Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Routine Call Nabs Michigan Meth-Lab Suspect
A Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer responding to a routine call in Van Buren County helped nab an Allegan County man wanted in connection with a known methamphetamine lab. The arrest underscores the broad job responsibilities of law enforcement officials within the DNR.
While on a patrol in Van Buren County (in the southwestern corner of the Lower Peninsula), DNR conservation officer Steve Mooney was speaking with a landowner when the landowner received a phone call telling him that a burglary was in progress at his hunting camp. CO Mooney drove to the nearby camp where he apprehended one of two suspects attempting to steal an off-road vehicle. The suspect, Steven Michael McKinley, was also being sought by police on an outstanding warrant for drug manufacturing.
CO Mooney then called the Van Buren County sheriff's department for assistance and, with the help of a Michigan State Police K-9 unit and Van Buren County deputies, the second suspect, James David Christy, was located hiding in a deer blind in a swampy area.
McKinley, 32, and Christy, 37, both of Allegan, were arraigned on burglary charges in the 7th District Court of Van Buren County on Sept. 20, 2012.
"The heads-up actions of Officer Mooney help illustrate that our COs do not only deal with natural resource laws, but are fully empowered law enforcement officers who handle all aspects of criminal behavior," said Lt. Timothy Robson of the DNR's Plainwell Operations Center. "We commend Officer Mooney for his quick thinking and exemplary performance."
To learn more about the role and many responsibilities of Michigan's conservation officers, what it takes to become a CO, and the variety of situations a CO may face in the field, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers