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OSP Fish & Wildlife Division "2010 Team of the Year" Award Presented to South Valley Team
Captain Jeff Samuels
OSP Fish & Wildlife Division
(503) 934-0221

(Left to right: Senior Trooper Martin Maher, Trooper Ed Imholt, Trooper Josh Wetzel, Sergeant Ron Martin, Trooper Marc Boyd, Senior Trooper Marshall Maher, and Northwest Region Lieutenant Ethan Wilson. Not pictured - Senior Trooper Scott Salisbury)
The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division recognized the exceptional work of troopers from the South Valley Team when Captain Jeff Samuels announced Wednesday they were the recipients of the Division's Team of the Year award for 2010 during a presentation at the Springfield Area Command office. This is the fifth presentation of the award since the Division implemented a new program celebrating and recognizing the outstanding teamwork by our troopers in protecting Oregon's natural resources.

Supervised by Sergeant Ron Martin, the seven-member South Valley Team is comprised of one sergeant and six troopers assigned to OSP offices in Springfield, Florence, and Oakridge. In 2010, South Valley Team members distinguished themselves by their outstanding performance and dedication to public service. Several members were individually recognized for exceptional effort in protecting the fish, wildlife, and natural resources within their areas of responsibility; for outstanding performance in the enforcement of Marine Board laws; and for actions instrumental in lifesaving rescues. The team performed exceptionally in the detection, apprehension, and deterrence of wildlife violators by conducting successful investigations, careful planning of daily patrols, teamwork, and attention to Cooperative Enforcement Planning priorities. This highly motivated team has also maximized boating safety by exceeding team expectations in marine enforcement.
"I am very proud of the South Valley Fish and Wildlife Team as they exemplify the meaning of teamwork, performance excellence, and commitment to protecting the natural resources and the citizens of Oregon," said Samuels.

Ranging from 2 to 21 years of OSP service, the following OSP Fish and Wildlife South Valley Team members have a total of 78 years of OSP law enforcement experience:
  • Sergeant Ron Martin
  • Senior Trooper Marshall Maher
  • Senior Trooper Martin Maher
  • Senior Trooper Scott Salisbury
  • Trooper Marc Boyd
  • Trooper Ed Imholt
  • Trooper Josh Wetzel
During 2010, the team worked numerous successful wildlife enforcement decoy operations, aircraft patrols addressing night hunters, and general patrol to address illegal hunting, license compliance, and improve hunter ethics. Team members participated in the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education program as instructors or guest speakers to promote ethical hunting and outdoor recreation among future hunters. They also instructed and/or participated in other outdoor education classes at schools in Florence and Oakridge along with Cub Scout day camps and an OSU Fish and Wildlife Enforcement class.
The South Valley Team has distinguished themselves in all aspects of law enforcement, proving the ability to work individually and as a team. They have received multiple compliments from all divisions for their ability to work as a team, displaying competency in any situation, and successfully partnering with other agencies to address environmental and law enforcement issues.
Some of the year's highlights involving the South Valley Team were:

  • In January, Senior Trooper Martin Maher investigated a closed season deer case in the Melrose Unit southeast of Cottage Grove. A suspect was identified who shot and killed a large four-point buck in early January leaving it to waste. Maher cited the suspect for Unlawful Take of Deer Closed Season and Waste of a Game Mammal and his accomplice with Aiding in a Game Offense. Both suspects pled guilty and received hunting license suspensions as part of their sentence. The shooter was also ordered to pay $7,500 restitution to ODFW under Oregon's new "Trophy Law."
  • Senior Trooper Scott Salisbury was instrumental in the safe recovery of a five-year-old boy who wandered away from his family on August 4 near Washburne State Park north of Florence. The boy was reported missing at 6:00 pm and was found 19 hours later. The boy's relatives commended Senior Trooper Salisbury as being a "Pillar" of support for their family. Senior Trooper Salisbury's knowledge of the area, compassion, and overall professionalism was a key to assisting with the direction in which to send search teams and ultimately finding the boy.
  • Senior Troopers Marshall and Martin Maher conducted several jet boat patrols on the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers. One patrol resulted in the duo receiving a lifesaving award from the Oregon State Marine Board for their efforts in transporting fire personnel and equipment to a brush fire near Hileman Landing on the Willamette River. While doing so, they came across a father and son waving for help from the water. The two became entangled in a downed tree and were pulled from their inner tubes. Fortunately, they were wearing life jackets and were safely pulled from the water. After dropping the father and son at a boat ramp and assisting fire personnel, the Maher's received a call of a female having a seizure as she floated downriver above Armitage Park on the McKenzie River. The female was located as she was still having a seizure and moved to a safe location. Eugene EMS also responded by boat and transported the female to an awaiting ambulance as the Maher's transported the remaining party to the boat ramp.
  • A notable case in October was not game related, but involved the apprehension of three suspects who committed a home invasion robbery in Oakridge. The teamwork involved in the location and apprehension of these suspects was nothing short of spectacular. Senior Troopers Marshall Maher and Martin Maher and Troopers Marc Boyd and Ed Imholt responded to the area along with Patrol Division members. Trooper Boyd thought the route of escape may be over USFS Road 19 to Highway 126, which indeed was the route taken. Trooper Boyd located the vehicle and became involved in a pursuit until the suspects crashed. The suspects fled on foot and were eventually taken into custody at various times. Senior Trooper Marshall Maher commandeered a McKenzie Fire jet boat and piloted the upper McKenzie River to apprehend one of the suspects who attempted to swim as a means of escape. The other two were apprehended a few hours later.
  • In September, Senior Trooper Scott Salisbury and Trooper Josh Wetzel spent several hours patrolling the Siuslaw River for fall Chinook anglers. Angling pressure was high with several citations being issued for the Unlawful Retention of Coho Salmon.
  • Trooper Marc Boyd with the assistance of Trooper Ed Imholt finalized a lengthy investigation alleging a long criminal conspiracy involving the illegal harvest of approximately 300 deer in the McKenzie Unit over the last five years resulting in the execution of two search warrants at three locations. Troopers from the South Valley Team, Bend, Albany, and Roseburg all participated in the search warrants, producing about 1,500 pounds of processed game meat, two whole unlawfully taken cow elk, over 100 sets of deer and elk antlers, timber company master keys, numerous hunting licenses and tags, and 18 hunting rifles. As a result of the investigation, the Lane County Grand Jury indicted nine people in April 2011 on over 150 total counts of various crimes, including Identity Theft (11 counts), Forgery in the Second Degree (3 counts), Computer Crime (6 counts), Racketeering (9 counts), Unlawful Possession of Big Game Parts (100 counts), Loaning/Borrowing/Transfer of Big Game/Hunting Tags (15 counts), Unlawful Take of Big Game (5 counts), Unlawful Hunting Cow Elk (2 counts), Unlawful Take Antlerless Deer (2 counts), Unlawful Take of Cow Elk, Unlawful Possession of Game Mammal, Unlawful Possession of Bear Meat, and Unlawful Possession of Antlerless Deer.
To learn more about the OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, including a link to monthly newsletters highlighting the work of your OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers, go to our website at: