068 The Colebrook Murders Part IV – Featuring Counselor Paula Booth

Counselor Paula Booth has been working with law enforcement officers and other clients for over 35 years with the state of New Hampshire. Her unique knowledge of critical incidents and trauma response has made her a valuable asset to many agencies. She is also the director for the New Hampshire Employee Assistant Program. Paula has a masters degree in clinical social work from Boston University, is a member of the National Academy of Certified Social Workers, and is nationally certified as an employee assistance professional. Additionally, she has served as the president of the Grant State employee assistant program. Paula works on the governor and attorney general’s commission on domestic violence, and is an advisor to the state government’s decision makers. Her lectures at conferences, community events, and state sponsored events are well renowned. To Wayne, Paula Booth was his counselor after the critical incident that took place in Colebook in which he was shot.

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Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Introduction to Paula Booth
  • Counseling is very different in today’s world
  • Wayne’s breaking point
  • Counseling is for everyone
  • Everyone has a critical incident in their life
  • Healthy people get help
  • Education on counseling to law enforcement
  • We ask for help all the time, why not this?
  • Affects officers, family members, peers
  • Academy program: stress management in law enforcement
  • Traumatic experience from those that were on vacation
  • Critical incident tools
  • Simple, briefs directives
  • Eat something simple
  • Don’t fill the silence
  • Look into programs
  • Supervisors and peers watch you
  • Don’t use a cookie cutter approach
  • Connection is important
  • I’ve got the best job in the world
  • Make it palatable
  • If I didn’t have counseling, I wouldn’t have finished my career
  • Horrible week for New Hampshire
  • Approach it from a problem solving perspective
  • Make the appointment, you can always cancel it
  • Give and take
  • Uniform represents so much
  • Partners and supporters take the journey too

067 The Colebrook Murders Part III – Featuring Kevin Jordan

Colonel Kevin Jordan has worked for the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game for over 20 years. After the Colebrook Murders, he became a critical incident specialist. In this episode, Wayne discusses the Colebrook Murders with Colonel Jordan and how each of them experienced the situation.  

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Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

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International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Field day in Quebec
  • Weren’t aware two were murdered
  • 5 crime scenes, many different units
  • Couldn’t talk on the radio, too much chatter
  • I could hear Wayne screaming
  • Went to grab two deer rifles, raced to confront
  • John had his fingers embedded in my dash as I went 100 mph
  • I was livid he shot you, I wanted to kill him
  • The troopers had a look about them
  • Dispatchers were crying on the radio
  • He went home to change and shave
  • Laying across the dash, looked like he committed suicide
  • Both shoot at the same time; Drega wearing campaign hat
  • If you engage him, you’ll have to kill him
  • I know what type of guy I am now
  • You can train someone, but you don’t know how they’ll react in fight or flight
  • He was on the bank; changed our plan
  • 98 shots fired
  • Drega was dead 
  • I decided I needed a cigarette
  • Both sides of the road were lined with cruisers
  • I thought I was gonna get fired
  • His house had bombs in it
  • Ran to the bathroom and threw up
  • Some will defend Drega; there will be funerals
  • Went to visit Wayne in a packed cruiser
  • Cheers when Wayne came back; brought to tears
  • Ordered to go to counseling
  • New equipment after the event

066 The Colebrook Murders Part II: My Badge Saved My Life

In this episode our two hosts become an interviewer and an interviewee. In 1997, a rogue gunman began a violent rampage in the town of Colebrook. One of the responding officers, Warden Wayne Saunders of New Hampshire was injured in an attempt to apprehend the subject. The badge he wore on that day deflected the bullet shot by the suspect and saved his life. In this episode Wayne tells his personal account of that day and how it affected his life.

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Episode dedicated to Senior Corporal Jeff Neal of Hope, Arkansas
  • Dedicated to Scott Phillips and Leslie Lord, New Hampshire State Police
  • Survived a critical incident in a small town
  • A regular day with a field day the next day
  • Report of a stolen cruiser, possibly by a kid
  • “Turn off your blue lights”
  • Jurisdictional issues in mind
  • Dust hanging under a bridge pass
  • Man with a campaign hat pointing a gun 15 yards away
  • Cover and concealment
  • Everything was in slow motion, yelled at people in a restaurant to leave 
  • Backed up slow, then fast into a tree
  • I didn’t know what was going on
  • Center of the badge was shot off
  • Ricochet of the 7 rounds
  • Don’t my boots; sorry I wrecked the cruiser
  • Shredded my bicep, scarred to this day
  • Found out what happened from the news
  • Staying in the fight even when injured
  • From the hospital to funerals 
  • Brothers holding me up
  • Improving communication, switched rifles
  • New York response team
  • It takes a horrible incident for improvement
  • The only woman that made me cry: physical therapist breaking down scar tissue
  • Negative comments made me transfer
  • Critical incident fallout; learning experience
  • Worse for your partner to get shot than to be the victim
  • Physical and mental pain
  • I always wanted to be the cowboy in the woods, no one would take that for me
  • Brought game wardens to state police with shooting pay support
  • We’re always on duty
  • More tools available now
  • Pack of wardens
  • Usually not next to cruiser
  • People hide and hide things in the woods
  • Educate the public on what we go through

065 The Colebrook Murders Part I – Ft. Richard Adams Carey

Richard Carey is the author of the book “In That Evil Day” in which he discusses the events of the violent 1997 shooting in Colebrook, New Hampshire in which Wayne Sanders was shot. Richard grew up in Connecticut and attended Harvard. He moved around the country while writing various books that are acclaimed by The New York Times, Alaska Magazine, and more. In this interview, Carry explains his background, research for the book, the community around Colebrook, and much more.

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The Colebrook Murders
  • Putting the puzzle pieces together
  • Not enough exposure on the event
  • Listings in a telephone book
  • Went about the book stupidly
  • Battle between burying the incident and opening up
  • Expected to “suck it up” after incidents
  • Challenge: freedom of information
  • Dissecting the documents; generosity of agencies
  • No sense of competition in law enforcement
  • Not a typical true crime book
  • Mindset of those in the community
  • Flirtations with militia groups
  • National problem with little reporting
  • Breakdown of the incident
  • The good out of the incident
  • Civilian heroes 
  • Outsider looking in to insider looking in
  • Book title

064 Lonnie Sushil – Florida

Lonnie Sushil is a game warden with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (SA), and is the Commander of the SA Special Operations Group (SOG). Florida’s SOG group was created after 9/11 and focuses on homeland security as well as public service. Lonnie commands 14 operators in the alpha south region of the state. 

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Merging of Thin Green Line into Warden’s Watch
  • Lonnie’s background
  • Creation of SOG in Florida
  • Duties of the group
  • Diversity of warden training
  • Ecosystem differences within Florida
  • SOG is a collateral duty
  • Collaborative training
  • Picking out the oddities
  • Academy and training
  • Female officers
  • Assess people up front

062 Todd Vandivert – Washington Part I

Todd Vandivert was a game warden for 34 years with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and now writes books about his experiences. He worked both as a uniformed officer and an undercover officer, making multiple cases in each position. Todd’s work as an author is well-known, especially his book Operation Cody in which he breaks down his role in the operation. In this episode, Todd discusses his upbringing, work as a warden, and life as an author. 

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • 34 years as a game warden
  • Born in California
  • Love of the outdoors while raised in Virginia 
  • Plan was to go into the Navy; failed color vision test
  • Flying career came to an end, went into oceanography
  • Rethought decisions and went into forestry
  • Started working in a habitat area
  • Cameras everywhere
  • First posing
  • Work as an undercover
  • The issues with informants 
  • The case: hound hunting with lions
  • The “Kill ‘Em All Boys”
  • Conference
  • More exposure = more hazardous
  • Each state has different laws
  • Built a fake business: website, posters, business cards, etc
  • Best of the wild
  • Lawful stuff close to unlawful
  • Poacher within two days
  • Misrepresenting product is still illegal
  • Taking DNA
  • Rotted mountain lion and a paycheck
  • Dried dates as a decoy to Hong Kong
  • Growing operations and money laundering
  • Interior decorator setup
  • Entrapment debate

053 Carlos Gomez – Oklahoma Department of Wildlife – Part II

Carlos Gomez, a retired Game Warden for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, sits down with Wayne in the continuation of his interview. Though now retired after a 41 year career, Carlos is still an active outdoorsman and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. In this episode, they discuss cases Carlos has been involved with and his interactions with other wardens.

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Copper Pig Brewery

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • International Game Warden Magazine
  • Operation Cody
  • Interactions and cases with Todd A. Vandivert
  • The money-maker case
  • When to bluff
  • The praying poacher
  • Keeping the racks, donating the meat
  • 16 deer, 3 county warrants
  • Enjoy the cuffs
  • Poacher suicide

Credits
Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores
Producer/Editor: Jay Scott Ammann
Social Media/Marketing: Morgan Day

052 Carlos Gomez – Oklahoma Department of Wildlife

Carlos Gomez spent 41 years as a game warden in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation – 34 years serving Tulsa County and 7 years serving in Oklahoma County. He is the only game warden in Oklahoma’s history to spend his entire career in urban areas. Despite this, his time was filled with hunting and fishing interactions, as well as education of the public. In his retirement, he actively enjoys the outdoors and regularly attends meetings with conservation clubs.

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Copper Pig Brewery

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Wayne’s experience with Oklahoma
  • Carlos’s energy
  • Operation Jersey
  • Undercover turtles
  • Wildlife war with China
  • Importance of prosecution
  • Judge shopping
  • Educate and build relationships with violators
  • Game wardens are hunters too
  • Interactions with Tiger King
  • Stolen polar bear
  • Carlos’s deer case
  • Stay tuned for part two!

051 Brian Albert – Maryland DNR

After 28 years, Capt. Brian Albert has retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s done working. Brian spent time in the Air Force and then became a Ranger with Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He also worked as a Public Information Officer and was in charge of a criminal investigations division during his career.  Despite retirement, Brian is heavily involved with Maryland’s International Wildlife Crimestoppers and other conservation organizations. 

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Copper Pig Brewery

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

HERE’S WHAT WE DISCUSS:

  • John’s New Mic!
  • Waterways Criminal Investigation
  • Suicides – Discovered by Hunters, Covered by Game Wardens
  • Maryland DNR Captain
  • Executive Director Maryland Wildlife Crimestoppers
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Stripers, Crabs, Turkey, Deer
  • 40% of the Time on the Water
  • Rockfish and Striper are the Same Thing
  • Cast Nets and 77 Rockfish, $500 Per Fish Fine
  • Eastern Shore MD State Park
  • Fort Frederick State Park
  • Marijuana In the Campgrounds
  • Alaskan State Troopers
  • Exhausting Hours to Make a Case
  • An Old Dodge Ram Charger
  • Farmers Don’t Want People Driving in Fields
  • A Red Dot Target
  • Suicide in a Kayak
  • Inner Harbor Baltimore Coverage Area
  • Freddie Gray Riots
  • More Positive than Negative, Media Sells the Negative
  • Participation in Local Events
  • Jerry Kirkwood
  • An Out of State Duck Case
  • Illegal Deer Kill on Out of State Pennsylvania Resident
  • Stopping the Spread of CWD

050 Sean Cronsberry – Ontario Warden

Wayne and John discuss a warden life across the border in Canada with special guest Sean Cronsberry. Sean is a dog handler and warden with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  He’s handled several interesting cases with his K-9 companions Timber and Blaze.  Sean covers a large area and has a unique area that involves the commercial fishing industry out of the great lakes. 

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Copper Pig Brewery

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What’s Discussed in this Episode:

  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • A Professional Mouthful
  • Warden’s Watch International – Crossing the Border into Canada
  • Cases with the United States – Michigan, Lacey Act, US Fish and Wildlife
  • Working in Quebec and Needing an Interpreter
  • Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe
  • Deputy Conversation Officer Program
  • 1000 Hours of Volunteering
  • Fish House and Open Holes
  • Whitefish and Lake Trout
  • Great Lakes and the Commercial Fishery
  • Southwestern Region Ontario
  • A K-9 Handler
  • Timber, a Chocolate Lab
  • Finding the Right Dog
  • K-9 Blaze, a Yellow Lab
  • Timber Would Wrap Up Cases on His Own
  • Losing a Service Dog
  • Into the Lions Den
  • A Good Game Warden Story
  • A Trespass to Hunt Call
  • Finding Poached Turkeys, Only with a Dog
  • A Sudden Death Call, Blaze Opened the Case Wide Open
  • Finding a Bullet
  • Labs- English vs US
  • The Gun Powder Wag
  • Tighty Whities
  • Shooting Towards the Road
  • The Cases we Remember Most are the Cases we Didn’t Make
  • 99% Time the Dogs Will Find the Evidence
  • Protecting the Interest of Other Hunters
  • Sleeping in the Truck after 8 Hour Trip
  • 3 Rotten Fish in a Net
  • 165 Field Officers
  • Naming Dogs, the Timber Wolf
  • Spreading the Word for Wardens, a Way of Life