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Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

June 5 – 25, 2019

To increase awareness of Conservation Police Officers (CPO’s-previously called game wardens) activities, the “Virginia Conservation Police Notebook” provides an overview of activities encountered by our officers who protect natural resources and people pursuing outdoor recreation in the fields, woods and waters of Virginia. These reports are prepared from the officer’s field notes by Kim McCarthy, Executive Assistant to Major Scott Naff [Operations] and Major Bryan Young [Administration] of the Law Enforcement Division of DGIF. These CPO reports show the value of concerned citizens, landowners and true sportsmen in providing tips to law enforcement officers on suspected violations by lawbreakers who give other outdoor enthusiasts an undeserved bad reputation.

Region I – Tidewater

District 14 Kid’s Fishing Day – On June 8, 2019 CPOs from District 14 conducted their annual kids fishing day at Deerfield Correctional Center farm pond in Southampton County.  The event was started in the mid 1990’s by Sgt. Lannie Chitwood, on the Nottoway River, and has changed locations over the years.  Today, it is organized by Lannie’s son, Officer Mark Chitwood, who is assigned to Southampton County.  Despite the rainy weather and unexpected flooding in parts of the district, the event hosted 44 kids and just as many adults. The day started with an Agency fisheries biologist, Chad Boyce, providing the children with a lesson on the fish in the pond.  The children learned about the different species of fish, identification, diet, and were able to touch the fish.   Most participants had a good day of fishing with some people catching over a dozen fish. Local businesses, hunt clubs, and the Robert A Hill FOP Lodge 56, of Courtland, have made this event a success year after year.  With help from FOP Lodge 56, and donations from local businesses and hunt clubs, each child receives a fishing rod, bait, a hat, and coupons for free Dairy Queen Blizzards.  Each child also had an opportunity to win approximately $1000 in prizes including fishing tackle, PFDs, slip-n-slides, water guns, water balloon launchers, and 2 lifetime freshwater fishing licenses.  Everyone also received a lunch from Bojangles of Franklin who brought lunch to the event.

CPO Investigative Skills Help Close Boat Dumping Case – On May 28, 2019 CPO Dan Smith began an investigation into a boat that was dumped on a farmer’s property in Smithfield.  During his inspection of the vessel, Officer Smith located receipts from West Marine and Wal-Mart.  Officer Smith was able to obtain credit card owner information for the card that was used to make the purchase from West Marine.  Upon further investigation, it was determined that the credit card owner was not the suspect for the offense.  Using accessible data, Officer Smith was able to locate a small group of relatives that use the same address as the owner.  Officer Smith also utilized social media to find photos of these individuals,  one of which had the boat in question behind his house.  Once Officer Smith found an address for the subject, he was able to interview neighbors who stated that the boat had been there for years, but was recently moved. Officer Smith reviewed Wal-Mart security footage and gathered photos of the suspect making purchases at the date and time found on the Wal-Mart receipt in the boat.  Based on his findings, he was also able link the product packaging material to the trash found in the boat.  Officer Smith made contact with the suspect, who is a repeat offender of wildlife crimes, for questioning.  The suspect claimed that he had not seen the boat in 6 months and denied making the purchase in question.  Due to the overwhelming evidence collected by CPO Smith, the appropriate charges were placed.

Nice Bumping into You – On June 1, 2019 CPOs Hennaman and Robinson were finishing up a patrol supporting a bass tournament out of Osborne Landing. While they were finishing paperwork in the parking lot, a vehicle struck Officer Hennaman’s truck head on. There was no damage to either vehicle.  The driver exited the vehicle and tried to enter The Lilly Pad Restaurant. Officer Hennaman intercepted her and could immediately tell that the operator was intoxicated. When asked how much she had had to drink she responded, “Two…two too many.” The operator preformed the SFSTs poorly, and refused the PBT. She was placed under arrest and transported to Henrico Jail West where she refused the Intoxilyzer.  She was charged with driving under the influence and refusal.  This would be her second offense within ten years.

Sinking Boat, No Safety Equipment on Board, Spells Tragedy – On June 6, 2019 CPO Nevel received a call reference a boat sinking with a passenger on-board in Westmoreland County. Officer Nevel responded with a boat and K9 Officer Cramer also responded to assist. Westmoreland County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office were first on scene making contact with the operator of the boat who swam to shore for help. The operator took the search and rescue boat out to the scene of the accident. The fire department found the boat capsized and returned the operator to shore. The fire department began search and rescue efforts and were able to locate the second passenger. Officer Nevel was notified by the county that the passenger was deceased. At this point, Officer Dobyns also responded from an adjoining district to assist. Officer Nevel and Officer Dobyns interviewed the operator of the boat who admitted there was not any safety equipment on-board the vessel. K9 Officer Cramer and Officer Dobyns were able to tow the vessel into the ramp, where with the help of a local volunteer fireman, they were able to load it onto the owner’s trailer for transport to a secure location.  The investigation is still pending.

Great Fishing Event – On June 20, 2019, CPOs Adams, Chambers, Jordan and Joyce hosted a free fishing event for local individuals with disabilities at a private pond owned by Jon and Caroline Lamb in Charles City County. Sergeant Valasek, CPO Patrillo, K-9 Bailey, Fisheries Biologist Herman and DGIF Complimentary Work Force volunteers also assisted.  All participants received goodie bags from DGIF.  Lunch was provided by sponsorships from Food Lion and Wal-Mart.  Prizes consisting of tackle boxes and fishing poles, donated by Wal-Mart and Wilcox’s Bait and Tackle, were given away for the most fish caught.  Crickets and worms were donated by Adams’ Sports Mart and Hooker Bait and Tackle.  There were 15 participants and all of them caught fish, including numerous 10″ bluegills and multiple Large Mouth Bass.  Bass caught that were around 9-10″ were donated by the Lamb’s to assist in stocking Shield’s Lake.  All of the participants were excited about the event and hope to be able to attend again next year.  Many of them caught their first fish ever and are now hooked on fishing!

Multi-Agency Coordination Leads to Missing Boater Recovery – On June, 18, 2019, Conservation Police Officer Roy Morris responded to a call in reference to an abandoned vessel on the Mattaponi River.  The vessel was located approximately 1.7 miles downstream from the Walkerton boat landing in King William County.  After obtaining the registration numbers, Officer Morris was able to locate a name and phone number associated with the vessel.  Morris was able to make contact with a female subject who advised him that her 76 year old husband had taken his boat out fishing that morning by himself.  Morris responded to the Walkerton boat landing where he located a vehicle and trailer registered to the missing subject.  Sergeant Frank Spuchesi, and Officer Matt Dean, responded to the scene.  Officers Dean and Morris started searching the river in the area where the boat was located.  VMRC and US Coast Guard personnel also responded and assisted with the search.  The search was called off due to storms in the area that evening.  The next day, Officers Dean, Dobyns, Nevel and Bumgarner continued with the search along with support from King and Queen County, King William County and VMRC.  York County assisted by utilizing drones to search areas that were not accessible by boat.  Sergeant Spuchesi coordinated the search and kept the family and media informed as the search was being conducted.  At approximately 1845 the body was located by two individuals on a personal watercraft. DGIF officers, along with the assistance of local officials, removed the body from the river and made arrangements to have the body transported to the medical examiner.   There was no evidence of foul play and the victim was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) when he was located in the water.  The initial report from the medical examiner’s office was accidental drowning.

No Registration Numbers Leads to BUI – On June 22, 2019, while on boat patrol in the area of Bennett Creek in Poquoson, CPOs Joyce and Rollings observed a vessel approach that did not have registration numbers displayed. A stop of the vessel was initiated and CPO Rollings immediately detected that the operator was slurring his words. CPO Joyce observed several brown glass bottles tucked up in the gunnel of the vessel that had the appearance of alcoholic beverage containers. When asked if the operator had consumed any alcoholic beverages that day, he replied that he had not. Based on the slurring of the operators words, and the number of what appeared to be empty alcoholic beverages on the vessel, CPO Joyce performed field sobriety tests on the operator. The operator performed poorly on the tests and when offered a PBT he refused. At this time CPO Joyce placed the individual under arrest for operating a vessel while intoxicated. The 20 year old operator was transported to the Poquoson Police Department where he blew a .12 g/210L of breath on the EC/IR II Intox. The operator was then transported to Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail where the proper charges were placed.

Shots Fired on WMA – After clearing up from the OUI, at approximately 10:50 pm and just prior to marking off duty, Dispatch contacted CPO Joyce by radio and advised him of a report of shots being fired on the Chickahominy WMA. CPO Joyce advised that he would be headed to that location. CPO Rollings advised that he would also respond as he would be driving by the WMA on his way back to District 14. The officers arrived at the Mud Landing area of the WMA and observed what appeared to be a vehicle up on a hillside tucked back into the woods off of a walking trail. Contact was made with 4 individuals who all appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. CPO Rollings immediately located an unloaded AR15 in the back seat of the truck when he looked in the open door. The individuals had a campsite set up on top of the hill in-front of the truck with several boxes of alcoholic beverages located around the campsite. Charges were placed on all four individuals for possession of alcohol on a WMA and the owner/operator of the truck was charged with driving a vehicle off of a designated road/parking area on Dept. owned lands.

Region II – Southside

Fishing Is Fun – On June 8, 2019, CPOs Kevin Webb, Jim Patrillo with K9 Bailey, and Sgt. Tim Dooley attended the annual Fishing is Fun Day event at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.  The event was coordinated by retired Master Conservation Police Officer Brett Saunders and facilitated by Fort Pickett’s Natural Resources Manager Brandon Martin.  The event, which coincides with Virginia’s Free Fishing Days, provided an opportunity for all to relax, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy Virginia’s Natural Resources.  Despite some rainy weather, there was still a sizable turnout and quite a few fish were caught!  The day was capped off with lunch courtesy of the Virginia Conservation Police Association and prizes donated by local businesses.

1st Annual District 25 Family Fishing Day – Although it was a rainy day, District 25 CPOs were able to provide a very successful Family Fishing Day, to recruit prospective constituents, at Staunton River State Park in Halifax County.  Officer Matt Sandy was instrumental in initiating, planning and providing essentials for the event.  Although the rain kept a few folks from attending, the ones who did had a lot of fun.  Sergeant Jessica Whirley, Officers Matt Sandy, Brandon Harris, Keith Wilson, Tyler Blanks, Toby Livermore, and K9 Officer Richard Howald, were able to provide special attention to every child and their parents to ensure proper fishing techniques from tying knots to casting to reeling in the fish.   Each child was presented with a rod and reel and a fully equipped tackle box.  The whole group of people also had a chance to win a rod and reel and a tackle box, including a $25 gift card to a local bait and tackle store.  The Staunton River State Park also provided personnel, tents and the venue for the event.   Drew Browning (Park Intern), Ben Isaacs (Chief Ranger) and Cameron Lipscomb (Park Manager), were eager to assist with making the event possible.

Kids Fishing Event – On June 8, 2019, CPO’s Tyler Blanks and Toby Livermore attended a kids fishing event hosted by Dot’s Country Store in Brunswick County.  Dot’s provided breakfast for 10 kids and their families and each kid left with fishing equipment they won in a raffle.  Blanks and Livermore spoke to the group and answered questions while handing out coloring books and other materials to the kids.  Dot’s Country Store will be working with CPO’s to make this an annual event and involve more members in the community.

Region III – Southwest

CPOs Assist with Stranded Boaters – On May 26, 2019 CPOs Anders and Boyette were on patrol when DCR Officer Sweeney requested their assistance with a stranded boater near Foster Falls. Officers responded to the area and found a father and son sitting on a rock beside their swamped canoe. They were then able to maneuver to the location of the father and son and help them into the john boat. The father said that as they came through the small set of falls their canoe turned sideways and then took on water, eventually becoming pinned against a rock. Officers transported the father and son back to the location their vehicle was parked and obtained information necessary for the incident.

Kid’s Fishing Day – On June 1, 2019 CPO Boyette was part of the annual kid’s fishing day at Crooked Creek Fee Fishing Area that was held in Carroll County. Approximately 50 kids and their parents enjoyed a morning of fishing with lots of smiles and new big fish tales. Thanks to donations from numerous individuals and businesses all the participants were provided a free hotdog lunch and prizes.

CPO Speaks to First Graders – On June 7, 2019 Officer Boyette spoke to the first grade class at Galax Elementary School. The presentation included a “first grade” level talk about what conservation and the role of a CPO are. The approximately one hundred kids were able to ask questions and participate in activities that kept them engaged and learning. The kids especially enjoyed playing a game where they hid a coin in their hands and Officer Boyette located the coin using a handheld metal detector. Many of the kids expressed enthusiasm about the outdoors including several that made a point to tell the officer about their upcoming fishing trips.

Family Fish Day – On June 8, 2019, CPO Lieutenant Jason Culbertson, Sergeant James Hale, Officers Dylan Harding, Derrick Rickels, Mark VanDyke, and Matt Meade attended a “Family Fish Day” event at Wise Reservoir that Officer Harding organized. Despite heavy rains, the county fair, and another kid’s event locally, there were several in attendances.  Contributors to the event other than DGIF consisted of Wal-Mart of Norton, Cabela’s of Bristol and Trout Unlimited.  Attendees to the event enjoyed donated drinks and snacks.  All attendees received gift packages that were donated. These contained coffee mugs, fishing line, knife sharpeners and carry bags.

Pulaski Veterans Fish Day – The 8th Annual Pulaski Veterans Fish Day was held on June 2, 2019. This event is held to honor those who have served our country and offers a day of fishing fun. Veterans were paired with members of the Southwestern VA Bassmasters for guided fishing trips on Claytor Lake. Mission BBQ graciously catered a delicious lunch. Sgt. Koloda, Senior Officer Phillips, and Officer Peake attended the event. Officer Peake honored the WWII veteran speaker, Bunk Austin, with a personalized framed print that he made himself. The veterans were also given gift cards to Walmart and various other raffle items throughout the event.

CPOs Conduct Fishing Event in Tazewell County – On Sunday, June 9th, Senior CPOs James Brooks and George Shupe along with District 33 Sergeant Daniel Hall, and K-934 unit Mark VanDyke and K9 “Avery”, conducted an event at Lincolnshire Lake in Tazewell County in conjunction with numerous events being held across the state with the goal of promoting angling to first time fishermen and those wanting to learn more about the sport of fishing. Numerous families showed up at the lake to take advantage of the “Free Fishing” weekend, as well as individuals who, due to work obligations, had not been fishing in sometime. One individual, who came by the event trailer to visit, came back awhile later with an approximately (7 lb.) Largemouth Bass he had landed, and subsequently released back into the lake. Over (40) contacts were made with first time fishermen, and others visiting the lake. The event served as an opportunity to promote the Department and recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing.

Deer Killed Out of Season – On June 14, 2019, CPO David Peake received information in reference to a deer that was possibly killed out of season. Officer Peake responded to the location and spoke with the suspected landowner. After some discussion, Officer Peake was able to determine that a deer had been killed earlier that day. During his investigation, Peake learned the landowner had been having problems with deer eating his shrubbery and plants in the backyard. The landowner said he was trying to scare the deer off and ended up shooting it. He then disposed of it in a manner not permitted. Officer Peake gave advice on how to deter the deer, and appropriate charges were placed.

Hidden Surveillance Pays Off – On June 16, 2019, Senior CPO Gene Wirt was conducting surveillance from a hidden location at the mouth of Little River in Montgomery County.  He observed one fisherman smoke from a small pipe and put it back in his front pocket.  After about 15 minutes, Officer Wirt observed him for a second time, pull the pipe out and take a puff and place it back in the pocket.  Officer Wirt approached the fisherman and checked his license.  He was able to seize a plastic bottle containing 3 buds of green leaf plant material and a pipe.

CPO Speaks to Cub Scout Group – On June 18, 2019, CPO Matthew Arnold attended a Cub Scouts’ event in Washington County. CPO Arnold was invited to speak about the duties and responsibilities of a Conservation Police Officer to over forty Cub Scouts in attendance. CPO Arnold displayed his patrol vehicle and various gear CPOs use and spoke of the different roles Conservation Police Officers perform, and what their daily activities might be, depending on the time of the year. In keeping with the Scouts’ event theme – “Under the Sea”, Officer Arnold passed out posters depicting the different freshwater fish in Virginia along with various stickers. Not only did CPO Arnold answer many questions from the young scouts, but he also fielded multiple enquiries from the adults and leaders of the group as well.

CPO Meets with Muskies Inc. Chapter 76 – On June 20, 2019, CPO Mark Shaw met with Muskies Inc. Chapter 76. During the chapter’s meeting, they discussed ways in which they could assist DGIF to improve the health of the muskies in the local rivers. The chapter described a willingness to develop and place signs on the rivers explaining proper ways to land large musky and how to release the fish. These signs will demonstrate techniques to reduce stress and injury to this magnificent fish. The chapter will also place numerous boats on the James River and the New River to participate in the rivers clean up days. Officer Shaw answered several questions during the meeting concerning the Department, and how the chapter could help with the mission of the department in the future.

CPOs Speak to American Legion Boys State – On June 21, 2019, CPOs Andy Rutledge and Mark Shaw had the privilege to speak to the American Legion Boys State being held at Radford University. The event is comprised of high school boys throughout the Commonwealth. Both officers conducted a presentation to 645 young men about the mission of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the daily duties and responsibilities of Virginia Conservation Police Officers. Officers Shaw and Rutledge had the honor of meeting Governor Ralph Northam, who was also in attendance.

Road Cave-In on Clinch Mountain WMA – On June 22, 2019, CPO Daniel Hall received a call from Marion Fish Hatchery Manager Billy Stickley reporting that Fisheries Personnel were reporting a road cave-in on Clinch Mountain WMA, in the area above the switchbacks in the gorge section of Big Tumbling Creek. On arrival, it was evident to Sergeant Hall that the road above the foot of the mountain extending up to the Laurel Bed Lake – Jackson Gap area of the WMA would have to be closed for safety concerns. Conservation Police Officers George Shupe, Joel Early, and Tyler Sheets assisted with the evacuation of numerous boaters, fishermen, and campers from the upper region of the Wildlife Management Area. Region 3 Lands and Facilities Manager Tom Hampton also arrived in the area of the slide, approximately (150) yards below the site of a similar, but more expansive slide, that closed access to the upper portion of the WMA for over a year. The road will remain closed until the incident is investigated and the appropriate repairs are completed.

Region IV – Mountains & Shenandoah Valley and Northern Piedmont

Saturation Boat Patrol in Rockingham County– On May 27th, Sergeant Rob Ham, Senior CPO Dobbs, and CPO Ostlund joined forces to perform saturation patrols of DGIF boat ramps in Rockingham County.  Sgt. Ham patrolled in uniform, while Senior Officer Dobbs and CPO Ostlund wore plain-clothes.  The officers issued one summons for trespassing, one summons for fishing without a license, and assisted the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office with detaining a wanted subject at one of the boat landings until a deputy could arrive.

Storm Catches Kayak Patrol and Boaters Off Guard – On May 25th, CPO Ostlund performed a Mokai kayak patrol of the North River in Rockingham County.  In total he detected three violations and issued three summonses (no PFD and no fishing licenses).  During the patrol, unbeknown to CPO Ostlund, a severe thunderstorm was rapidly bearing down on his location.  Just before the severe storm hit CPO Ostlund was able to take shelter with two other boaters beneath a bridge and allow the storm to clear.  Immediately following the storm CPO Ostlund patrolled up river to attempt to locate any boaters that might have needed assistance.

CPOs and Volunteers Partner with Rockingham Elementary Schoolers and Teacher Zach Dishman for Fly Fishing Day – On the morning of May 25th, CPO Ostlund and Senior CPO Dobbs partnered with Rockingham County elementary school teacher, Zach Dishman, to host a group of 11 John Wayland Elementary School 5th grade Fly Fishing Club members in an inaugural fly-fishing day.  Prior to the event the club members had met after school on numerous days to learn fly-tying and casting skills from Mr. Dishman, CPO Ostlund and several other volunteer instructors.  This final event marked their first opportunity to put their newly acquired skills and flies to use on a stream.

In the weeks leading up to the finale CPO Ostlund was able to secure, through contact with very gracious landowners, two private stretches of trout water (Mossy Creek and Beaver Creek).   Due to the number of children able to participate in the event, CPO Ostlund decided to host the finale on Beaver Creek, due to more fishable water being available.  CPO Ostlund submitted the necessary permit to DGIF and made arrangements with a local trout hatchery to privately stock the creek the day before the event.  He assisted with stocking the fish the day prior, worked alongside a friend to mow paths and access points along the stream, and additionally partnered with a college roommate/teammate (whose son was an attendee) to split the cost of purchasing the trout.  Another gracious donor and guide tied several dozen flies for use during the event.  Seven volunteer fishing guides, all personal friends of CPO Ostlund, freely volunteered their time and personal equipment to share their passion and knowledge with the attendees.   DGIF Aquatics Outreach Coordinator, Alex McCrickard, gathered five complete rod/reel setups for use during the event (which ensured that a rod was in the hand of every participant), as well as a bag of goodies for each participant.  Additionally, the Bridgewater College Fly Fishing Club donated giveaway fishing items for the attendees.    Following the event CPO Ostlund hosted a cookout along the stream, providing food for every participant, parent, and volunteer.

In total, every attendee had opportunities to land fish on fly rod.  All but one successfully did so.  For some of the attendees it was the first time they had ever caught a fish!  A great time was had by all.

PWC Operator Gets Disoriented After Dark – On Saturday, June 8, 2019, at approximately 9:30 P.M., Officer Eric Plaster received a call from dispatch concerning an overdue boater on the Potomac River in Prince William County. The subject was operating a personal watercraft (PWC) and was following a boat from a restaurant to Pohick Bay. In the confusion, the boat diverted to Leesylvania State Park but the PWC was not behind them when they arrived there. The U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland DNR were asked for assistance due of the distance between the restaurant and Pohick Bay. Officers Plaster and Rich Landers were about to launch their patrol boat in an attempt to locate the subject when a male walked up behind Officer Plaster and asked for help. It was quickly determined this was the subject they were searching for. The subject stated they launched from Pohick Bay at approximately 8:00 P.M. and went to the restaurant. At approximately 9:00 P.M. they decided to leave in an attempt to return to Pohick Bay. The subject said he quickly learned things appear different at night than during the day. He mentioned as he was getting ready to follow the boat then he looked away and lost sight of the boat. In the confusion, he diverted his path and started to operate towards lights which brought him up the Occoquan River where he encountered the officers. Charges were placed for operating a PWC without completing a boater education course and for operating a PWC after sunset.

CPO’s Participate in Conservation Field Day – On June 3rd District 41 CPO’s participated in Conservation Field Day, which was held at the Frederick County and Robert E. Aylor Middle Schools near Winchester.  District 41 has participated in this annual Conservation Field Day for the past two decades.  This year over 460 6th grade students participated in multiple learning stations presented by various departments including: the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Frederick County 4-H and others.  CPO’s highlighted safe boating practices, local fish species and many laws and regulations pertaining to game and fish enforcement.  Students were separated into 20 groups which rotated throughout the event.  Each year District 41 CPO’s look forward to Conservation Field Day where they enjoy explaining to the students how VDGIF Conserves, Connects and Protects Virginia’s abundant natural resources. We would like to thank the Virginia Cooperative Extension for sponsoring this great event, which has no doubt instilled the conservation efforts of many.

CPO Gets First DUI –  On the evening of June 2, 2019 while on his way home, CPO Roger Palmisano encountered a vehicle that was noticeably swerving in the roadway.  The vehicle ran off the road and then would cross its lane of traffic and cross the double yellow line.  After observing the driving behavior for approximately 1 mile, Officer Palmisano initiated a traffic stop.  The driver smelled of the odor of an alcoholic beverage, was having difficulty finding his registration and driver’s license, and was unsteady on his feet.  The driver insisted that he had not been drinking.  Officer Palmisano had the driver step from the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests.  The driver performed poorly and was arrested for driving under the influence.  He was transported to the Fauquier County Jail where he blew a .18 on the evidential breath test machine.  He was remanded to the Culpeper County Jail.  This was Officer Palmisano’s first DUI arrest since graduating the DGIF academy in September of 2018.

Running From the Officers Nets More Charges – On June 9, 2019 while conducting a boat patrol with CPO Bostic on Lake Anna, Officer Goff observed a male fishing with a cast net near Christopher Run Campground.  Upon observing the officers, the fisherman began to pack up his belongings.  Officer Bostic drove the boat to the shore so Officer Goff could make contact with the fishermen.  As Officer Goff got off the boat, the fisherman began to walk away and up over a hill.  Officer Goff followed the person and then noticed two individuals peeking over the hill at him.  The two individuals began to run from Officer Goff and Officer Goff gave chase.  Officer Goff caught up with the individuals at their vehicle, a black SUV.  There was a female in the SUV and Officer Goff made contact with all three individuals.  While obtaining their identification, Officer Goff smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.  A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a small quantity of marijuana even though the female driver insisted there were no drugs in the vehicle.  An interview of the subjects by Officer Bostic who had arrived at the location revealed that the fisherman with the cast net was catching blue gill.  The female was charged with possession of marijuana.  The fisherman was charged with taking game fish by unlawful method, and the second male was charged with conspiring to violate the game laws.

DUI – On June 18, 2019, CPOs Paul Inge and Jacob Chaffin were patrolling along the James River in Albemarle County as participants in the 34th annual Batteau Festival were scheduled to be stopping at the DGIF boat ramp at Howardsville. A small crowd of people, many consuming alcoholic beverages, had gathered at the Howardsville Store where live music was playing. Once the music concluded, most of the crowd walked to their campsites to settle for the night. However, as one of the vehicles began to leave the parking area, it stopped in middle of the road, and turned to cast the vehicle headlights into an adjacent field in violation of state spotlighting laws.  The driver switched on the bright lights and sat observing the deer in the field for a period of time. The officers activated their emergency blue lights and the driver pulled the vehicle off the road. Upon contact with the driver and occupants, Officer Chaffin detected a distinct odor commonly associated with alcoholic beverages coming from the driver.  When asked if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages, the driver stated that he had been drinking earlier in the day and had his final two beers about an hour ago. The driver was asked to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests to make sure he was okay to drive. The driver agreed and attempted to perform the tests, but performed poorly on each of the tests. The driver was offered a preliminary breath test in which he blew a 0.149, almost twice the legal limit. The individual was placed into custody and taken to the Albemarle County Regional Jail, where an evidential breath test registered his BAC at 0.10. Charges were placed for DUI and the subject was held at the jail until sober.

  • June 27, 2019