Michigan man sent to prison after years of DNR-related violations

A Gaylord man was recently convicted in Otesego County Circuit Court on several charges ranging from wildlife and felony weapons violations to third-offense drunken driving and being a habitual offender.

Cecil Edward Day Jr., 56, is currently serving up to 7 1/2 years in state prison for his involvement in three separate incidents that Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers have been investigating since 2018.

“This individual was a thief of our natural resources,” said Sgt. Mark DePew, Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division, who led the investigations. “Our officers’ teamwork should be a lesson to those who seek to steal fish and game from the citizens of this state.”

Conservation Officers Tom Oberg, Kyle Cherry and DePew conducted separate investigations over a three-year period that resulted in numerous convictions.

On Sept. 8, Day pleaded guilty before a judge and was convicted of the following:

2018: Intentionally discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and possession or taking of an illegal deer. He was sentenced to 13 months in jail, loss of weapon used and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,836.
2019: Possession of a firearm by a felon and using another’s hunting license. He was sentenced to 13 months in jail, loss of weapon used and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,458.
2020: Operating a motor vehicle while being intoxicated (third offense) and being a habitual offender. He was sentenced to serve 16 months to 7 1/2 years in prison and to pay fines totaling $958.
The three sentences will run concurrently. Day started serving his prison sentence Sept. 13. Of his total $4,254 in fines assessed, $2,000 was ordered paid to the state’s Fish and Game Fund as restitution for the loss of game.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who protect natural resources, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Due to the nature of their job, these officers often work with federal, state and local law enforcement officers to ensure public safety. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.