Enforcement

Lafayette Man Arrested for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 09/25/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Lafayette man for allegedly operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and other violations on the Vermilion River in Lafayette Parish on Sept. 20.

Agents arrested Benjamin J. Pooler III, 46, for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and three counts of aggravated assault and booked him into the Lafayette Parish Jail.

Agents were notified around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 about a man operating a vessel while intoxicated near Southside Park. The complaint came from three people kayaking in the river whom claimed that the operator of a white cigarette boat appeared to try and run them over and was traveling at a high rate of speed in a no wake zone.  The kayakers said the operator of the vessel circled them multiple times eventually swamping one kayak before they were able to call 911.

When agents arrived on scene they received another tip about the same white cigarette boat operating a boat in a reckless manner and that the vessel was stopped on the bank of the river appearing to have struck a tree.

Agents observed Pooler III on the Vermilion River operating a vessel that matched the description just south of Ambassador Caffery Parkway.  Agents made contact with Pooler III and after doing a field sobriety test arrested him for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and aggravated assault.

Agents noted that Pooler III’s vessel had green leaves inside and that tree limbs were stuck to the side of the vessel indicating he hit a tree somewhere on the river.

DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Aggravated assault brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Agents participating in this case are Sgt. Ryan Faul and Senior Agent Thomas Ashley.

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

Seven Louisiana Men Charged with Oyster Fishing During Closed Season

Release Date: 09/19/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued 10 citations for alleged oyster violations to men on three separate vessels on Sept. 15 in Sister Lake in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Johnathan M. Reyes, 25, of Houma, Louis M. Carbajal, 23, of Houma, John T. Parker, 25, of Houma, Zachary Lacoste, 19, of Chauvin, Avilez A. Carbajal, 51, of Theriot, Teddy D. Dardar, 28, of Houma, and Dylan D. Parker, 21, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on Sister Lake.  Reyes was also charged with taking oysters without a commercial license.  Parker was also charged with violating the oyster sanitation code and failing to possess a commercial license.

Agents received numerous complaints about oyster vessels operating on the Sister Lake State Seed in early September.  During this particular patrol of the area agents found three vessels actively dredging for oysters in the closed area. 

Agents seized 33 sacks of oysters and returned them to Sister Lake.

Taking oysters during a closed season on state water bottoms brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to possess a commercial license and taking oysters without a commercial license each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating the oyster sanitation code carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes and Agent Ryan Breaux.

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

Jefferson Man Cited for Illegal Possession of Piranhas

Release Date: 09/18/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Jefferson Parish resident for alleged illegal piranha possession violations on Sept. 14 in Harahan.

Agents received a complaint about Jonathan M. Currey, 23, of Harahan, being in possession of several piranhas in a fish tank located in his apartment.  The agents made contact with Currey at his apartment where he was found to be in possession of five piranhas.  LDWF biologists assisted in the identification of the piranhas.

Illegal exotic fish possession of certain species, in this case piranhas, brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail plus court costs.

An LDWF issued permit for exotic fish of certain species is needed to possess piranhas.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Tim Fox and Agent Jeff Farmer.

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

LDWF Agents Issue 55 Citations for Hunting Over Bait During Opening Weekend of Dove Season

Release Date: 09/09/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued 101 dove hunting related citations during the opening weekend of dove season on Sept. 6 and 7 statewide.

Of the 101 total citations, 55 were for hunting doves over a baited area.  Most of the other charges were for hunting with an unplugged gun, hunting without a basic hunting license, placing bait, hunting from a moving vehicle, and taking non-game birds.

A large portion of the hunting doves over a baited area took place in Franklin Parish where agents found 28 people hunting over bait.  Other places that agents found numerous people hunting over bait included Avoyelles Parish with five people, Tensas Parish with four people, Claiborne with four people, Washington Parish with four people, Beauregard Parish with two people, Rapides Parish with two people and St. John Parish with two people.

Agents also seized over 300 doves associated with the citations.

Dove season began on Sept. 6 with a daily bag limit of 15 doves and possession limit of 45 doves.  However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird.  Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed-turtle doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.  Please check the LDWF dove hunting web page found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove for more information.

Hunting over a baited field for doves, placing bait, and taking non-game birds each brings a state penalty of $400 to $950 in fines and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting with unplugged guns and from a moving vehicle each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without a basic hunting license brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

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

Marrero Man Sentenced for Illegal Fish Sales in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/29/2014

A Marrero man pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to commercial fishing violations committed in Plaquemines Parish.

Joseph Morris III, 30, pleaded guilty to selling fish without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, selling game fish illegally, selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, taking/selling undersized spotted sea trout, possessing commercial red drum illegally and failing to comply with charter boat regulations.

Morris was ordered to pay a $2,250 fine plus court costs, serve 120 days in parish prison suspended, and have all commercial and recreational fishing privileges seized and revoked for a period of two years.  Continued litigation is pending in Jefferson Parish for additional alleged violations.

He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.  Jerry Lobrano for the 25th Judicial District prosecuted the case.

Agents arrested Morris on Jan. 24, 2014 for numerous commercial fishing violations after agents secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish when Morris sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.

LDWF Special Investigations and Sgt. Adam Young participated in the case.

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

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.

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