Enforcement

Agents Cite Three Subjects for Fishing Violation on Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 08/18/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men and a juvenile male for alleged fishing violations on Aug. 15 in Bossier Parish.

Agents cited Matthew D. Pyle, 18, of Minden, Caleb A. Lee, 20, of Doyline, and a juvenile male for taking game fish using illegal methods.  Pyle was also cited for fishing without a fishing license.

Agents received a complaint about the three suspects using a seine net at the Lake Bistineau Spillway and keeping every fish that was caught.  Agents made contact with the subjects and found them to be in possession of two seine nets and nine crappie, five black bass and three bream.

According to the suspects, they would stretch the net out across the spillway and then walk the net back to the bank where they would retrieve the fish caught in the net.

Agents seized the fish and nets.  Taking game fish illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Angling without a fishing license carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Chuck Dison, Senior Agent John Blalock and Senior Agent Bryant Coburn.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Arrest Ascension Parish Man for Boating Hit and Run

Release Date: 08/15/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested an Ascension Parish man this morning, Aug. 15, for his alleged involvement in a boating hit and run.

Agents arrested Thomas J. Amorello, 32, of the St. Amant area, for felony hit and run, negligent injury and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.

Agents began investigating a hit and run between two ski boats on the Amite River Diversion Canal on July 26 in Livingston Parish.  The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when a ski boat was rear ended and ran over by another ski boat allegedly operated by Amorello.  The three passengers of the boat that was run over were treated for minor injuries and released.

Using eyewitness accounts of the description of a ski boat that sped through a no wake zone just north of where the hit and run took place near the Tiki Hut, agents were able to identify and track down Amorello’s boat on July 28 at his residence.  Amorello’s boat matched the description and also had damage to the hull.

Agents seized Amorello’s boat and the victim’s boat and brought them to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for further investigation.  The crime lab was able to make a direct match between the damage sustained on both vessels and determined that Amorello’s ski boat was involved in the hit and run.

Felony hit and run brings up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in jail.  Negligent injury carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Reckless operation brings up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Arrest Golden Meadow Man on Drug Charges

Release Date: 08/04/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Golden Meadow man for alleged drug violations on July 31 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents arrested Nick A. Collins, 42, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Agents booked Collins into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Facility.

Agents boarded Collins’ oyster vessel to perform a commercial fishing compliance check.  Agents observed a firearm located within the cabin of the vessel where Collins was operating the vessel.  After checking with dispatch and learning of a previous felony conviction, agents got permission to search the vessel for any further contraband.

While searching the vessel agents located an additional firearm along with a metal container containing suspected marijuana, several hand rolled cigarettes containing suspected marijuana, two grinders, one mini scale, scissors, and several plastic bags under the mattress where Collins slept.  After speaking with agents, Collins admitted that all contraband on the vessel was his.

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute brings up to a $50,000 fine and between five and 30 years of prison.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana carries up to a $10,000 fine and between five and 10 years of prison.  Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years of prison.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $1,000 fine and one year of jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert Jr. and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Joey Broussard Named New LDWF Enforcement Division Colonel

Release Date: 07/29/2014

Col. Joey Broussard

July 29, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that Joseph “Joey” Broussard, a native of Pointe Coupee Parish, has been promoted and will serve as the Enforcement Division’s new colonel.

“Joey’s wide ranging experience within the division will serve him well in his new leadership role and he has earned this opportunity to serve as chief in the years ahead,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

Col. Broussard, 55, of Port Barre, will serve in the highest ranking position in the Enforcement Division.  He graduated from the LDWF cadet academy in 1991, receiving his POST certification from LSU, and has been an agent for 23 and a half years. Col. Broussard replaces the recently retired Jeff Mayne, who served the department for 23 years, completing his last year of service as colonel.

“I’m honored to accept the highest rank you can achieve within the Enforcement Division,” said Col. Broussard.  “I’m also excited to lead the division in to the future as we continue to adapt to new tasks as well as maintain our main responsibility in protecting and conserving the state’s natural resources.”

Serving as director of training from 1996-2008, Col. Broussard has also represented the Enforcement Division on the Mississippi Flyway Law Enforcement Committee. He received the statewide Agent of the Year award in 1994 and also the Outstanding Officer award from the Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners in 1994. He was selected for the LDWF Chief’s Award in 2008-2009.

In 2011, Col. Broussard was promoted to lieutenant colonel, overseeing field operations and search and rescue under former Chief Winton Vidrine. He most recently served as chief of staff under Col. Mayne.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Looking for Boat Involved in Hit and Run

Release Date: 07/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads from the public about a boating incident hit and run that occurred on the Amite River Diversion Canal on July 26 in Livingston Parish.

The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when a ski boat was rear ended and ran over by another ski boat.  The three passengers of the boat that was run over were treated for minor injuries and released.  Agents are looking for the other ski boat that left the scene of the incident without stopping.

According to an eyewitness just north of where the incident took place near the Tiki Hut, a yellow and white ski boat with a black stripe was seen speeding through a no wake zone.  Agents believe that the yellow and white ski boat may have been the boat that was involved with this incident and that it should have substantial damage to the hull.

If anyone has information about this incident, they should call LDWF's Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use the LADWF Tips app on their smart phones.

According to the people first to respond to the incident, the boat that was rear ended and ran over did have its running lights on at the time of the incident.  LDWF Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Recover Missing Boater from Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish

Release Date: 07/07/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a single vessel incident that claimed the life of a Picayune man on July 5 in St. Tammany Parish.

LDWF agents were notified of a boating incident and a missing boater on the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish around 5 p.m. on July 5. LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Deputies began searching that evening, before calling off the search at dusk. The following day, July 6, agents and sheriff’s deputies continued the search.

Agents were able to retrieve the deceased body of James. R Mann, 45, of Picayune, MS the morning of July 7 and turn him over to the St. Tammany Parish Corner’s Office.

According to surviving passenger, Terry L. Jenkins, 49 of Walkiah, MS, the vessel was just up river of the Walkiah Bluff water control structure. The men launched their boat off the bank before starting the engine. As the vessel was adrift, it was caught in a swift current which carried the vessel over the water control structure. Mann was ejected from the vessel and Jenkins jumped out of the vessel in an effort to save Mann. Jenkins was not able to locate Mann. Jenkins then self rescued and called for help.

Neither man was wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).

Along with LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Deputies, Missisippi Wildlife, Fish and Parks assisted as well as the Pine Grove Fire Department.

For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boat Incident on Amite River

Release Date: 07/02/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating incident on the Amite River in Livingston Parish on July 1.

LDWF agents were notified about a single vessel incident around 6:30 p.m. involving a husband and wife of Livingston Parish.

It is believed at this time that the 17 foot surface drive vessel operated by Richard Ledoux, 58, hit a tree near the bank in the Killian area near Pete’s Landing.  The collision with the tree resulted in the death of Deborah Ledoux, 59, and injuries for Richard.

Richard was airlifted to the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment.  It is not suspected that his injuries are life threatening at this time.

Deborah's body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 27-29

Release Date: 06/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 27-29 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 15 boating fatalities in 2013 with alcohol playing a role in three fatalities or 20 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued three DWI citations to boat operators during the 2013 Operation Dry Water weekend and 15 DWI citations over the same weekend the previous two years combined.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

For more information, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Plaquemines Parish Man Cited For Oyster and Boating Violations

Release Date: 06/17/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster and boating safety violations on June 14 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents were on patrol in the area of Grand Bayou when they came into contact with Joel Gonzales, 30, on a vessel with 194 sacks of oysters.  Agents immediately noticed the vessel was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations to protect the oysters from direct exposure to the sun and other adverse conditions.

Upon further investigation agents also determined Gonzales’ vessel did not have the required numbers for identification for the departments aircraft, the vessel was not registered by the department and was not licensed to transport seafood for sale.  The vessel also did not meet LDWF regulations for an oyster cargo vessel, which requires installation of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).

For having a vessel with no boat numbers, operating an unregistered motorboat and failing to display proper number on vessel each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Violation of the state’s health code as it pertains to oysters carries a $450 fine and up to 10 days in jail.  Violation of VMS regulations carries a max fine of $950 and up to 120 days in jail plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents seized and returned 194 sacks of oysters to the state’s water bottoms.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, and Cadet Travis Bartlett.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-465-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Charge New Orleans Man with Illegal Fish Sales

Release Date: 06/16/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a New Orleans man for alleged commercial fishing violations on June 13 in Orleans Parish.

Agents cited Paul D. Haptonstall, 34, of New Orleans, for the illegal sale of fish.  Haptonstall sold red drum and spotted sea trout at his residence to undercover LDWF agents.

Agents received complaints about Haptonstall actively selling red drum and advertising this on social media sites.  The LDWF Special Investigations Unit purchased a total of 138 red drum, 11 black drum, two spotted sea trout, two blue catfish and three sheepshead after six transactions at Haptonstall’s residence.

Agents cited Haptonstall for selling commercial fish without a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, taking spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout during a closed season and six counts of selling game fish illegally.

Selling commercial fish without a commercial license or gear license each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of selling game fish illegally carries a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Taking spotted sea trout without a permit and selling spotted sea trout during a closed season each carry a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

He is also facing a total of $3,710.80 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.

Agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois and Cadet Jeff Farmer.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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