Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested two Louisiana fishermen on June 5 for allegedly trying to falsely claim reimbursement money from LDWF.
Agents arrested Christopher T. Cao, 46, and Tam V. Nguyen, 52, both of Abbeville, for injuring public records and filing false public documents.
According to the arrest warrants, both men filed a Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program Application with LDWF in an attempt to receive 50 percent monetary reimbursement for equipment upgrades on their shrimping vessels. Participants in this program may purchase and install advanced refrigeration equipment onboard their vessels in order to produce high-quality seafood products.
According to the arrest warrant, Cao recreated and altered a purchase receipt for a $12,340 generator. Further investigation revealed that the generator was not installed on the vessel and was originally purchased for a different vessel. He attempted to collect $6,170 from LDWF.
Nguyen also altered a purchase receipt for a $12,340 generator which was purchased for a different vessel. He altered an additional $7,991 worth of purchase receipts for various equipment and supplies, which were purchased for other vessels as well. Further investigation revealed that the vessel had existing generators, but they did not correlate with any of the paperwork. He attempted to collect $10,165.50 from LDWF.
Both subjects were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Injuring public records and filing false public documents each carry up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail for each offense.
Senior Agent Michael Marques, of the Southern Strikeforce, is assigned to the case.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Kenner men for allegedly running illegal offshore guide services in Venice.
Agents arrested Mitchell Rodgers, 22, on May 30 and Michael C. Mayronne Jr., 29, on June 2. The men surrendered themselves to authorities for failing to comply with charter boat regulations, failing to carry liability insurance, and for violating reef fish, pelagic species and highly migratory species regulations.
The arrests were made while conducting investigations into illegal charter services under a Joint Enforcement Agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
During the investigation, agents learned that both men were linked to the same online offshore charter service and both men were unlicensed and uninsured. Neither of the men possessed the required United States Coast Guard Licenses, liability insurance for charter operations, or National Marine Fisheries Service permits for reef fish, pelagic and highly migratory species.
Failing to comply with charter boat regulations and failing to carry liability insurance for businesses each carries a maximum fine of $950 or up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized for each offense. Violation of commission rules and regulations for reef, pelagic and highly migratory species carries up to a $350 fine or up to 60 days in jail plus court costs for each offense.
Agents participating the in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, and Senior Agent Brett Nabors.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents have written 18 citations since May 21 on the Comite River in East Baton Rouge Parish for alleged violations of Scenic River Regulations.
The new rules governing the Louisiana’s Natural and Scenic Rivers System were approved last fall and became effective on March 20, 2014.
The new rules prohibit the use of a motor vehicle or other wheeled or tracked vehicle on a designated system stream, except for permitted uses and direct crossings by immediately adjacent landowners, lessees, and persons who have written permission from the landowner for non-commercial activities that do not significantly degrade the ecological integrity of the stream.
On May 21 LDWF agents cited a 17-year-old Zachary man for violating the scenic river rules when he was found operating a Jeep in the Comite River south of Zachary near Dyer Rd. Agents also issued possession of marijuana citations to two people and possession of alcohol citations to the 17-year-old Zachary man and one other minor during the stop.
On May 24 agents issued 17 citations to 17 subjects from Zachary, Slaughter, Baton Rouge, Baker, Clinton and Greenwell Springs for violating the scenic river rules when they were found riding All-Terrain Vehicles in the Comite River south of Zachary off of Tucker Rd.
Violators of the scenic river rules face up to $950 in fines and up to 120 days of jail time.
The Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act of 1970 provides LDWF the authority to regulate those activities that may directly and significantly degrade the ecological integrity of a natural and scenic river. The Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System for the purpose of preserving, protecting, developing, reclaiming, and enhancing the wilderness qualities, scenic beauties, and ecological regimes of certain free-flowing Louisiana streams. Today, there are approximately 3,000 miles of designated Natural and Scenic Rivers in the state.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited numerous fishermen on May 26 for allegedly fishing in the BP oil spill emergency commercial fishing closure zone.
Agents cited Kenneth Dupre, 47, Don Allen, 55, Bobbie Slocum, 53, all of Gretna, Lawrence Folse Jr., 62, of Bridge City, Carl Hingle, 50, of Chalmette, Patrick Terrebonne, 39, of Lafitte, Michael A. Duhom, 27, of Marrero, and Manton A. Terrebonne, 57, of Lafitte for engaging in commercial shrimping activity in the area of Bay Jimmy located in Plaquemines parish.
The area in question was closed to all commercial fishing in 2010 as a result of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill.
Agents seized and returned the shrimp taken to the water since they were considered a public health risk to the consuming public.
Violating the emergency fishing closure carries a up to a $750 fine and 60 days in jail.
Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young, Kris Bourgeois, Villere Reggio, and Austin Arteaga.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a single vessel incident that claimed the life of a Mansura man on May 25 in Avoyelles Parish.
About 6:30 p.m., LDWF agents were notified of a boating incident and a missing boater on the Little River near Marksville. Agents were able to locate the body of David Crocket, 48, around 8 p.m. and turned him over to the Avoyelles Parish Coroner’s Office.
According to witnesses and the operator of the boat, Marcus Logan Sr., 43, of Mansura, they were traveling west on Little River and swerved to avoid an object in the water when Crocket fell overboard. Crocket went under the water and never surfaced.
Crocket was not wearing a personal flotation device when he entered the water.
After further investigation, agents determined that Logan Sr. was under the influence of alcohol while operating the vessel and arrested him for driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI). Agents also cited Logan Sr. for careless operation of a vessel. Future charges may be pending.
DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail and up to a year suspension of driver’s license and boating operation privileges. Careless operation of a vessel carries up to a $300 fine and 30 days in jail.
Search and rescue teams found the body of a Baton Rouge man in the Amite River Diversion Canal about 2:45 a.m. on May 26 in Ascension Parish.
Matthew Green, 28, was found about 2:45 a.m. by search and rescue teams from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, the Gonzales Fire Department and the St. Amant Fire Department.
According to the survivor, Green was on a jet ski and the survivor was in a boat on the Amite River Diversion Canal when they decided to switch positions with each other about 7 p.m. on May 25. When Green tried to board the vessel he apparently bumped the throttle and when the unmanned boat went into motion he lost his balance and was sent overboard into the water where the vessel then struck Green.
Search and rescue crews were notified immediately and searched until they found Green.
Green's body was turned over to the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office to determine a cause of death. LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.