09-27-2018 Police and Fire News

Police Reports

By Annette Christie

Illegal marijuana grow operation found in Keeler Township

Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott reports that Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Deputies investigated anonymous tips about a possible illegal marijuana grow in this area.  Deputies were able to see the tops of the marijuana plants showing above the fence from the roadway.

The male at the residence located at 2nd Street and Territorial Road West in Keeler Township, was contacted and admitted to growing marijuana and was cooperative with deputies. The subjects of interest are a 40-year-old male and 35-year-old female, both of Keeler Township.   The five marijuana plants all between seven and nine and a half feet tall with a total possible estimated street value between $2,500 and $5,000 were seized, and samples are being sent to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

No arrests have been made at this time, and this incident will be forwarded to the Van Buren Prosecutor’s Office for review.

This case was investigated by Deputy Raymond Hochsprung, Keeler Township Contract Deputy and Deputy Daniel Perkins.

Anyone with information can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 657-3101, Crime Stoppers 1-800-342-7867, Silent Observer (269) 343-2100 or your local police department.

Eau Claire gun threat caller identified

On Friday, September 7, 2018 at approximately 3:55 p.m. the Berrien County Public Safety Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call from a male subject stating that there was a teenage male in the bathroom of the Eau Claire High School with a rifle.  The caller did not identify himself and stated that his phone was losing power.

Police officers from the surrounding area responded to the possible armed subject in the school and a search of the building was conducted.  At the completion of the search it was found that there wasn’t anyone in the building with a firearm and no one was injured.  Students and staff were escorted out of the building so that parents were able to make contact with their children.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police assisted the Eau Claire Police Department with attempting to identify the unknown caller.

The investigation of this incident has led to a report being submitted to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office and the charge of False Reporting of a Felony being authorized against Justin Alen Bashore, a white male, 32 years of age. His last known address is in Niles, Michigan.

There is evidence to believe that Justin Bashore placed the call to the Berrien County Public Safety Dispatch Center stating that a male subject was in the school with a rifle.  This was false and law enforcement is attempting to locate him at this time.

If anyone has information as to the whereabouts of this individual they are asked to call (269) 983-3060.

The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Threatening situation ends peacefully

On September 24, 2018 at approximately 5:00 p.m., St. Joseph Department of Public Safety officers received information that a 66-year-old resident in the 2800 block of Willa Drive in St. Joseph was suicidal and made threatening statements.

The Berrien County Sheriff Department hostage negotiating team attempted to communicate with the subject.  With no success in making contact with the subject, the Berrien County Sherriff Department and the St. Joseph Public Safety Officers approached the residence.

As the Berrien County Sheriff Department road patrol and St. Joseph Department of Public Safety Officers were attempting to open the front door, the suicidal person unlocked the door and made contact with officers.