Crime along the water is about more than just the fish

Posted on: November 2, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--Law enforcement--GunConservation officers confiscated a couple of guns, including this sawed-off shotgun, in one case.

It ain’t just about looking for guys with too many fish any more.

Waterways conservation officers around Pennsylvania prosecute over-the-limit cases, and handle pollutions, littering and the like. But they also get into some scarier stuff.

The Fish and Boat Commission’s bureau of law enforcement – reviving something that had gone away for years – put out an annual report of its activities recently. This one was for 2014.

It revealed that officers are sometimes called to deal with people handling illegal drugs, guns and more.

In Huntingdon County, for example, an effort to look for people keeping too many trout turned up several with marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

In Luzerne County, officer Aaron Lupachinni walked up to four men in a vehicle that he noticed didn’t have an inspection sticker. It turns out it wasn’t registered or insured either, and the driver didn’t have a license. The license plate belonged on another car, too.

Smelling marijuana, Lupachinni asked if there was anything else in the car he should know about.

The men produced two shotguns, one of the sawed-off variety.

Blog--Law enforcement--DrugDrug paraphernalia collected during an investigation.

It seems officers are able to retain their sense of humor about it all. At least that was the case with one Cheech and Chong-like group of anglers.

This past spring, on the night before opening day of trout season, several officers patrolled an area along the Centre-Clinton county border. It’s a place “notorious for rowdy parties and the abuse of the resource,” the annual report reads.

At the site of one large bonfire, an officer shined his light into a parked car.

“Three men in their late teens and early 20s were enveloped in a fog of smoke inside the vehicle. When they were asked to get out of the car, they were accompanied by a rolling cloud of marijuana smoke like something out of a 70s movie,” the report reads.

Officers seized marijuana, rolling papers, pipes, pills, needles, spoons and other drug paraphernalia.

The men were charged with a variety of offenses.
“This case demonstrates that our officers are dealing with the same drug culture prevalent in much of today’s society,” the report concluded.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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