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Press Release

Frankfort Resident Facing Federal Charges For Tampering And Vandalism At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that his office has filed charges against Andrew Blair Howard, 62, of Frankfort, Michigan. Howard is charged with one count of tampering and one count of vandalism at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on August 15, 2022. 

          “These allegations of tampering and vandalism by a man-made diversion of water at Platte River are disturbing,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Great Lakes are national gems, and my office takes preserving our natural treasures very seriously.”

          In mid-August, National Park Service law enforcement officers investigated reports of diversion of the waters of the Platte River within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula.

          “Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was created in 1970 to preserve and protect this amazing place,” said Superintendent Scott Tucker. “The National Park Service appreciates the support of the U.S. Attorney's Office in enforcing the laws that help protect this place for future generations.”

          The charges against Howard are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.  These charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 6 months’ imprisonment, up to a $ 5,000 fine, up to 5 years’ probation, and mandatory restitution.  Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the U.S. District Court.

          This case is the product of an investigation by the National Park Service law enforcement officers. Assistant United States Attorney Lauren F. Biksacky is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.


Updated May 24, 2023