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DNR Conservation Officer’s Routine Call Lands Meth Lab Suspect In Court

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SOUTH HAVEN (WWJ) - A Department of Natural Resources conservation officer responding to a routine call in Van Buren County helped nab an Allegan County man wanted in connection with a known methamphetamine lab.

While on a patrol in Van Buren County, in the southwestern corner of the Lower Peninsula, a DNR conservation officer was speaking with a landowner when the landowner received a phone call telling him that a burglary was in progress at his hunting camp.

The conservation officer drove to the nearby camp where he apprehended one of two suspects attempting to steal an off-road vehicle. The suspect, Steven Michael McKinley, was also being sought by police on an outstanding warrant for drug manufacturing.

The officer called the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department for assistance and, with the help of a Michigan State Police K-9 unit and Van Buren County deputies, the second suspect, James David Christy, was located hiding in a deer blind in a swampy area.

McKinley, 32, and Christy, 37, both of Allegan, were arraigned on burglary charges in the 7th District Court of Van Buren County on Sept. 20.

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