Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Chalmette men for alleged oyster harvesting and drug violations on Feb. 25 in St. Bernard Parish.
Agents arrested Oliver Rudesill Jr, 33, and Tracy Gallardo Jr., 23, for several oyster, boating safety and drug violations after a boating safety inspection.
After observing a large skiff come into the Reggio Marina with improper running lights, LDWF agents performed a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, agents found 28 sacks of oysters and learned that Rudesill Jr. is on probation until May of 2016 because of prior oyster harvesting violations. Agents also learned that Rudesill Jr. did not have a working Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that was part of his probation.
Rudesill Jr. also did not fill out an oyster harvesters log sheet for that day’s harvest. Additionally, the vessel did not have a valid commercial vessel license, was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations and did not have a proper identification number visible from the air. Agents also found the sacks of oysters were not properly tagged. Rudesill Jr. also did not have the proper amount of personal flotation devices, a vessel registration, a working fire extinguisher or navigation lights.
During the interview process, agents found Gallardo in possession of oxycodone, suboxone and drug paraphernalia.
Agents seized and returned the 28 sacks of oysters to the water. Both subjects were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail with the assistance of St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents.
Violating the VMS guidelines carries a fine of $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of untagged oysters and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating sanitation code for not having a tarp and logbook violation each carries a $25 fine and 10 days in jail.
No vessel registration, failing to display proper numbers on a vessel, failing to comply with PFD requirements, no fire extinguisher and improper running lights each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Possession of oxycodone and suboxone each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Michael Garrity, Senior Agents Jason Gernados and Brett Nabors and Agent Blaine Wagner.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.