Enforcement

Duplessis Man Cited for Illegally Selling Shrimp

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a man for alleged seafood violations in Saint Gabriel on Dec. 1.

Agents cited Louis Soileau, 53, of Duplessis for selling shrimp without a retail seafood vehicle license and for failing to maintain records.

While patrolling in Saint Gabriel, agents witnessed a man selling shrimp from his vehicle on the side of Highway 30.  Agents approached the man and found he did not possess the required license to sell seafood from his vehicle.  Soileau was also unable to provide agents with records of where the shrimp came from.

Selling fish without a retail seafood license (vehicle) and failing to maintain records each carry a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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

Three Jennings Men Cited for Intentional Concealment of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 12/04/2012

Dec. 4, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Jennings men for alleged hunting violations on Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area on Nov. 23.

Agents charged Samuel T. Herndon, 22, for taking a spotted fawn, intentional concealment of wildlife and failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest card requirements.  Agents also cited Nicholas J. Demary, 22, and Michael J. Comeaux, 23, for intentional concealment of wildlife.

After the three made a morning hunt on the Thistlethwaite WMA, agents found them in possession of a freshly killed spotted fawn hidden behind the seat of their truck.  During the investigation, agents allegedly learned that Herndon shot the fawn and that all three conspired to hide the deer behind the seat to sneak it out of the WMA.

Agents seized a 12-gauge shotgun and the spotted fawn, which was donated to charity.

Intentional concealment of wildlife carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking a spotted fawn brings up to a $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging and harvest card requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Agents also assessed Herndon with $1,624.61 in restitution for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents who are participating in the case are Sgt. Travis Huval, and Senior Agents Ryan Faul and Brandon Fontenot.

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

Two Men Sentenced In Intentional Concealment Case In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/29/2012

Nov. 29, 2012 -- On Nov. 29, 2012 two men pleaded guilty to commercial fishing violations in the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish.

Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, both pleaded guilty to the intentional concealment of illegal fish.

Judge Kevin Conner ordered both men to pay a fine of $950 plus courts costs.  In addition, both Nguyen and Tiet had there set line licenses and state shark permits revoked for life.  Both men are also forbidden to involve themselves in any way in the shark industry for a period of two years.

This conviction was a result of a joint enforcement patrol with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement on April 8, 2012.

LDWF agents made contact with Nguyen and Tiet while responding to an anonymous complaint from offshore recreational fishermen of over the commercial daily limit of sharks.  Agents stopped the vessel “Lady Lyanna” in Tiger Pass located in Venice.

Upon immediate inspection of the vessel, agents found whole sharks located on the deck.  After further investigation, agents found a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins.  The bodies of the sharks belonging to the fins were not on the vessel.

Shark “finning” is an illegal practice of removing the shark’s fins, which are the most profitable part of the shark, and then discarding the rest of the shark’s body overboard.

The two men were in possession of 2,073 individual shark fins and 11 whole sharks. The 2,073 individual fins represent a total of 518 sharks bringing the total number of sharks possessed to 529.  The daily commercial limit for sharks in Louisiana is 33 per vessel placing the two men 496 sharks over their daily limit.

Federal prosecution is still pending by the NOAA General Counsel Office for the over limit and shark finning allegations.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Lobrano prosecuted the case.

Agents participating in the case and prosecution were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

Two New Orleans Men Cited For Red Drum Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/29/2012

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent cited two New Orleans men for alleged red drum fishing violations on Nov. 24 in Plaquemines Parish.

Sgt. Adam Young cited Charles H. Stafford III, 22, and Percy I. Morgan Jr., 25, for taking over double the daily limit and undersized red drum after being found in possession of 50 red drum on the Shell Pipeline Canal located near Port Sulphur. 

All of the red drum were under the legal size limit of 16 inches except for one.  The daily limit on red drum is five fish per person, which put the men 40 red drum over the limit.

Possessing over the double the daily limit of red drum carries up to a $950 fine or up to 120 days in jail.  Taking undersized red drum brings up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Additionally, the men will be accessed $1,323.50 in restitution for the illegally taken fish.

Sgt. Young seized the red drum and donated them to a local charity.

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

Black Bear Found Dead in Avoyelles Parish

Release Date: 11/28/2012

Nov. 28, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in the Avoyelles Parish.

The Service just announced adding $5,000 to the reward to the $1,000 from the state for a total of $6,000.

A hunter alerted authorities on Nov. 27 about a dead black bear laying on an all-terrain vehicle trail on Avoyelles Parish School Board property located 20 miles northwest of Marksville.

LDWF and USFWS officials arrived on scene and found a male black bear approximately two years old and weighing about 100 pounds dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed earlier in the day on Nov. 27.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Cash rewards up to $1,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals involved in this crime.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

"We have solved cases like this in the past with the public's help and we are again asking for any leads that might assist us in this investigation," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division."

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

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

Father and Son Arrested for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/28/2012

Nov. 28, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a father and son for alleged deer hunting violations on Nov. 20 in Avoyelles Parish.

Agents arrested Gregory S. Gautreaux, 44, of Turkey Creek, and his son Gregory R. Gautreaux, 21, also of Turkey Creek and booked them into the Avoyelles Parish Jail. 

Gregory S. Gautreaux was cited for selling deer meat, possession of an illegally taken deer, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, hunting without resident hunting or big game licenses, careless operation of a vehicle and driving under a suspended license.  Gregory R. Gautreaux was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, failing to wear hunters orange, hunting on a wildlife management area (WMA) without a WMA hunting permit, hunting with a gun in a bow hunting area, illegal access of an WMA and no WMA self-clearing permit.

Agents were alerted on Nov. 20, 2012 by a tip from the public about a small red car parked on the Acadian Conservation Corridor WMA.  When agents responded they spotted an individual standing on the WMA holding a gun in a bow hunting only area.  When the subject observed the agents truck he went back into the woods.

At the same time agents observed the red car they got a description of earlier perform a U-turn on Interstate 49 and cut through the median to pick up the hunter on the WMA.  Agents stopped the car for the traffic infraction and identified Gregory S. Gautreaux as the driver.  After a few minutes, agents were able to apprehend Gregory R. Gautreaux in the woods.

Agents also located a loaded 12-gauge shotgun with buckshot near where they apprehended Gregory R. Gautreaux.  During the investigation agents learned that a six-point buck was sold by Gregory S. Gautreaux to Bryan K. Fontenot, 41, of Ville Platte for $80.  Agents were able to recover the deer meat and the rack.

Agents charged Fontenot for buying deer meat and possession of an illegally taken deer.

Selling deer meat brings a $500 to $750 fine and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Possession of illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, hunting without a WMA permit, hunting with a gun in a bow hunting area, illegal access of a WMA and hunting on a WMA without a self-clearing permit brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, and hunting without wearing hunter’s orange brings a $50 fine for each offense

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Careless operation brings up to a $180 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Driving under a suspended license carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Travis Huval, Scott Fontenot, and Gabe Guidry, and Senior Agents Ryan Faul, Jay Callegari, Steve Vidrine, Danon Maricle, and Brandon Fontenot.

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

Authorities Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/13/2012

Nov. 13, 2012 -- Search and rescue personnel located a missing hunter alive at 12:45 p.m. today, Nov. 13, on the bank of Grand Lake in St. Bernard Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard found Daniel Madere, 25, of Metairie, after searching for him most of the morning.

According to Madere and his hunting partners, they were crossing Grand Lake on their way to their duck blinds at 5:15 a.m.  Madere’s duck blind partner noticed that Madere was not at the blind when he was supposed to be there and doubled back to see if he was having trouble.  After a brief search of the area, Madere’s duck blind partner called authorities to assist in the search.

Madere’s 16 foot flat bottom boat sank in Grand Lake in rough water.  Madere was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and was able to grab another PFD to hold as he made his way to the bank.

Search and rescue personnel were able to get dry clothes for Madere and transported him back to the launch near Delacroix where a medical staff was waiting to check his condition.

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

Search and Rescue Personnel Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/06/2012

Nov. 6, 2012 -- Search and rescue authorities found a missing hunter alive on the Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shortly after Midnight on Nov. 6.

Authorities found Virgil Conway, 74, of Vinton, at 12:15 a.m. this morning on the WMA after he became disoriented and could not find his way back to his boat.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 5 about an overdue hunter on the WMA.  LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ward 7 Fire Department and public volunteers who knew Conway and where he usually hunted.

Conway left to go hunting at 5 a.m. on Nov. 5, which was his last contact with family.  He launched his aluminum flat bottom boat to go to one of his familiar hunting spots on the Sabine Island WMA.  After hunting, Conway could not find his way back to his boat and was lost.  His family then contacted authorities when he did not arrive home at his usual time.

Authorities located his boat at 7:30 p.m. and almost five hours later found Conway at least a mile away from where his boat was found.  After Conway could not find his way back to his boat, he found an area that he could stay until help arrived.  He only had three shotgun shells and shot two of them into the air after dark in an effort to alert searchers of his location.

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

Former Chauvin Resident Arrested for Outstanding Warrants and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Release Date: 10/30/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a man for allegedly possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and migratory game bird violations on Oct. 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Verdin, 35, of Georgia who recently moved from Chauvin, for possessing a 12 gauge shotgun by a convicted felon.  Verdin was convicted of distributing cocaine in 2006. 

Agents received a complaint from the public about Verdin duck hunting in the Chauvin area.  Agents arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27 and observed Verdin hunting ducks.  At 8:30 a.m. agents made contact with Verdin and found him in possession of one mottled duck, one teal and four ibis.

Agents cited Verdin for hunting ducks during a closed season, taking ibis for which there is no season, violating the non-toxic shot requirement, field possession of migratory game birds (MGBs), harvesting MGBs during a closed season, hunting MGBs without the required harvest information program (HIP) certification, hunting MGBs with an unplugged shotgun, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting MGBs without state and federal duck stamps.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Hunting without a basic license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  For the remaining eight charges, Verdin faces a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each charge. 

During the background check, agents learned that Verdin had three outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for back child support and traffic violations.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Louis Burnett.

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

LDWF Agents Arrest Pontchartrain Blue Crab Owner

Release Date: 10/29/2012

 

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Gary M. Bauer, owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, for filing false public records and injuring public records in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by East Baton Rouge Parish.

Agents conducted an inspection of purchase records of commercial fish by Ponchartrain Blue Crab from commercial fishermen.  During the inspection, agents determined that Pontchartrain Blue Crab failed to report to the LDWF, by way of the trip ticket system, the purchase of 170,215 pounds of blue crab, 104,489 pounds of shrimp, 8,564 soft shell crab, 2,122 pounds of sheepshead, 5 pounds of flounder, and 113 pounds of black drum from January 2010 through July 2011.

An arrest warrant was obtained by agents in East Baton Rouge Parish on Oct. 25 for the owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, Gary M. Bauer, 54, of Slidell for 18 counts of filing false public records and 18 counts of injuring public records.  Bauer was notified of the warrants and turned himself into agents on Oct. 26.

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood and the management of the state's seafood resources.

Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Robert Turner, Louis Burnett, and Edward Ridgel.  The investigation for this case is ongoing.

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

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