Enforcement

Complaint Yields Several Polluted Oysters Cases

Release Date: 11/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited 16 subjects for alleged oyster violations on Nov. 16 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Raymond Johnston, 56, Torie Gray, 24, Robert Wells, 57, Thomas Deogracias, 37, Raymond Green, 58, Aaron Tillman, 43, Anthony Johnson, 31, Fredrick Patterson, 39, Karl Carpenter, 34, Paul Farve, 29, Roger Tomasich Jr., 44, Rodney Bass, 49, Richard Mayne, 52, Terry Bilbo Jr., 22, all from Mississippi, Robert Richards, 51, of Laplace, and Jimmy Smith, 46, of Texas, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents were responding to a complaint of several boats harvesting oysters in a polluted area on the seed ground near Half Moon Island in Lake Borgne.  Agents located and documented six vessels harvesting oysters from the polluted area.  Agents seized a total of 192 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF 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 that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Joel Cromp and Corporal Mike Marquez.

Port Sulphur Man Cited for Crab Trap Theft

Release Date: 11/16/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a man Port Sulphur man for alleged crabbing violations on Oct. 27 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Charles K. Granger, 50, for theft of crab traps and use of crab traps without the required markings.

Agents were on patrol in Yellow Cotton Bay near Venice when they spotted a vessel around 12:30 p.m. being operated by Granger actively tending crabs traps.  As agents investigated the traps they found multiple untagged traps and several traps that did not have tags identifying Granger as the owner.

Theft of crab traps and tending crab traps without the required markings each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent William T. Bartlett and Agent Anthony Corner.

Houma Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA

Release Date: 11/14/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited a Houma man for alleged shrimping violations on Nov. 9 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Dwayne T. Hotard, 44, for illegally taking commercial fish, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, blocking the passage of fish, over the limit of shrimp on a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and being on a WMA after hours.

Around 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 9, agents received a complaint about a net that was stretched across a flood control structure off of Point Farm Road on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.  Agents arrived on scene around 7 p.m. and found a vessel being operated by Hotard fishing a net that was propped up across the flood control structure.

Agents found Hotard in possession of 329 pounds of shrimp.  Agents seized the shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder and also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Shrimping on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA is limited to 25 pounds per boat per day during an open inside waters shrimping season.

Taking commercial fish illegally carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license and blocking the passage of fish each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Being on a WMA after hours and over the limit of shrimp on a WMA each bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Sgt. Thomas Dewitt, Corporal Dean Aucoin and Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes are participating in the case.

Biloxi Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping Violation in Breton Sound

Release Date: 11/09/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited a Biloxi man on Nov. 7 for allegedly shrimping in state waters with illegal turtle exclusion device’s (TED).

Agents were patrolling in Breton Sound conducting a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they found a shrimping vessel in Breton Sound.  Agents made contact with the captain, Canh Huu Nguyen, 37, and performed a license compliance check and TED inspection.

During the inspection, agents measured the two TEDS installed in the vessels two large nets and found them both out of compliance with state and federal regulations.

Nguyen was issued a citation and his TEDs were seized.  Agents also seized approximately 2,100 pounds of shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder.

Trawling with illegal TEDs brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Shrimp trawlers in the Atlantic Area or Gulf of Mexico Area need to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing.  However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without power or mechanical means of net retrieval, test trawls, skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions).

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Dave Nunez, Sgt. Austin Arteaga, Sgt. Keith Francis, and Corporal Rick Clark.

Haynesville Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/01/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Haynesville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 28 in Claiborne Parish.

Agents cited Roy W. Odom, 66, taking over the daily bag limit of antlerless deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received a public tip about a man cleaning two doe deer at a shop near Haynesville around 10 p.m.  Agents responded to the scene and found Odom currently cleaning one doe with another uncleaned doe on the ground next to him.

During questioning, Odom admitted to harvesting both does earlier in the day.  Hunters are only allowed one antlerless and one antlered deer per day during either sex dates in the area Odom was hunting.

Agents also found both deer without the required deer tags.

Possessing over the daily bag limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Odom may also face up to $3,250 in civil restitution for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents involved in the case are Corporal Bryant Coburn and Lt. Kenneth Balkom.

Body of Missing Boater Recovered from Bayou Bienvenue

Release Date: 10/27/2017

Search and rescue crews with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) Marine Division and the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of a Zachary man from a St. Bernard Parish waterway on Oct. 27.

The body of Haskin Payne, 44, was recovered from Bayou Bienvenue around 6 p.m. on Oct. 27.  Payne’s body was found near the same area where he fell overboard from his 24-foot-vessel while fishing on Bayou Bienvenue near Chalmette on Oct. 26.

LDWF enforcement agents received a call about a man who fell overboard around 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.  The SBSO Marine Division was the first agency on scene and found Payne’s wife in the boat on the banks of the bayou.  The SBSO was able to transport the wife to an ambulance and then the ambulance transported her to University Hospital in New Orleans where she got treated for hypothermia.

According to the wife, they were fishing when her husband slipped and fell into the water.  Payne’s wife then jumped in the water and was unsuccessful in trying to get him back in the vessel.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Both Payne and his wife were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time of the incident.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 10/27/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred on Oct. 26 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents were notified around 12:20 p.m. of a two vessel collission that fatally injured Charles E. Evans, 86, of Houma, in Bayou Labout near Dulac.

According to witnesses, Evans was operating a vessel in Bayou Labout when he and another vessel collided with the other vessel running over Evans’ vessel.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Evans’ body was turned over to the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

Authorities Looking for Missing Boater in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 10/27/2017

Search and rescue crews with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) Marine Division and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for a missing boater in St. Bernard Parish.

The search and rescue crews are looking for Haskin Payne, 44, of Zachary, after he fell overboard from his 24-foot-vessel while fishing on Bayou Bienvenue near Chalmette on Oct. 26.

LDWF enforcement agents received a call about a man who fell overboard around 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.  The SBSO Marine Division was the first agency on scene and found Payne’s wife in the boat on the banks of the bayou.  The SBSO was able to transport the wife to an ambulance and then the ambulance transported her to University Hospital in New Orleans where she got treated for hypothermia.

According to the wife, they were fishing when her husband slipped and fell into the water.  Payne’s wife then jumped in the water and was unsuccessful in trying to get him back in the vessel.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Both Payne and his wife were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time of the incident.

Two Men Arrested For Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 10/25/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two men for alleged oyster violations on Oct. 20 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents arrested Martin Carbajal Jr., 28, of St. Bernard, and Bryan Neitzschman, 27, of Violet, for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease and failing to have written permission.  Carbajal was also cited for violating the log book sanitation code.

Agents on patrol spotted a vessel around 10:30 a.m. being operated by Carbajal actively dredging for oysters in an area not leased to him.

Agents booked the men into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.  Agents seized one sack of oysters and returned them to the water.  Agents also seized one oyster dredge and placed a forfeiture order on Carbajal’s vessel.

Unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failure to have written permission carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  Violating the log book sanitation code carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Sr. Agent Blain Wagner, Patrick Dempsey and Chelsea Kling.

Monroe Woman Pleads Guilty to Shooting of LDWF Agent

Release Date: 10/25/2017

The woman who shot a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent in January of 2017 in Morehouse Parish pled guilty in court on Oct. 23.

Amethyst Baird, 31, of Monroe, who shot LDWF Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, pled guilty in Bossier Parish court to attempted first degree murder of a police officer, obstruction of justice, illegal possession of a stolen vehicle and illegal possession of a stolen firearm.  Sentencing for Baird is scheduled for Jan. 26 at the Morehouse Parish Courthouse.

“We (LDWF) certainly welcome her guilty pleas for her heinous crimes.  Now we turn our attention to the sentencing date and hope that justice continues to get served for Tyler, his family, and his fellow agents that serve with him,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

Senior Agent Wheeler, 25, was shot four times including once in the head and once in the back while questioning Baird around 2 a.m. on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in Morehouse Parish.

After numerous surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, Wheeler was cleared to return to full time duty in late July.  Wheeler’s first day back in uniform was Aug. 4 and he went through a week of in-service training before beginning his first week of patrol duties on Aug. 14.

Jeremy Gullette, 34, of Monroe, who was arrested for one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder for his alleged role in this case, is still awaiting trial at this time.

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