05-11-2017 Police Reports

Drug house busted in Coloma Township

By Annette Christie

The Coloma Township Police Department received information regarding possible narcotics activity at a residence in the 5300 block of Little Paw Paw Lake Road in Coloma Township. A Coloma Township police officer and a Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Watervliet Township deputy went to the residence shortly before 3:00 p.m. on May 8, 2017 to follow up on the tip.

While the officers were trying to make contact with the suspect identified in the tip, they observed him running into a large, wooded area around the residence. Additional units responded to the scene, including a Michigan State Police K-9 Team. The K-9 Team tracked the suspect over several miles through a heavily wooded area. The Coloma Township Police Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau, Michigan State Police, and Berrien County Sheriff’s Watervliet Township deputy assisted with the initial foot pursuit and containment.

The suspect, a 39-year-old Coloma man, was apprehended without incident near the intersection of Becht Road and Taube Road after being tracked to that location by the Michigan State Police K-9 Team.

While searching the residence and property on Little Paw Paw Lake Road, officers located a marijuana growing operation, methamphetamine lab components, methamphetamine, and a firearm. Officers also located at least two kayaks that were stolen from another Coloma Township resident. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau and Narcotics Unit assisted at the residence.

The suspect was lodged at the Berrien County Jail on 10 counts including: Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Manufacturing Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Maintaining a Drug House, being a Felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of stolen property.

The suspect’s name is being withheld pending his arraignment.

Operating vehicle without documentation results in citation

 Coloma Township police officers stopped a vehicle near the intersection of W. Center Street and Strand Street in the City of Coloma for displaying an expired registration plate. While conducting the traffic stop the officer determined that there was no insurance on the vehicle either.

The driver, a 22 year-old Benton Harbor man, was arrested for operating without security. He was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation and released.

Driving violation results in probation violation

 On May 7 at 11:20 p.m., a Coloma Township police officer stopped a vehicle for a broken tail light near the intersection of S. Church Street and St. Joseph Street.

After conducting an investigation at the scene the officer arrested the driver, a 23-year-old Coloma man, for a driving offense and probation violation. The subject was lodged at the Berrien County Jail.

Law Enforcement Memorial Day Service May 18

 The Blossomland Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #100 will hold the annual Police Officer Memorial Day Program at noon on Thursday, May 18 at the Berrien County Law Enforcement Memorial located at the south end of Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph.

The Police Memorial Day service honors those who died on duty serving the residents of Berrien County. This year, two additional names will be honored; Joe Zangaro and Ron Kienzle, both Berrien County Court bailiffs who were killed July 11, 2016 in the Berrien County Courthouse. Our local service also remembers two former Berrien County residents who were killed in the line of duty.

This year’s speaker is Michigan State Police Captain Carl Bassett of the Chaplain’s Corp for the State Police.

Families of those who are being honored are encouraged to attend as they will have an opportunity to participate in this service by laying a flower on the Memorial as their loved one’s name is called. Law enforcement departments of those who are remembered also participate in the service.

The Berrien County Law Enforcement Memorial was developed by all four Fraternal Order of Police lodges in our county. The public is invited and encouraged to attend


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