Enforcement

Sea Gull Killer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Release Date: 12/12/2013

A Labadieville man pleaded guilty on Dec. 10 in Eastern District Federal Court in New Orleans for the illegal killing of 49 sea gulls.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited Jackoby D. Bertot, 29, for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in September following a lengthy investigation.

Agents uncovered that the subject utilized a vehicle to speed through a flock of resting sea gulls in the Home Depot parking lot in the Elmwood Area shopping center in the suburbs of New Orleans on Sept. 2, 2013 at 9:48 p.m.

Bertot pleaded guilty before the honorable Daniel E. Knowles III.  The subject was ordered to pay a fine of $1,210 and serve a one year inactive probation.  U.S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis prosecuted the case.  LDWF Sgt. Tim Fox investigated the case.

Violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act carry up to $15,000 in fines and up to six months in prison.

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

LDWF Agents Cite Three Men For Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/12/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisiana men for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 10, in Morehouse Parish.

Agents cited Cody King, 23, of Mer Rouge, Caleb Harrell, 24, of Bastrop, and Johnathan White, 25, of Bastrop, for taking deer during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road, possession of illegally taken deer, intentional litter, discharging a firearm from a public road and taking over the limit of deer.  Walker was also cited for intentional concealment or deposit of wildlife.

Agents received a complaint from a confidential source that the men had illegally killed two deer during illegal hours on Dec. 9.  The source said the incidents occurred on Viney Woods Road between Mer Rouge and Oak Ridge in southern Morehouse Parish.  After an investigation into the matter, agents obtained information and made contact with the three subjects on Dec. 10.

During the interview agents was discovered that the men had shot and killed two bucks and two does during illegal hunting hours from a vehicle.  Agents seized the four deer from the men.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with an artificial light and intentional concealment of wildlife brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Possession of illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public road and over limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting from a public road carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. James Hagan, Lt. Scott Mathews, Sgt. Josh Estis, Senior Agent Justin Lee and Senior Agent Ray Ellerbe.

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

Texas Man Sentenced For Being a Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

Release Date: 12/10/2013

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced on Dec. 5 that Larry Robert Baker, 50, of Maud, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for possessing a firearm after being convicted and serving time for a murder and other felonies in Texas.  He pleaded guilty Aug. 29, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) conducted an operation on Jan. 11, 2013 to catch night hunters who were shooting after dark from the roads in north Caddo Parish.

During the operation, LDWF agents observed Baker shooting from a car at a deer decoy set up by agents.  A .22 caliber revolver was found in the car that he was driving, along with a box of .22 caliber ammunition.

Baker was arrested for the wildlife violation, driving under suspension and traveling with open containers of alcohol.  Upon further investigation, agents found that Baker had recently been released from prison after serving 20 years for a Texas murder.   Baker was found guilty of murder on Aug. 5, 1993, in the 54th District Court of McLennan County, Texas.  He also has prior burglary and property theft convictions.

LDWF and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W.  Gillespie  Jr.  prosecuted the  case as part  of Project  Safe  Neighborhoods.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide program started in 2001 designed to reduce violence by aggressively enforcing existing federal firearms laws.

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

LDWF Agents Rescue Couple from Bayou Nezpique

Release Date: 12/09/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents participated in a successful search and rescue mission on Bayou Nezpique on the Evangeline and Allen Parish line on Dec. 8.

Agents received a 911 call around 11 a.m. on Dec. 8 about a couple that was stranded in Bayou Nezpique.  Agents arrived on scene around 2 p.m. and found Mark Tarver, 26, and Michelle Tarver, 27, both of Elizabeth, along the banks of the bayou.

Agents retrieved the Tarvers in their 15 foot vessel and brought them to a waiting Acadian Ambulance at the Guidry Road Bridge.  The Tarvers were treated for severe hypothermia and transported to the Savoy Medical Center in Mamou for further treatment.  The Tarvers are expected to make a full recovery.

The Tarvers were canoeing in the bayou when they got hung up in the fast moving water.  They were able to get out of the canoe and make their way to the bank, but could only partially get up the side of the muddy bank thus having half of their bodies remaining in the cold water.

The Tarvers admitted to duck hunting and had harvested two ducks.  However, the Tarvers were duck hunting in a closed area.  Agents subsequently cited the Tarvers for duck hunting in a closed area.  Hunting ducks during a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the search and rescue mission included Lt. Jesse Savoie and Sgt. Scott Fontenot.  Their search area included the bayou waters between the Highway 104 Bridge and Guidry Road Bridge.

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

LDWF Agents and TPSO Deputies Investigating Fatal Shooting

Release Date: 12/07/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) deputies are investigating a potential hunting incident involving a fatality on Dec. 6 in Tangipahoa Parish.

LDWF agents and TPSO deputies responded to a 911 call concerning the fatal shooting of Joseph H. Stevens Jr., 33, of Hammond around 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Stevens and Stacey M. Trapp, 37, of Loranger, were hunting together on some property near 55202 Hwy. 1062 in Loranger.  The two had been hunting about an hour when they decided to go home.

According to Trapp, as the two walked back to their vehicles they came upon a net wire fence.  As they walked along the fence looking for an easier crossing point Trapp walked in front of Stevens.

Trapp then squatted down to go under some bushes with his .270 caliber bolt action rifle slung onto his right shoulder.  As he squatted down his rifle went off with the bullet fatally striking Stevens.  Trapp then called 911 for help.

Investigators believe that Stevens was killed instantly and do not suspect foul play at this time.  Stevens’ body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Coroner’s Office.

LDWF advises hunters to utilize basic hunting safety procedures when going to and from their hunting locations, which includes having the gun on safe and no bullets or shells in the chamber.

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

LDWF Agents Cite Four Men For Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/06/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited four Louisiana men for alleged deer hunting violations on Nov. 30 in Bienville Parish.

Agents cited Jacky Fenn Jr., 31, of Jonesboro, Brandon Clifton, 29, of Monroe, Kenneth Blalock III, 28, of Quitman, and Roger Caskey, 36, of Jennings, for hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting from a moving vehicle and possession of an illegally taken deer.  Caskey was also cited for failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received a night hunting complaint in the area of Liberty Hill Hunting Club near Cox's Crossing in Bienville Parish. On Nov. 30, agents stopped a vehicle that met the description from the complaint.

Agents found the four men inside of the vehicle with three rifles, spotlight, flashlight and a freshly killed deer loaded into the bed of the truck.  Agents learned that Caskey had taken the deer after legal shooting hours from the truck and had not tagged the deer.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with an artificial light brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requrements brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Chuck Dison, Sgt. Patrick Staggs, and Senior Agent John Blalock.

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

Three Plaquemines Parish Men Cited For Red Drum Violations

Release Date: 12/02/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Agent cited three men for alleged recreational fishing violations on Nov. 23 in Plaquemines Parish.

Sgt. Adam Young cited Henry Davis Jr., 57, of Jesuit Bend, Donelle Hill, 34, and Oliver Hill, 66, both of Belle Chasse for possessing undersized red drum.  Donelle Hill and Oliver Hill were also cited for possessing more than the legal five red drum a day limit.  Donelle Hill was also cited for not having basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Sgt. Young found the men with 43 red drum, 26 of which were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches.  The legal limit for red drum is five per person per day.

Davis was charged with the intentional concealment of illegal fish when he threw an un-determined amount of fish into the water upon approach of a uniformed LDWF agent. Davis was also charged with intentional littering when trash entered the water when he concealed his fish.

Intentional concealment of illegal fish and taking over the limit of red drum carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking or possessing undersized red drum carries up to a $350 fine and 60 days in jail.  Angling without basic and saltwater licenses carries a $50 fine for each offense.  Intentional littering brings up to a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

The three men also face a grand total of $1,191.15 in civil restitution to the State of Louisiana for the illegally taken red drum.

The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution.

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

Baton Rouge Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/18/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Baton Rouge man for alleged deer hunting violations on Nov. 15 in East Feliciana Parish.

Agents cited Adam Bedell, 30, for taking deer using illegal methods, criminal trespassing, intentional concealment of wildlife, possession of illegally taken deer, failing to abide by deer tagging requirements, failing to wear hunter’s orange, and not possessing hunting and big game licenses.

Agents received a tip from a landowner about a person walking on private property transporting deer parts.  Agents located Bedell on the property with the deer parts of a freshly harvested eight point deer and a .243 rifle.

Bedell did not possess his resident hunting and big game licenses and was not wearing any hunter’s orange.

After searching Bedell’s truck, agents found deer blood and hair at which time Bedell admitted to harvesting a doe deer on Nov. 6 in East Baton Rouge Parish with his .243 rifle.

The areas where Bedell was hunting is only open to Primitive Firearms and Archery until Nov. 16 at which time modern firearms may then be used.  Bedell’s .243 rifle does not qualify for the Primitive Firearms season.

Intentional concealment of a deer carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Criminal trespassing brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Taking deer using illegal methods carries 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.  Hunting without a hunting and big game licenses and without hunter’s orange each bring up to a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

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

LDWF Agents Cite Pineville Man For Commercial Fish Violations

Release Date: 11/15/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Pineville man for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on Nov. 12.

Agents cited Jason A. Wilkerson, 23, after an anonymous compliant was called in saying he was transporting a large amount of black drum illegally.

Agents spotted the vehicle in Belle Chasse and saw that the bed of the truck full of black drum.  Agents performed a vehicle stop on the truck where Wilkerson identified himself as the fisherman and produced resident commercial fishing licenses.

Upon investigation, agents determined that Wilkerson obtained his resident vessel and fishing licenses by fraud since he is not a bona fide Louisiana resident.

Agents cited Wilkerson for taking commercial fish without non-resident commercial fishing licenses, non-resident gear licenses, and non-resident vessel licenses.  Investigation is ongoing and further charges may be filed regarding obtaining commercial fishing by fraud.

Each of the license violations carries a maximum penalty of $500 and up to 90 days of jail.

Agents seized a total of 2,346 pounds of black drum.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, and Senior Agent Robert Cosse Jr.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Four Plead Guilty To Fishing Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/15/2013

On Nov. 14 four people pleaded guilty to red snapper violations in front of the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish.

Nghia Huu Hoang, 33, Loan Huynh, 32, both from Harvey, Thang Van Tran, 38, of Avondale, and Truong Nguyen, 33, of Kenner, pleaded guilty to the intentional concealment of illegal fish, over limit of red snapper and undersized red snapper.

Judge Kevin Conner accepted their pleas and sentenced them to a collective fine of $4,000 plus court costs and to pay $1,178 of restitution to the state of Louisiana for the illegally taken red snapper.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents stopped the four in Empire on June 23, 2013 while on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

During the stop agents were shown a limit of red snapper.  After further investigation, agents discovered two hidden compartments in the bow of the vessel that contained more red snapper.  The subjects were in possession of 40 red snapper placing them 32 fish over their allowable limit.  Eighteen were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches.

Jerry Lobrano, who is the assistant District Attorney for Charles Ballay, prosecuted the case.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Jason Gernados.

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

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