Nov 23

Press Release: Narcotics Investigation (approximately $10,000 worth of cocaine seized)

Lapeer County Sheriff EmblemLapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies received information regarding illegal narcotics activity at a residence in the Village of North Branch.  This information was investigated further and   probable cause was developed.  Deputies were granted a search warrant for the residence.

On Wednesday 11-23-2016, Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies executed the search warrant.   Deputies seized a considerable amount of cocaine with an approximate street value of $10,000.  In addition to the cocaine, illegal marijuana; numerous weapons; and cash was seized during the execution of the search warrant.

The home owners (female age 38 and male age 35) were temporarily released pending further investigation.  This investigation will be presented to the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office in the near future regarding formal criminal charges.

Photograph does not depict case evidence

Photograph does not depict case evidence

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Nov 18

Fatal Traffic Crash, Burnside Township

Lapeer County Sheriff EmblemOn Friday 11-18-2016 at 10:15 AM, Lapeer County 911 dispatched Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies to a personal injury traffic crash on Burnside Road (M-90) near Churchill Road in Brown City (Lapeer County’s Burnside Township).

James Schaffer age 29 from North Branch was the driver and sole occupant of a westbound 1998 Ford Expedition.   Schaffer crossed over the center line into the path of an eastbound Freightliner semi owned by Country Fresh of Grand Rapids, Michigan driven by Bruce Pullman age 51 from Utica.    Pullman was delivering ice cream to a business in Yale, Michigan when the crash occurred.

The crash was considered “head on”.   The Ford Expedition driven by Shaffer departed the north side of the roadway and came to rest on its side.    Shaffer was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The front axle of the semi driven by Pullman broke during the collision and the vehicle came to rest within the center of the roadway.   Pullman was transported to McLaren in Lapeer for non-life threatening injuries.

The roadway was closed for approximately 4 ½ hours for rescue; investigation; and wreckage removal by Yakes Towing in North Branch.

Preliminary investigation suggest that neither excessive speeds over the 55 MPH speed limit or alcohol are factors in this fatal traffic crash.

The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Brown City Fire Department,  Michigan State Police Lapeer Regional Post,  and the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division.   This traffic crash remains under investigation by the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office.

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Nov 16

Water Rescue: Lapeer County Deputy Saves Mans Life

Lapeer County Sheriff EmblemOn Saturday 11-12-2016 at 4:18 PM, Lapeer County 911 dispatched Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies, Michigan State Police Troopers, and Department of Natural Resources Officer to a water rescue on Twin Lake in North Branch. Twin Lake is located approximately ½ mile off Kings Mill Road (Lapeer County’s Arcadia Township).

Anthony Hentschel age 45 from St. Clair Shores was hunting within a wooded area near Twin Lake when he heard someone yelling for help. Hentschel was able to determine the cry for help was originating from Twin Lake. Hentschel observed a male approximately 100 yards off shore clinging to an overturned canoe. Due to water soaked clothing and cold water temperature, the male was unable to swim toward the shore. The situation became worse when the canoe started sinking.

Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Kohler, a member of the drive team responded. Due to the canoe sinking, immediate action needed to be taken to save the man’s life. Deputy Kohler immediately changed into dive gear which he carries within the patrol unit.

Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies were able to attach multiple water rescue discs together and attach them to an inflatable floatation vest provided by the DNR. Deputy Kohler swam out to the individual while carrying the floatation vest and line. Deputies manually pulled the male to the shore using the rope lines and vest before the canoe sank.

The male was identified as Michael Gamalski age 56 from Port Huron. Gamalski stated that he was pulling up an anchor when the canoe overturned. Gamalski was very grateful for the quick actions of Deputy Kohler and all the officers involved in his rescue. Gamalski was subsequently transported to McLaren- Lapeer and later released.

Due to Twin Lake being an isolated and rural georgraphic area, Anthony Hentschel, Deputy Dan Kohler, and numerous other officers played a critical role in saving Michael Gamalski’s life.

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