Enforcement

LDWF Agents Make Five DWI’s on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 07/05/2017

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested five boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2.

On July 1 agents arrested Bryce Busby, 23, of Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish; Timothy Leblanc Jr., 21, of Jarreau, on False River in Pointe Coupee Parish; Christopher Edmond, 42, of Maurepas, on the Amite River in Livingston Parish; and Christopher Ferachi, 21, of Baton Rouge, on the Tickfaw River in Livingston Parish all for DWI on the water.

Agents also arrested Paul Dehart, 47, of Morgan City, on Grassy Lake in St. Martin Parish on July 2 for DWI on the water.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 06/29/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 30 to July 2.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

“Alcohol use and operating a vessel don’t mix.  We want people to treat a boat the same way they would a vehicle when it comes to having a sober operator.” said LDWF Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to come home safely.”

Louisiana had 24 boating fatalities in 2016, with alcohol playing a role in three fatalities or 12.5 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2016 reveal that 15 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Bayou Dularge Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Release Date: 06/28/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested a Bayou Dularge man for alleged drug and commercial fishing violations on June 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Anouda Lirette, 39, for using oversized skimmer nets, possession of marijuana, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of nongame birds.

Agents were in state offshore waters on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they made contact with Lirette who was on board a 42 foot shrimp boat.  Agents found the skimmer nets were oversized and noticed some dead seagulls on the deck of his vessel.

Upon further investigation agents found a .22 cal rifle, marijuana, crystal meth, and drug paraphernalia on board.  Agents booked Lirette into the Terrebonne Parish correctional facility.

Agents seized 784 pounds of shrimp, six seagulls, a .22 cal rifle, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and crystal meth.

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

Using oversized skimmer nets brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Possession of nongame birds carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Agent Gerald Sander, Senior Agent Scott Dupre, Agent Mike Williams and Agent Richie Bean.

A Man and Two Boys Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Vessel in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 06/27/2017

A Man and Two Boys Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Vessel in Vermilion Bay

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent rescued three people from a sinking vessel in Vermilion Bay this morning, June 27.

Agents were alerted around 5:30 a.m. about a sinking shrimp vessel in Vermillion Bay with three people on board.  LDWF Sgt. Mitch Darby responded by boat to the scene and was able to rescue a 55 year old New Iberia man, 14 year old boy and 11 year old boy.

Sgt. Darby then transported the rescued people to a boat launch where family members were waiting.  The 55 year old and 14 year old sustained minor injuries in the incident.

According to the rescued 55 year old, they were in route to go shrimping on a 20 foot vessel when they struck a submerged object causing their vessel to begin sinking.  The man said they were just about to enter the water with personal flotation devices when Sgt. Darby showed up with the rescue vessel.

New Iberia Father and Son Charged With Killing Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 06/26/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a New Iberia man and his juvenile son on June 23 for alleged black bear violations in Iberia Parish.

After a lengthy investigation, agents cited Elie P. Dupre, 59, and his 15 year old son for the illegal killing of a Louisiana black bear off of Weeks Island Road near Lydia in 2015.

Agents were alerted about a dead Louisiana Black Bear that appeared to have been shot off of Weeks Island Road on Nov. 4, 2015.  LDWF conducted a necropsy on the deceased female black bear and removed a single bullet. It was later determined that the bullet was fired from a 7mm-08 caliber rifle.

On Dec. 27, 2015, agents arrested Dupre for a separate night hunting case that took place in the vicinity of where the black bear was found shot.   Agents seized three firearms in connection with the night hunting violations one of which was a 7mm-08 rifle.

Agents sent the 7mm-08 rifle to the crime lab for a ballistics test, which took up to seven months to complete.  The ballistics test determined that the bullet removed from the bear had been fired from the seized 7mm-08 rifle.

After further investigation, agents also learned that Dupre’s son was with him at the time the black bear was shot.

The nine year old, 250 pound female black bear was part of a long term monitoring program and wore a tracking collar.  Over the eight years the bear wore the tracking collar it provided researchers with valuable information on black bear populations, productivity and population viability in the state of Louisiana.

Illegally killing a Louisiana Black Bear brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The father and son also face up to $10,000 in civil restitution for the replacement value of the black bear.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Andrew Arton, Senior Agent David Boudreaux, Sgt Brian Theriot and Senior Agent Cullom Schexnyder.

Two Missing Men Found Alive in Atchafalaya Basin

Release Date: 06/22/2017

Two Franklin men and their dog were found alive this morning, June 22, in the Atchafalaya Basin in Lower St. Martin Parish.

Two Franklin men were reported missing last night, June 21, around 10 p.m.  Due to weather, search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office had to suspend their search until daybreak this morning.

Around 11 a.m. this morning, a Good Samaritan was in his boat when he spotted a man on top of a roof of a camp.  The man on top of the roof of the camp then led the Good Samaritan to the other missing man and the dog that were on top of the roof of a sunken vessel.

On their way back in the Good Samaritan and the two rescued men with their dog made contact with search and rescue vessels that were searching for them.  The men didn’t need any medical attention and were transported back to the boat launch.

According to the men they were checking on crawfish traps in Bayou Long when their vessel sunk after hitting a stump in the water around 9 a.m. on June 21.  One of the men was able to walk to a nearby camp where he waited out the storm on the roof.  The other man stayed with the vessel with where they waited out the storm on top of the roof of the sunk vessel.

Illegal Selling of Red Snapper Leads to Drug Charges

Release Date: 06/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged commercial fishing and drug violations on June 18 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Arthur Freeman, 53, of Lockport, for selling fish without a commercial wholesale dealer’s license, failing to complete a trip ticket, possession of marijuana, and failing to comply with the individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for by not giving a three hour notification of selling red snapper, not getting a IFQ confirmation number and not reporting his IFQ landing.  Agents arrested Ross Adam, 33, of Grand Isle, for possession of meth, drug paraphernalia and being in possession of a firearm while in possession of an illegal controlled substance.  Adam was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

Agents received a tip about two men trying to illegally sell red snapper at a seafood dock in Dulac.  Agents arrived on scene and found a vessel with Freeman and Adam on board with eight red snappers totaling 69 pounds.  Agents learned that Freeman was attempting to sell the fish for $3 a pound without having a commercial wholesale dealer’s license nor a completed trip ticket.

Agents also found that Freeman did not give the proper three hour notification for the IFQ program and subsequently did not receive a IFQ confirmation number and failed to report the caught red snapper.

Upon inspection of the vessel, agents also found Freeman in possession of marijuana and Adam in possession of meth, two pipes, and a rifle and pistol.  Agents seized the snapper and sold them to the highest bidder.  Agents also seized the firearms.

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

Selling fish without a wholesale dealer’s license and failing to complete a trip ticket each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to give a three hour notification, receive a IFQ confirmation number and report the red snapper each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Louis Burnett, Senior Agents Dean Aucoin, Mike Williams, Stephen Rhodes and Richie Bean.

Agents Cite Man for Harassing Fisherman

Release Date: 06/14/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited an Opelousas man for an alleged dispute over a public fishing hole on Toledo Bend Reservoir in Sabine Parish on June 12.

Agents cited Dean Bullara, 56, from Opelousas, for harassment of persons lawfully fishing.

Agents were called to the scene following 911 calls to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office (SPSO) from both Bullara and Donald Johnson, 48, of Deridder.  Both men were in a dispute over a public fishing area on the reservoir near Kite’s Landing about 10 miles southwest of Negreet.

When LDWF agents and SPSO deputies arrived on scene they learned that Johnson and his wife were fishing the area when Bullara pulled up in his boat demanding Johnson leave the area.  After a lengthy and heated dispute over the public fishing area, Johnson pulled a firearm on Bullara.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Johnson for aggravated assault with a firearm and booked him into the Sabine Parish Correctional Center.  Johnson reported that he had pulled his handgun in self-defense on Bullara because he felt threatened by his actions.

LDWF urges citizens that are being harassed while lawfully fishing in an area, to please call local authorities.

Harassment of persons lawfully fishing brings a up to a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.  The harassment of persons lawfully fishing regulation provides that it is unlawful to disturb any hunter, trapper, or fisherman who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to dissuade or otherwise prevent the taking, or to prevent such person’s enjoyment of the outdoors.

Aggravated assault carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Andrew Mitchell and Agent James Smith.

Three Raceland Men Cited for Over the Limit of Frogs on Salvador WMA

Release Date: 06/12/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcements agents cited three Raceland men in two separate cases for alleged frogging violations on the Salvador Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Charles Parish on June 10.

Agents cited Rickey Ponson, 40, and Jared Loupe, 38, for being over the legal limit of frogs and failing to provide agents with a self-clearing permit.  Agents were on boat patrol on the Salvador WMA when they inspected Ponson and Loupe’s vessel and found the two men to be in possession of 69 frogs.

Agents then cited Frank Curole Jr. 39, for being over the legal limit of frogs.  During an inspection of his vessel, agents found him in possession of 99 frogs.

Agents seized the frogs from the three men and returned them to the water.

Over the limit of frogs on a WMA and failing to provide a self-clearing permit each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

The experimental nighttime frogging and fishing season on the Salvador WMA will be open until official sunrise on Aug. 15.  To frog on the Salvador WMA a self-clearing permit and basic fishing license are required and frogs are limited to 50 frogs per vessel.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Kyle Wagner and Agent Jonathan Boudreaux.

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