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Old 11-29-2017, 10:40 AM
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DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Highlights

ECO Actions for Early November
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

Illegal Blackfish Helps Feed the Homeless - New York County

On Nov. 3, ECOs Brendan Dickson and Adam Johnson assisted Marine Enforcement Unit ECOs Paul Pasciak and Mary Grose in a commercial fishing enforcement detail led by Lt. Dawn Galvin. ECOs Louis Gerrain, Chris Nielsen, Jonathan Ryan, and Lt. John Murphy worked in plainclothes and visited retail markets to check for compliance with commercial fishing regulations. An inspection of one market led to a felony-level commercialization of wildlife case against the store for selling approximately 260 pounds of undersized live Tautog (Blackfish). The market’s owner was issued a Notice of Violation for the possession of undersized Blackfish and illegal commercialization of wildlife. The illegal Blackfish were seized and donated to the Bowery Mission, which feeds the homeless in New York City.

ECOs Johnson and Dickson checking Blackfish at a market (photo attached)


A Rifle in a Haystack - Cayuga County

On the evening of Nov. 4, ECO Scott Angotti responded to a report of a subject shooting an 8-point buck from his vehicle in the town of Venice. With assistance from ECO Mark Colesante, the complainant provided a written deposition and the deer was recovered. The witness had observed the deer-jacking from his tree stand and reported being threatened when he approached the suspect trying to collect the deer. Fortunately, the witness had the presence of mind to activate his cell phone and record his interaction with the poacher. Armed with this information, the two ECOs located the 70-year-old suspect the following day. Initially uncooperative, the suspect soon relented when confronted with the evidence and led officers to the rifle, which was hidden under a large bale of hay in his barn. ECO Angotti issued five tickets to the suspect, including taking a deer except as permitted by the fish and wildlife law, taking deer by means not specified, taking wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle, possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, and failure to tag deer as required.


Rifle hidden in the hay (photo attached)

Genesee River Detail – Monroe County
Region 8 ECOs conducted a month-long fishing enforcement detail in Rochester on the Genesee River at the lower falls that concluded on Nov. 5. During this detail, officers wrote 178 tickets for various fishing violations, including 41 tickets for snatching, 32 tickets for fishing without a license, and 22 tickets for possession of foul-hooked fish. Other violations included using more than one hook point and fishing with weight below the hook. During this detail, ECOs encountered two subjects with outstanding warrants. These subjects were taken into custody and turned over to the local police agency.
Illegally taken fish stashed among the rocks (photo attached)

Bay Scallop Season Opener 2017 - Suffolk County

On Nov. 6, Region 1 ECOs Lt. Frank Carbone, ECO Jeremy Eastwood, Brian Farrish, and Katie Jaukab conducted an early morning boat patrol in Little Peconic Bay and Great Peconic Bay for the opening of Bay Scallop Season in Suffolk County. Due to recent heavy rainfall, the officers were patrolling to check areas temporarily closed to shell fishing. The officers were also checking to make sure harvesters did not start the season too early. Several boats were found harvesting well before legal sunrise in Great Peconic Bay in the town of Southold. A total of four tickets and six written warnings were issued for taking scallops during the closed season.

Double Trouble - Chautauqua County
On Nov. 7, ECOs Jerry Kinney and Jacob Jankowski responded to a call of a deer exhibiting unusual behavior in the town of Charlotte. Upon their arrival, the officers observed two brothers standing over a large, freshly killed 9-point buck. Further investigation revealed that the buck had been shot by one of the men, but tagged with his brother’s archery tag. The shooter admitted to having already taken a buck during the 2017 archery season, just a few days prior. The man was issued two tickets, one for taking big game in excess of bag limit and one for possessing the tag of another person. His brother was issued one ticket for lending a tag to another person. The deer was taken to Troyer’s Processing in Panama, and the venison will be donated to the Venison Donation Coalition to help feed people in need.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:07 AM
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ECO Actions for Mid-November

DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Highlights

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."
Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

Pennsylvania Buck Seized During Stop -- Broome County
On Nov. 7, ECO Tony Rigoli was on patrol in the town of Windsor when he observed a large antlered deer carcass in the bed of a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction. While Rigoli turned his vehicle around, the driver sped off at a high rate of speed. ECO Rigoli caught up to the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The driver stated he had shot the impressive buck in Pennsylvania and was taking it to his camp in New York to process. The deer carcass was untagged, but the subject had a completed Pennsylvania tag in his possession. ECO Rigoli advised the subject he was in violation of New York’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulations, and would be ticketed and the carcass seized. The man said he was not going to relinquish the deer carcass. ECO Rigoli contacted Lt. Kenric Warner, who responded and convinced the subject that the deer was going to be seized pursuant to the regulations. The officers also determined that the subject, a Pennsylvania resident, had procured a resident New York hunting license illegally. The man was ticketed for making a false statement to obtain a New York resident hunting license and for violating CWD Regulations. The deer was seized and transferred for testing at Cornell University.
ECO Tony Rigoli and Pennsylvania buck (photo attached)

Breaking the Law at Bayville Bridge - Nassau County
On the night of Nov. 11, ECO Timothy Brown was observing fisherman at the Bayville Bridge in Oyster Bay when he received a tip that two males were illegally fishing on the south side. ECO Brown watched the two men with the aid of night vision as they caught and hid striped bass in a large bag hidden in nearby wetlands. ECO Brown approached the individuals, obtained their identification, and instructed them to take him to the fish. The officer seized 17 striped bass ranging in size from 14 to 21 inches. The two suspects received tickets for possession of undersized and over the limit striped bass.
Striped bass seized by ECO Brown (photo attached)

Illegal Fish in Chinatown - New York County
On Nov. 15, ECOs Brendan Dickson and Adam Johnson responded to a commercial fishing complaint at a market in Chinatown. ECOs Dickson and Johnson found two men with black plastic trash bags containing 28 striped bass for sale that had been caught in the East River. The recreational possession limit for striped bass is one per day, and only one fish was under the legal size of 28 inches. Tickets were issued for taking of undersized striped bass, taking over the limit striped bass, taking food fish without a food fish permit, taking striped bass without a striped bass permit, fishing without a marine registry, and illegal sale of untagged striped bass.
ECO Dickson with striped bass illegally offered for sale (photo attached)

Upstate Alligator - Broome County
On Nov. 17, Lt. Kenric Warner and ECOs Andy McCormick and Tony Rigoli executed a search warrant at a residence in the town of Kirkwood. Two days earlier, the officers had received information indicating the subject was currently in possession of an alligator. During the execution of the warrant, officers seized a 3 ½-foot long American Alligator. The subject was issued a ticket for the unlawful possession of a wild animal as a pet, returnable to the Town of Kirkwood Court. The alligator was transferred to Animal Adventure Park, a DEC-permitted facility in Harpursville.

You Can’t Bait the Deer and Bear – Ulster County
On Nov. 18, ECOs Josh Sulkey and Jason Smith were checking hunting camps as part of Southern Zone opening day patrols. While at a camp in the town of Wawarsing, the ECOs noticed bags of feed lying around the camp. The ECOs questioned the property owner about the feed and he took them to a hunter’s tree stand where several piles of feed were scattered nearby. The ECOs learned that a hunter had taken a deer and a bear that morning nearby and had brought the carcasses to a taxidermist. The ECOs located the hunter and after a brief interview he admitted to hunting near the feed. The deer and bear were seized as evidence and the hunter was issued tickets for hunting with the aid of pre-established bait, illegally taking a black bear, and illegally taking a deer.
ECOs Smith and Sulkey with Seized Bear and Buck (photo attached)

The Complainant Becomes the Suspect – Niagara County
On Nov. 18, ECOs George Scheer and Michael Phelps were on patrol when they responded to a call from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in the town of Royalton. A complainant claimed someone had stolen a deer he just shot. The ECOs and a New York State Trooper interviewed the complainant who told the officers he thought a man on an ATV took a doe that he shot. ECO Phelps and Trooper Blair attempted to locate the man with the ATV while ECO Scheer continued to interview the complainant. The complainant was in possession of two firearms with ammunition, one shotgun and one rifle, although rifles are not legal for deer hunting in Niagara County. As the interview continued, ECO Scheer discovered the complainant was in possession of a female’s hunting license, four Deer Management Permits (DMPs), and regular season tags. The complainant advised that they were his girlfriend’s tags and said that she, “does not hunt anymore.” The officers also discovered a used crack pipe, used hypodermic needle, and a small white rock suspected to be crack cocaine. The complainant stated he smoked crack from the pipe the night before but not that day. The man was charged with possession of a rifle during deer season in a non-rifle zone, possession of a hunting license of another person, unlawfully possessing another person’s DMPs, and various charges for the drugs and paraphernalia. The charges will be heard in the Town of Royalton Court.
Firearms, hunting licenses, drugs and paraphernalia (photo attached)

Green and Gray Patrols – Sullivan County
The opening weekend of the Southern Zone rifle season for deer saw ECOs Tom Koepf, Corey Hornicek, and State Trooper Ken Schafer working together as part of the annual “Green and Gray Detail,” during which ECOs and State Police work jointly during the big game seasons. On Nov. 18, the officers investigated a trespassing with possible illegal deer take complaint in the town of Neversink. The complainant stated that he caught two hunters dragging a six-point buck to their truck. The hunters did not have permission to be on that property. The complainant shared the suspects’ license plate number with the officers, who eventually tracked down a suspect via his grandfather. The six-point buck was confiscated and six tickets were issued, three to the suspect for illegally taking protected wildlife, hunting big game without a license, and trespassing on posted property, and three to the grandfather for having a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, failure to possess a consignment tag, and accessory to violation of the fish and wildlife law. All tickets are returnable to the Town of Neversink Court.
ECO Corey Hornicek and Trooper Ken Schafer with the Illegal 6-point buck (photo attached)

On Nov. 19, ECO Tom Koepf received a call from a complainant stating he had just heard a shot come from a known baited tree stand near his residence in the town of Lumberland. ECO Koepf patrolled there, found bait, but was unable to locate anyone bow hunting at the location. ECOs Koepf and Corey Hornicek and State Trooper Schafer visited a suspected residence and the officers observed people walking around a well-lit backyard. The officers asked a male subject if he had any luck this deer season and he excitedly said that he had, in fact, just killed a seven-point buck about an hour earlier on a property down the road. The officers asked the man to take them to his stand. At the stand, officers continued to question the man about his deer season and learned that he had shot an additional five-point buck during the bow season about a week prior. The man insisted that the five-pointer was shot from a different treestand behind his own residence and that there was no bait at that location. ECO Koepf and Trooper Schafer inspected the tree stand and did not find any bait immediately in front of it. However, a short distance away in the backyard of the residence, the officers found a large pile of apples and corn. The man admitted that he had been baiting deer in the backyard the entire summer and early fall. Both bucks (one whole deer and one head) were seized from the hunter, and he was issued four tickets returnable to the Town of Lumberland Court.
ECOs Hornicek and Koepf and Trooper Schafer with illegal bucks (photo attached)

On Nov. 19, ECO Ricky Wood, K-9 Deming, and Trooper Peter Bizjak responded to a complaint at a hunting camp in Ferndale involving several hunters hunting deer with the aid of bait. One evasive hunter tried leading the officers away from a known baited area. K-9 Deming picked up a scent and quickly located a four-point buck in the leaves between a tree stand and a pile of corn. While the officers were investigating the complaint, a subject emerged from the woods near the camp wearing camouflage. The man claimed he was only filming his friends, not hunting. Suspecting that there was a firearm hidden in the woods, ECO Wood worked K-9 Deming in the area from where the subject emerged, eventually locating a firearm hidden in the leaves. Upon the ECO’s return to the camp with the gun, the subject changed his story and admitted to hunting. A final hunter returned to camp on an UTV with corn, a doe, and a loaded firearm. Ultimately, the three hunters were charged with hunting deer with the aid of bait. One subject was charged with hunting without a license. Two hunters were charged with the unlawful taking of protected wildlife for harvesting deer with the aid of bait, and one hunter was also charged with possessing a loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle. All charges are pending in the Town of Liberty Court.
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:49 PM
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ECO Actions for Early to Mid-December

DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Highlights

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."
Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:
Persistence Pays Off - Chemung County
During the 2016 big game season, ECO John Lifrieri investigated a baiting complaint in the town of Ashland. At that time, a mineral block and other bait were being used at several tree stands on a property. After several unsuccessful attempts to find the subject hunting over the bait, ECO Lifrieri decided to wait until the 2017 seasons. Just prior to the 2017 bow season, the Officer checked the hunter's ground blind and tree stand again with no luck. Later, ECO Lifrieri carefully scouted the surrounding vicinity and discovered a mineral block tucked down behind a tree near a tree stand and a somewhat fresh gut pile. The hunter had reported an 8-point buck harvested on Nov. 20, 2017. ECO Lifrieri documented the information, took photos, and left the scene. On Dec. 8, the ECO finally caught the perpetrator hunting in the tree stand. The man admitted to hunting the area several times since the 2016 season, and that he knew baiting deer and using a mineral block were illegal. The subject also confirmed that he had shot the 8-point buck in the baited area. The hunter was charged with hunting deer with the aid of bait, unlawful feeding of deer, placing a mineral block on lands inhabited by deer, and a misdemeanor for taking an illegal deer. The hunter’s case will be heard on Jan.16, 2018, in the Town of Ashland Court. Several pounds of processed venison were seized and confiscated from the subject’s residence and donated to the Wellsburg Food Cupboard food pantry.
Seized frozen venison (photo attached)

Hunting While Impaired - Oneida County
On Dec. 8, ECO Steve Lakeman was patrolling the Utica Marsh in Oneida County. ECO Lakeman observed a man carrying a rifle walking along an abandoned road through the marsh. When the subject saw the Officer, he threw what appeared to be a cigarette to the ground. As ECO Lakeman approached, he noticed the strong odor of burnt marijuana. The subject stated that he was deer hunting and had been smoking marijuana. The cigarette, which contained marijuana, was recovered. With the assistance of a State Trooper, the hunter submitted to field sobriety testing. The test results indicated that he was in an impaired condition. ECO Lakeman issued tickets for hunting while impaired by drugs, failure to carry a hunting license, and unlawful possession of marijuana, returnable to the Town of Marcy Court in Jan. 2018.
The Big Bad Wolf – Westchester County
On Dec. 11, ECOs Charles Eyler III and Craig Tompkins received information from ECO Adam Johnson that an individual was selling a Timber Wolf mount and a bear mount on Craigslist. The two ECOs contacted the seller that day and set up a time to meet and purchase the wolf mount. The following day, the two ECOs contacted the seller, who explained that his father would close the deal in his place. When asked how much he was asking for the wolf and bear mounts, the seller said it would be $1,200 for the wolf and $1,900 for the bear. Upon arrival in uniform and in a marked patrol vehicle, the two ECOs knocked on the door and identified themselves, stating “We are here for the Timber Wolf mount.” The bewildered father quickly realized why they were there and said, “Oh, you can just take it.” However, offering the six-foot mount for sale is illegal. The father showed the ECOs to the garage where the mount was being stored and explained that he had bought the pelt from a hunting guide in Saskatchewan, Canada, had it mounted there, and shipped to his office in Queens nearly 25 years ago. When the man brought it home, his wife said he needed to get rid of it. The father then asked his son to find a way to get rid of it, at which point the son placed the ad on Craigslist. The wolf mount was seized and the charges will be handled administratively by the Region 3 DLE office.

Grey Wolf (Timber Wolf) mount offered for sale illegally (photo attached)

Motor Vehicle Accident – Westchester County
On Dec. 12, ECOs Craig Tompkins and Charles Eyler were travelling south on the Taconic State Parkway in Westchester County when they observed two cars stopped on the shoulder. As they passed the first car, ECO Tompkins spotted a car in the woods with the driver still inside. The two ECOs quickly pulled to the side of the road and rushed to the driver’s aid. The driver was awake and alert, but had minor cuts on his hands and face. ECO Eyler stayed with the driver as ECO Tompkins spoke with the drivers of the other cars that had witnessed the incident. The other drivers stated that the driver of the car in the woods was travelling in the right-hand lane when he lost control and hit the shoulder. The car then rolled and went airborne before coming to rest in the woods along the parkway. ECO Tompkins contacted Westchester 911 to give updates to the Fire Department and EMS responders en-route to the scene, while ECO Eyler placed flares in the right-hand lane of the parkway to control traffic and make room for the other responders coming to the scene. Once the emergency responders arrived, the two ECOs updated the staff and assisted lifting the driver from the vehicle to the ambulance. The driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
ECO Tompkins assisting at the accident scene (photo attached)

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Training – Albany County
On Dec. 15, ECOs Claude Stephens and Peter Jackson presented Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event (CRASE) training to staff at DEC’s Central Office in Albany. The two-hour course provides civilian staff with information about active shooter events, the psychological process the human brain experiences during a disaster, and training on how to best prepare and react during an active shooter event. Topics included the history of active shooter events, civilian response options, medical issues, and considerations for conducting drills. DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement will be offering additional CRASE presentations at the Central Office, as well as in the regional offices.

Close Call – Oneida County
On Dec. 15, ECO Jeff Hull came across a suspicious vehicle driving the back roads in the town of Ava. ECO Hull watched the vehicle as it performed an illegal U-turn and almost entered a ditch. The officer stopped the vehicle and the driver explained that she was searching for her husband who had driven his snowmobile into a pond in the area but was uncertain of his exact location. ECO Hull notified Oneida County Dispatch and EMS. Using his cell phone, ECO Hull then told the lost snowmobiler to call 911 to allow his phone to be pinged. Once his coordinates were obtained, ECO Hull narrowed down the area to be checked using his GPS. The subject was wet from head to toe and sounded as if he was in the beginning stages of shock. The subject could not see the patrol lights or hear the sirens of the units searching for him, but could see a house in the distance. ECO Hull advised the man to head toward the house after obtaining a description, distance, and direction. Within 10 minutes, the subject was met at the house by ECO Hull, EMS, and the New York State Police. He was checked out by EMS and determined to be uninjured, just wet and cold.

Striped Bass Out of Season – Queens and New York Counties
On Dec. 16, while conducting recreational marine fishing checks, ECO Jeff Johnston observed two individuals fishing the East River at Francis Lewis Park under the Whitestone bridge in Queens County. This park is a popular spot during the blackfish and striped bass fishing seasons. Striped bass season extends from April 15 to Dec. 15 in the marine waters south of the George Washington Bridge. After ECO Johnston observed the fishermen catch multiple striped bass through binoculars, ECOs Jankowski, Dobies, and Kelly arrived on scene. ECOs Dobies and Jankowski approached the subjects from the west side of the bridge abutment, while ECO Johnston approached the suspects from the east side to make sure evidence was not thrown into the water while the officers approached. The two subjects were in possession of seven striped bass, and each subject was charged with possession of striped bass during the closed season and expired marine registries, for a total of four summons all returnable to the Queens County Court. Three of the seized fish were released back to the waters of the state while the remaining four were donated.
Also on Dec. 16, ECOs Brendan Dickson and Adam Johnson where patrolling East River Park in Manhattan for marine fishing violations. The officers spotted two fishermen fishing off the bulkhead of the park. Usually this location is a hot spot for blackfish, striped bass, and oyster toad fish, but because the blackfish and striped bass seasons are closed, the officers waited to see what fish the subjects were trying to catch. After a few minutes, one of the fishermen had a bite, and pulled in a striped bass. Instead of releasing the striped bass back into the water, the fisherman placed the fish in a bag and hid it in a nearby trash can. ECOs Dickson and Johnson quickly approached the fishermen and pulled the fish out from the trash can. The fisherman was issued two tickets, possession of striped bass out of season and failure to release a fish with undue harm, and the fish was released back into the water.
ECOs Kelly, Dobies, Johnston, and Jankowski with illegal striped bass (photo attached)
Striped Bass found in a trash can (photo attached)

Odd Time to Scout for Deer – Niagara County
On Dec.18, the second-to-last day of the southern zone muzzleloader season for deer, ECO George Scheer was conducting hunting checks in the town of Lewiston. While waiting for hunters to return to their vehicles, ECO Scheer observed an ATV cross the roadway and drive away. A nearby truck parked by the road had ATV ramps, and, shortly after sunset, ECO Scheer observed the ATV driving along the roadway toward the truck. When the operator observed the ECO, he quickly left the roadway and drove down a trail away from the truck. The Officer finished checking other hunters in the area, and waited for the ATV to return. Within 30 minutes, the ECO observed the interior lights of the truck turn on although the ATV had not returned. ECO Scheer found the man who had been operating the ATV in the truck. When asked about the ATV, the man claimed he had not been driving it, and his brother must have operated the vehicle. The subject added that he did not know his brother’s location. Upon further questioning, the subject admitted to driving the ATV, but claimed he was not hunting and was only scouting for deer. ECO Scheer told the man that it was an odd time to be scouting for deer as most hunters do so before the season, not on the second-to-last day of the season. The man asked if he could go get the ATV and bring it back to the truck, so ECO Scheer went with him to retrieve the ATV. During the walk to the ATV, the man advised ECO Scheer that he is a convicted felon but does not hunt with a firearm. When they arrived at the ATV, ECO Scheer located a tube of gunpowder and footprints that led away from the ATV to the wood line. Faced with this evidence, the man admitted to hunting with a muzzleloader and hiding it in the woods. The subject was charged with operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV without a helmet, operating an ATV on a highway, two counts of possessing tags of another, and criminal possession of a weapon, 4th degree. All of the charges are returnable to Town of Lewiston Court.
Facebook Strikes Again – Warren County
On Dec. 18, ECOs concluded a case that began in November, when ECO Lou Gerrain received a complaint that an individual in the town of Queensbury had posted pictures on Facebook of two deer he had shot a few days apart in the northern zone. On Nov. 12, ECOs Gerrain and Alan Brassard found the subject in his driveway preparing to go out hunting. ECO Gerrain asked the subject if he was going hunting, to which he replied “Yeah, for a little while.” ECO Gerrain then asked, “Didn’t you already shoot a deer? In fact, didn’t you already shoot two deer?” The hunter responded by silently looking down at his shoes. ECO Brassard asked the man for his hunting license and discovered that he possessed both his big game rifle and muzzleloader tags. Officer Brassard asked whose tags he had used to tag the deer and the hunter again looked at his shoes and said, “My cousin’s and my father’s.” A total of six violations were issued for illegal taking a deer, improper tagging of deer, and lending and borrowing tags of another. The father and cousin have previously appeared in the Queensbury Town Court and been fined a total of $100 each in penalties and court costs for lending their tags. On Dec. 18, the individual that used the tags appeared and agreed to $502.50 in civil penalties for his role in the case.
ECOs Brassard and Gerrain with an illegally taken deer (photo attached)

Bearly Made It – Rensselaer County
On Dec. 18, ECO Brian Canzeri received a call from a hunter concerned about a small bear he had found while hunting in the woods in the town of Berlin. The hunter had observed the bear looking unwell on Dec. 17, and returned the next day to find that it had not moved. ECO Canzeri contacted Rensselaer County Animal Control Officer McDonough, who responded to the location with a large carrier. The hunter and his son escorted ECO Canzeri and McDonugh approximately one mile back into the woods through a foot and a half of snow. Together, the officers and hunters captured the small female bear, which weighed 29 pounds, and secured her in the carrier. The team carried the cub out of the woods, and ECOs Canzeri and Jason Curinga took the bear to the North Country Wildcare facility in Saratoga County. A licensed Veterinary Technician administered IV fluids and antibiotics. The tech also removed several porcupine quills from the cub’s face with the officers’ assistance. The bear will be turned over to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.
Underweight and dehydrated bear cub before capture in Berlin (photo attached)
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:41 PM
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Winter Season

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights
ECO Actions for Mid to Late December
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

A Combined Effort - Queens County
On Dec. 18, ECOs closed a case that involved illegal Chinese mitten crabs seized at JFK airport. Earlier in the month, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspector Thomas Toth contacted ECO Shane Dobies concerning a package confiscated from an airline passenger that contained 30 illegal crabs illegal to possess in New York as an invasive species. The case was turned over to DEC, and on Dec. 13, ECO Dobies interviewed the man in question at his residence in College Point, Queens. The man admitted to the act and DEC issued a Notice of Violation for the possession of the crabs. The man entered into an Order on Consent and paid a penalty of $550. The USFWS was notified of the results of their work and the crabs have been destroyed.
Out of Season Stripers - New York County
On Dec. 19, ECOs Adam Johnson and Brendan Dickson were on their way back to Region 2 headquarters, approaching the exit for the midtown tunnel, when ECO Johnson spotted several fishermen fishing off the docks on 35th Street. The officers watched the fishermen reel in striped bass and place them in a bag. The ECOs approached and began interviewing the fishermen on the dock. One attempted to sneak away, but ECO Johnson escorted him back to the dock. At first, the subjects claimed to have had no luck fishing. But when ECO Dickson emptied the bag with the striped bass onto a bench, one fisherman grabbed a fish and threw it back into the water as the ECOs commanded him to stop. The fisherman was quickly detained while ECO Johnson found seven more striped bass. Eight tickets were issued, three for taking striped bass during the closed season, three for failing to release fish without undue harm, one for disobeying a lawful order, and one for dumping upon signal to stop, a misdemeanor.
K-9 Finds Bad Boys in State Park - Suffolk County
On Dec. 21, ECO Chris DeRose received a complaint of hunters in Nissequogue River State Park and Kings Park Psychiatric Center, where hunting is not permitted. ECO DeRose responded with his partner, K-9 Cramer, and located a vehicle. ECO DeRose called ECO Sean Rockefeller and asked him to stay at the parking lot while he investigated the area. After approximately tracking the hunters through a field and a large stand of woods, K-9 Cramer brought ECO DeRose to the base of a tree, where a bow hunter was found in his tree stand. The hunter had a valid license, although he was not wearing a backtag. While interviewing the hunter, ECO DeRose found that he also had the license and tags for two other individuals in his possession. The subject advised the officer that there was another hunter in the woods, as well. Within minutes, DeRose found the second hunter in a tree stand who was also not wearing his backtag. Both hunters were escorted from the park and issued several summons, including possessing a bow and arrow in a state park, failure to wear a backtag, and possessing the license of another, all returnable to Suffolk County First District Court on Feb. 7.
Illegal Deer Leads to Arrests - Cayuga County
On Dec. 22, ECOs Mark Colesante and Scott Sincebaugh arrested a North Syracuse man for criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree, two counts of taking an illegal deer, and two counts of failure to tag deer as required after an incident earlier in the week. The investigation stemmed from a Dec. 17 incident, when the New York State Police responded to a hunting camp in the town of Ira and noticed two untagged deer. The State Police notified ECO Colesante, who was familiar with the camp and the individual involved. When ECOs Colesante and Sincebaugh met with the suspect at the camp, the two deer were hanging in the barn and were tagged. The hunter admitted to shooting both deer on the morning of Dec. 16 with his muzzleloading firearm. However, because the subject is a convicted felon, he is not allowed to possess a firearm. The subject was arrested, processed at the State Police North Syracuse Barracks, and issued appearance tickets returnable to the Town of Ira Court. The two deer and muzzleloader were seized as evidence.
Three Bucks is Too Many - Onondaga County
Late in the evening of Dec. 22, ECO Don Damrath wrapped up an illegal hunting investigation in the town of Dewitt. The investigation started after officers saw three Facebook posts where a man boasted about killing two 8-point bucks during the archery season. As ECO Damrath was attempting to locate the subject, the man posted a photo of a third buck, the biggest of the three. Officer Damrath finally caught up with the subject at his home late in the evening, and the man produced three 8-point racks to go along with a poorly concocted story about how and where he killed the deer. ECO Damrath determined two of the three deer were killed over bait in the backyard of the man's house in a nearby suburban neighborhood. One of the bucks was taken with a crossbow during the archery-only season, and one of the bucks was never tagged. None of the deer were reported. Officer Damrath seized all three sets of antlers and charged the subject with a total of 11 offenses under the Environmental Conservation Law, including five misdemeanors. The subject faces fines of up to $11,500, loss of hunting privileges, and an additional misdemeanor charge for signing a false statement.
Delivering Christmas Cheer - St. Lawrence County
On Dec. 23, ECO Mike Sherry helped the Brier Hill Fire Department deliver Christmas gifts and food to families in the community. This was the second year the fire department donated gifts and food to families in the community with the help of ECOs, New York State Police and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. The Brier Hill Fire Department, located in the town of Morristown in St. Lawrence County, distributed Christmas gifts for 65 children and supplied food to 21 families in need. The officers delivered the gifts, food and holiday cheer to homes throughout the community.
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