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Search and Rescue Crews Looking for Missing Boater

Release Date: 03/29/2015

Search and rescue crews are still looking for a missing Folsom woman following a fatal single boat incident in the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call yesterday, March 28, at around 5:30 p.m. about a capsized boat near lock #3 on the Pearl River.  The capsized boat included a male operator named Terry J. O’Keefe Jr., 41, and female passenger named Jonie R. Morgan, 31, with her three children, which are eight and six year old boys and a four year old girl all from Folsum.

LDWF agents believe at this time that the 14 foot aluminum vessel capsized after going over the lock after the operator was unable to start the boat.  A 16 year old boy came upon the scene and saw the eight year and six year old boys and mother in the water.

On his way to help, the 16 year old boy’s vessel also capsized.  While in the water the 16 year old boy was able to grab onto the two boys and mother, however the mother’s shirt he was holding onto ripped off of her body and she didn’t resurface.  Another fisherman on the bank then went into the water and was able to get the three boys safely to shore.

While the search and rescue crews arrived on scene shortly thereafter the four year old girl popped up from under the boat and officials were able to safely retrieve her.  It appears at this time that she was stuck under the vessel for about 30 minutes, but was able to breathe.

Search and rescue crews found the body of O’Keefe Jr. victim at 8 a.m. this morning, March 29.  They will continue searching for Morgan.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  All children were found wearing their personal flotation devices.  Investigators don’t believe O’Keefe Jr. and Morgan were wearing personal flotation devices upon entering the water.

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

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LDWF Agents and APCO Deputies Searching for Crawfish Burglar

Release Date: 03/27/2015

Cary G. Bastian is wanted for stealing crawfish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a Rayne man.  He is wanted in connection with simple burglary at a crawfish dock that occurred early Thursday morning, March 26, on Hwy. 35 south of Rayne.

The APCO and LDWF responded to the 5200 block of Abbeville Hwy. at approximately 3:30 a.m. following a report of a burglary in progress.

When APCO deputies and LDWF agents arrived they learned that the suspect, identified as Cary Gordon Bastian, 28, fled the scene heading south in a white Camaro.  LDWF agents advised that Bastian headed toward the Vermilion and Lafayette Parish line traveling at speeds well over 100 mph.

During the investigation agents and deputies learned that the owner had a person hiding on the premises all evening in an attempt to identify the suspect responsible for stealing crawfish from the owner.  The owner was noticing sacks of crawfish missing from an outside cooler that was locked.  According to the witness Bastian was observed loading six bags of crawfish into the trunk of his Camaro prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

Warrants of arrests have been issued for Bastian of the 15900 block of Gordon Road in Rayne.  Bastian is being charged with one count of simple burglary, one count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated flight from an officer.  District Judge John Trahan set bond at $21,000.

An attempt was made later in the day to apprehend Bastian, but he fled into a wooded area near his home in Vermilion Parish.  Please contact the Acadia or Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Offices or LDWF at 1-800-442-2511 if you know of Bastian's whereabouts.

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

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Sorrento Man Cited for Turkey Violations

Release Date: 03/24/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Sorrento man for alleged turkey violations this morning, March 24 in East Feliciana Parish.

Agents cited Keanon R. Dickey, for hunting turkeys during a closed season, over a baited area and criminal trespassing.

Agents received an anonymous tip about someone trespassing on private property without permission.  Agents setup surveillance off of Caruth Road near Wilson and observed Dickey walk on to the private property and to a hunting spot.  Agents also listened to Dickey make calls to entice turkeys closer to his spot.

After making contact with Dickey, agents noticed the field he was hunting over was baited with cracked corn.

Turkey season doesn’t open until March 28 statewide on private lands.

Hunting turkeys during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count.  Hunting turkeys over bait carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Trespassing on private property brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Will Roberts and Senior Agent Terry Hicks.

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

LDWF Agents Cite Lockport Man for Fishing Violations

Release Date: 03/24/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Lockport man on March 19 for alleged recreational fishing violations.

Agents cited Arthur Freeman, 51, for possessing red snapper during a closed season.  The red snapper season opened on March 20.

Agents were patrolling the Grand Isle docks when they stopped Freeman’s boat shortly after he unloaded his commercial catch for the day.  During the inspection, agents found a few coolers containing 34 red snapper.

Freeman claimed the red snapper were left over from the sale and he was going to take them home for personal consumption.  Agents seized the fish.

Possessing red snapper during a closed season brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Freeman may also face civil restitution of $975 for the replacement value of the fish.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Michael Marques and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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

Three Men Cited for Shark Fishing Violations

Release Date: 03/23/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisiana men for alleged commercial shark fishing violations off the coast of Grand Isle on March 21.

Agents cited Daie Minh Le, 42, of Buras, Hung Van Le V, 38, of New Orleans, and Thanh Van Le, 52, of Buras, for over the limit of large coastal sharks.

Agents were on patrol and found the men still actively fishing and already in possession of 74 large coastal sharks.  Most of the sharks were black tip sharks with one hammerhead shark.  The limit for large coastal sharks is 36 per day.

Over the limit of large coastal sharks carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

The illegal fish were seized and sold for market value.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Nicholas Guillory, Senior Agent Adam Tieben and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.

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

Three Men Cited for Shark Fishing Violations

Release Date: 03/23/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisiana men for alleged commercial shark fishing violations off the coast of Grand Isle on March 21.

Agents cited Daie Minh Le, 42, of Buras, Hung Van Le V, 38, of New Orleans, and Thanh Van Le, 52, of Buras, for over the limit of large coastal sharks.

Agents were on patrol and found the men still actively fishing and already in possession of 74 large coastal sharks.  Most of the sharks were black tip sharks with one hammerhead shark.  The limit for large coastal sharks is 36 per day.

Over the limit of large coastal sharks carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

The illegal fish were seized and sold for market value.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Nicholas Guillory, Senior Agent Adam Tieben and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.

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

Six Pierre Part Men Cited for Gill Net Violations

Release Date: 03/20/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited six men for alleged gill net violations on March 19 in Assumption Parish.

Agents cited Roger Gros, 62, Brent Zeller, 57, Gary Cutchall, 54, William Shirah, 43, Ricky Daley, 48, and Randy Hebert, 43, all of Pierre Part, for leaving gill nets unattended.  Agents also cited Gros for failing to have required markings on the gill nets.

Agents were on patrol on Lake Verrett in the morning of March 19 when they located several unattended shad gill nets.  Agents then observed the subjects travel by vessel and begin tending to the nets.

While commercially fishing a shad gill net the fisherman must remain within two hundred feet of the net at all times.  Each end of the shad gill net must also have a one gallon jug painted international orange having the fisherman’s name, commercial license number and “shad, gill net” written on the jug.

Leaving gill nets unattended and failing to have the required markings each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Winston Michel, Senior Agent Joey Thompson, and Senior Agent Jake Darden

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

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