CO Reports: COs Help Search For Fugitive On The Run – Brainerd Dispatch

District 9 – Brainerd district

CO (Conservation Officer) Jim Guida (Brainerd East), CO Vang and CO Verkuilen assisted the local sheriff’s office in the search for a fugitive on the run. The individual, who had a history with weapons, had numerous criminal warrants and fled while serving the warrant. A drone and K9 were used in the search. Numerous law enforcement officers conducted the search on foot along the shoreline in waist-deep aquatic vegetation. They located the criminal lying in the water near the shore, mostly hidden in the water and by dense vegetation.

AC Guida also patrolled the resort for ATV activity and followed up on aquatic plant management violations.

Cmdr Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) attended the Academy this week training the new COCs. Enforcement actions have also been taken for boating and fishing offences. A big game deal was also completed which included unloading a firearm from a motor vehicle and attempting to take deer out of season.

AC Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking anglers, pleasure craft and investigating litter complaints throughout the week. Enforcement measures included angling on designated trout lakes without trout stamps and insufficient PFDs on boats.

CA Calie Kunst (Crosslake) continued to monitor anglers and boaters throughout the week. Enforcement measures have been taken for various offences. Calls have also been received regarding complaints about personal watercraft and aquatic plants.

AC Tony Flerlage (Crosby) attended the Minnesota Trappers Association State Convention in Wadena last week. It was great to talk with people who are passionate about trapping. He assisted the State Patrol in a fatal traffic accident and worked on ATV trails and high-use areas.

District 4 – Walking sector

AC Michael Cross (Lake George) has spent most of the week conducting a background investigation. Other times were spent monitoring angling and recreational boat traffic. Enforcement action has been taken for offenses relating to personal watercraft and personal watercraft registration.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) worked primarily in angling, boating and AIS enforcement. Calls were received about an injured loon and an injured goose. A special beaver license has been issued. Enforcement actions have been taken for boating, angling and AIS violations.

Captain Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports that he is checking anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Some enforcement actions were the lack of a legal fire extinguisher, insufficient life jackets and no license in possession. He also reports spending time on a pre-employment background investigation and helping out at Camp Ripley with the Academy in progress.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and ATV activities. Enforcement measures have been taken for driving an ATV with minors without a helmet and for a vehicle passing over the shoulder.

Commander Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass County for boating and ATV activities. Assistance was also given to the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

Cmdr Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked on angling and RV activity. Time was also devoted to follow-up on open files. Holt has received several complaints about violations of public waters, small game, and recreational boating.

AC Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV and angling activities last week, with fishing slowing on area lakes as usual for August. Sutherland again received several bear-related complaints in the area, with many bears seeking a snack from bird feeders.

Commander Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) responded to several calls about nuisance and injured animals. Time was spent assisting with water survival officer training for conservation officer candidates at Staples. ATV and angling activities were also monitored. Violations included children under 18 on an ATV not wearing a helmet and recording issues.

District 10 – Mille Lacs sector

Commander Gregory Verkuilen (garrison) checked local lakes where warm water had recreational activity and invasive species violations were keeping things busy. He also aided an injured hawk and helped establish a perimeter while a warrant was being served. Bear issues were still coming at a faster rate than in previous years.

Cmdr Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked on a detail at Two Harbors for the Tall Ships event. Time was also spent working on Mille Lacs Lake and the Soo Line Trail. Enforcement actions were taken for multiple ATV and boating violations. Griffith would like to remind drivers that operators and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets on Class 1 and Class 2 machines.

AC Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked on anglers and boaters in the area. Enforcement action has been taken for shoreline violations, fishing without a license and minors without ATV helmets. Benkofske also attended a rally for Jacobson’s National Night Out event.

Commander Dan Starr (Onamia) received calls from nuisance bears, nuisance beavers and a dead muskellunge found on shore. A dispute at a state park was resolved, and firearms safety training plans and other fall work plans were also developed.

District 11 – Saint-Cloud sector

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) conducted a deer farm inspection, performed equipment maintenance and assisted local law enforcement on various calls. Instructions have been given to the MNR Conservation Officer Academy on water survival officer training for new conservation officer candidates. Various pest complaints keep coming. A case was investigated where a black bear broke into a cattle pen and killed a young goat. More information about pests can be found on the MNR website under “Living with Wildlife”.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) angling. He took a call about a bear and a fisherman. He discussed an upcoming gun safety course with the Paynesville Sportsmen’s Club.

Cmdr Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. A fire involving prohibited materials was investigated and the person responsible was cited. Bertram also gave a lecture on Laws and Ethics at the Browerville Gun Safety Course.

Borough 12 – Princeton area

Commander Ryan Hanna (Milaca) responded to calls ranging from bear complaints to fire complaints. Hanna assisted other officers at a local state park with a noise complaint and someone riding an ATV at a state park. The situation was resolved and peace was restored.

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