Enforcement

Agents Arrest Two People for Drug Possession

Release Date: 04/20/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two Roseland residents for alleged drug charges on April 17 in Tangipahoa Parish.

Agents arrested Willie I. Rhodus Jr., 42, and Shelia R. Hutchins, 46, for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal narcotics, and violating wildlife management area (WMA) regulations.

Agents were on patrol when they found the subjects in a vehicle riding in a restricted area on the Sandy Hollow WMA.  After further investigation, agents found the subjects in possession of methamphetamines, a pistol, and various drug paraphernalia.

Rhodus Jr. and Hutchins were arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

Rhodus Jr. was also cited for driving a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and with a cancelled license plate.  Hutchins also has six outstanding arrest warrants for writing bad checks.

Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

Possession of drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison.  Violating WMA regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Lee Davis.

Three Men Cited For Oyster Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish on April 18.

Agents cited Joseph J. Phillips, 44, Don P. Phillips, 57, and Charles J. Williams Jr., 24, all of Port Sulphur, for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms.  The captain, Joseph Phillips, was also cited for a log book violation.

Agents cited the subjects after they were observed actively dredging for oysters in an area that was closed to pollution.  Agents returned the oysters to the water and seized the dredge.  Agents also put the vessel under a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  A log book violation carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Villere Reggio and Sgt. Jason Gernados.

Four Men Cited for Fishing Violations in Jefferson Parish

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents citied four subjects for alleged fishing violations in two separate cases in Jefferson Parish on April 17.

Agents cited Arthur Borchgrevink, 71, from Metairie, and Rudy Mirandone Jr., 73, from Bay St. Louis, Miss., for taking over the daily limit of spotted sea trout.  Agents also cited Sidney Frechou III, 62, from Pearl River, for taking over the daily limit and possession limit of spotted sea trout, and John Dandry Jr., 60, from Metairie, for not possessing basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents received over the limit of sea trout complaints in Lake Pontchartrain and responded to the area.  Agents stopped a vessel with Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. and found them in possession of 43 spotted sea trout.  After further investigation, agents found an additional 59 spotted sea trout in their vehicle that had also been caught that morning.

Shortly thereafter agents stopped a vessel containing Frechou III and Dandry Jr. and found them in possession of 50 spotted sea trout.  Further investigation revealed that Dandry Jr. possessed an additional 52 spotted sea trout that were taken over a multiple day period of which he caught 27 in one of those days.  Frechou III also did not possess basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses.

The daily bag limit for spotted sea trout is 25 per person for this area.  The possession limit of spotted seatrout is twice the daily bag limit on land, however no person shall be in possession of spotted sea trout over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water.  This put Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. 52 over their daily limit.  It also put Dandry Jr. 27 spotted seatrout over his possession limit and two spotted seatrout over one of his daily limits.

Angling without basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Taking over the daily limit of spotted sea trout brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Taking over the possession limit of spotted sea trout carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $1,506 for the illegally possessed fish.  Dandry Jr. may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $782 for the illegally possessed fish.  Frechou III may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $724 for the illegally possessed fish.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Gary Pierce, Senior Agent Patrick Dempsey and Senior Agent Jeffrey Farmer.

Two Cited For Taking Closed Season Shrimp in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 04/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two subjects for alleged closed season shrimping violations on April 17 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Ricky R. Robin, 63, of St. Bernard, and Jonathan Gould, 36, of Violet, for using trawls for shrimp during a closed shrimp season.  Agents observed the men actively shrimping in the Bay Eloi area around 6 a.m.

The Louisiana spring inshore shrimp season is currently closed in this area.  Agents seized 25 pounds of shrimp and returned them to the water.

Using trawls during a closed shrimp season carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Additionally, if convicted the men could be sentenced to harvest shrimp only from a vessel with an approved vessel monitoring system monitored by LDWF.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Jason Gernados and Sgt. Villere Reggio.

Venue Change at One of the Courses for Boating Education Lagniappe Day on April 22

Release Date: 04/12/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) seventh annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 22 had to make a venue change at one of the nine locations.

The class originally scheduled for Cabela’s of Gonzales has been changed to Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs.  All other eight original locations for this year’s Lagniappe Day remain unchanged.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.  To register please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register for one of the nine April 22 classes.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Below is the list of class locations:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA), Coca-Cola of Minden, McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic, Raising Cane’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors

St. Martin Parish
1015 Amy St (next to the Henderson town hall)
Henderson, LA 70517
Sponsors include LWAA

Beauregard Parish
First Baptist Church of Deridder
2030 US-171
DeRidder, LA 70634
Sponsors include Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited

Lafourche Parish
Galliano Fire Station District 3
1762 West Main St
Galliano, LA 70354
Sponsors include Renovation Hardware in Cut Off

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 US-51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors include Reno Seafood and Manchac Boat Club

Livingston Parish
Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs
175 Bass Pro Blvd
Denham Springs, LA 70726
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be teaching this class.
Sponsors include Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch
1123 Main St
Madisonville, LA 70447
Sponsors include LWAA and Raising Canes.

Body of Pineville Man Recovered from Indian Creek Reservoir

Release Date: 04/11/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred on April 10 in Rapides Parish.

The body of Orlando Banks, 18, of Pineville, was recovered from the Indian Creek Reservoir around 5:30 p.m. by emergency personnel.

According to witnesses, Banks was one of four people in a vessel as they approached a rope swing on the bank around 2:30 p.m.  One of the occupants on the vessel jumped into the water and swam to shore near the rope swing.

At this time, Banks then jumped into the water and struggled to stay afloat before being submerged.  The occupants of the vessel and the person on the bank unsuccessfully attempted to find Banks and get him out of the water.

The occupants on the boat were able to call for help.  Banks’ body was found in about 12 feet of water about 40 feet from the bank of the reservoir.

Two Cited For Taking Closed Season Shrimp in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 04/10/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two subjects for allegedly using skimmers for shrimp during a closed season on April 8.

Agents cited John Berthelot, 37, of Covington, and Juan Cruz, 38, of Marrero, at for using skimmers during a closed season.  Agents also cited Berthelot for improper navigation lights.

Agents found the men actively shrimping in the English Bay area of Buras without navigation lights on around 10:30 p.m.

The Louisiana spring inshore shrimp season is currently closed.  Agents seized 15 pounds of shrimp and returned them to the water.

Using skimmers during a closed season carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Additionally, if convicted the men could be sentenced to harvest shrimp only from a vessel with an approved vessel monitoring system monitored by LDWF.  Improper navigation lights carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days of jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young and Sgt. Villere Reggio.

Chatham Man Cited for Hunting Over a Baited Area

Release Date: 04/10/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Chatham man for alleged turkey hunting violations on April 9 in Jackson Parish.

Agents cited Michael Chatham, 59, for hunting turkeys over a baited area and failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements.

Agents received an anonymous tip about a man hunting over a baited area who also harvested a turkey on March 25.  After further investigation, agents were able to determine the specific area and set up surveillance on the morning of April 9.

While observing the baited area, agents spotted Chatham actively hunting the area for well over an hour.  Agents then made contact with Chatham and he confessed to harvesting the turkey on March 25 without tagging the turkey.

Hunting turkeys over a baited area carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Wesley Duck, Sgt. Bear Fletcher, Sgt. Lee Tarver, Senior Agent John Hattaway, Senior Agent David Nelson, and Senior Agent Jay Wilson.

LDWF Sgt. Scott Bullitt Recognized at April Commission Meeting

Release Date: 04/06/2017

Shikar-Safari Representative Chris Kinsey Presents Sgt. Scott Bullitt with Award

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agent was honored at the April 6 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their 2016 Conservation Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Scott Bullitt, of Jonesboro.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Sgt. Bullitt joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 2009 and is currently assigned to Ouachita Parish.  Sgt. Bullitt’s dedication to protecting the State of Louisiana’s natural resources contributed to him receiving the LDWF Enforcement Region 2 Officer of the Year Award in 2012, the LDWF Enforcement Waterfowl Officer of the Year Award in 2014, and the LDWF Enforcement Boating Officer of the Year Award in 2015.  Sgt. Bullitt was additionally recognized with the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission DWI Enforcement Award for having issued the most DWI citations for LDWF in 2014.

On May 21, 2015, Sgt. Bullitt was shot in the line of duty while on patrol on the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish.  The shooter, Luke Jarrod Hust, of Monroe, was convicted for attempted first degree murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.  Sgt. Bullitt is still rehabbing his injuries from the shooting and has not returned to active duty to date.

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