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Illegal Shrimping Investigation Leads to Flight from Officer and Illegal Purchasing of Fish Charges

Release Date: 07/28/2017

A Lafourche Parish man turned himself into authorities on July 27 a week after fleeing from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents.

Mel Guidry, 37, of Montegut, turned himself into Lafourche and Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Offices on outstanding warrants for using butterfly nets during a closed season; taking commercial fish without a commercial license, commercial gear license and commercial vessel license; failing to tag butterfly nets while unattended; improper running lights; misrepresentation during issuance of a misdemeanor; flight from an officer; and failing to complete trip tickets by a fishermen.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents responded to a complaint of a subject using a butterfly net during the closed shrimp season in Lafourche Parish on July 20.  Agents observed Guidry around 8:30 p.m. that night place the net in the water to catch shrimp and leave the net unattended.  At approximately 11:30 p.m. agents observed Guidry approach the net with improper running lights and begin removing the net from the water.

Agents made contact with Guidry whom subsequently gave the agents a false name.  Guidry then jumped from the agents patrol vessel into the marsh and swam away.  The agents then seized the net and vessel that Guidry was using with approximately 30 pounds of shrimp.  During the investigation agents learned that Guidry was not licensed to fish the net and the net was not properly tagged to be left unattended.

Agents also learned that Guidry was selling his catch to Point Aux Chene Kayak Rentals in Terrebonne Parish owned by Lisa Mullen, 56, of Montegut.  Agents further found that Mullen was not keeping records of the catch and not reporting the proper paperwork to LDWF.  Mullen admitted to buying shrimp from Guidry to sell to her customers as bait shrimp.  Agents cited Mullen for buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman, failing to maintain records and failing to report monthly fish data.

Guidry already had two outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for failure to pay child support.  Agents contacted the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) and made them aware of Guidry's additional warrants.

On July 25, the LPSO made contact with Guidry and once again he fled and escaped.  On July 27, Guidry contacted the LPSO and a patrol unit picked him up and booked him into the Lafourche Parish Jail for his outstanding warrants.

Using butterfly nets in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.  In addition for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Taking commercial fish without a commercial license, gear license and vessel license each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to tag nets left unattended and failing to complete trip tickets each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Improper running lights brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Flight from an officer brings a $150 to $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Misrepresentation during the issuance of a misdemeanor carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman brings a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Failing to report monthly fish data and maintain records each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

LDWF agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Richard Purvis, Sgt. Bryan Marie, Corporal Dean Aucoin and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

LEEC eNews: New NOAA Watershed Resource, ECO Clubs Workshop and More!

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Louisiana Environmental Education Commission

LEEC eNews: New NOAA Watershed Resource, ECO Clubs Workshop and More!


BUY A PLATE TO EDUCATE

Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at

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LDWF Phone Lines Are Down

Release Date: 07/20/2017

We apologize for the inconvenience, but our licensing phone lines are currently down. We ask for your patience as we work to resolve the situation. In the meantime, licenses can be purchased at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses-and-permits

 

Thanks again for your patience, and we'll be sure to let you know when we're up and running again!

ALAS BAI Newsletter - July 2017

ALAS BAI Newsletter - July 2017

ALAS BAI Newsletter- July 2017
 

YOU’RE INVITED! 2017 ALAS COACHES CONFERENCE WEBINAR
Our BAIs are important to us so we are hosting a webinar just for you! We will discuss important information regarding the ALAS program, upcoming tournaments, instructor reporting, and much more. Got an archery question? We will also have live Q&A during the webinar!
WHO: Any NASP certified BAI who is currently teaching/coaching archery at any Louisiana school or is planning to begin teaching/coaching archery to their students in the 2017-2018 school year
WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 25TH, 2017 AT 2:00PM
WHERE: Log in and join from anywhere!
Register online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1875120708250763011
Contact jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov if you have any questions about participating or if you have a question you would like addressed in the webinar.

2017 NASP WORLD TOURNAMENT
In just a few short days, 149 Louisiana student archers from 8 schools will be traveling to Orlando, FL to participate in the 2017 NASP World Tournament and 2017 NASP World IBO 3-D Challenge on July 20th-22nd! These teams qualified at the 2017 NASP National Tournament in Louisville, KY in May. Best of luck to them all! We know that they will make our state proud.
GOOD LUCK ARCHERS! AIM HIGH!

To see how teams are doing visit www.nasptournaments.org and @ALAS-Archery in Louisiana Schools on Facebook throughout the tournament.

INSTRUCTOR TIME & ACTIVITY RECORD
Recording the hours that you spend working with your student archers helps us get additional funding for the ALAS program from the federal government! However, remembering those hours can be difficult when things get hectic at the end of the year. Recording your hours throughout the year is easy with the attached fillable Time and Activity Form PDF. Record as you go, print and sign at the end of the year, and submit to help us get additional funding!
Every hour counts! This includes travel time, instructional time, prep time, equipment repair, loading, unloading, regional tournaments, state tournaments, nationals, world, etc. Only one date per line. Only one BAI per line. Sign in blue ink across or on all lines. The additional funds will help us provide more opportunities for our students and coaches! Contact jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov if you have any questions.
Completed Time and Activity forms can be submitted via mail or email to the contact information below.
Jan McGovern
42371 Phyllis Ann Drive
Hammond, LA 70403
jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov
 
EQUIPMENT LOANS
Need archery equipment? If you are interested in participating in the ALAS Equipment Loan program for the upcoming school year, please submit the dates that you would like to reserve a loan as soon as possible to ensure availability. Loans are typically 2-6 weeks and include all equipment needed to teach the NASP/ALAS archery curriculum. Stringbow and range line material not included.
Contact jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov to schedule your loan or for information about our equipment grant program!
 
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
IMPORTANT DATES:
7/20/2017-7/22/2017 NASP WORLD TOURNAMENT Orlando, FL

2018 TOURNAMENT DATES:
Saturday, January 20th, 2018 2018 SOUTH REGIONAL TOURNAMENT Alexandria, LA
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 2018 NORTH REIONAL TOURNAMENT Shreveport, LA
Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 2018 ALAS STATE TOURNAMENT Shreveport, LA

UPCOMING BAI CLASSES:
8/11-12/2017 HOPE BAPTIST SCHOOL Alexandria, LA Must attend both days*
8/26/2017 GLASGOW MIDDLE SCHOOL Baton Rouge, LA 8:00am-4:30pm
Check the class schedule for updates at http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA.
For information about hosting BAI training at your school please contact jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov.
 
AIM HIGH!
 

Three People Arrested for Illegal Drug Possession in Webster Parish

Release Date: 07/14/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents made multiple arrests on July 8 for alleged drug possession charges in Webster Parish.

Agents arrested Kenneth Brewer, 32, of Minden, Pete Talton, 49, of Minden, and Joey Burton, 40, of Arcadia, for possessing suspected marijuana, methamphetamine and assorted drug paraphernalia.  Brewer was also cited for possession of suboxone.

Agents made contact with the three subjects at Peterson’s Landing in Leton.  Two of the subjects were outside of a vehicle at the launch while one sat inside the vehicle with the door open.

Agents made contact with all three subjects and noticed an odor of marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle.  A background check showed that all three subjects had an extensive criminal history for prior drug charges.

An inspection of the suspects and the vehicle produced one bag of suspected marijuana, two bags of suspected methamphetamine, one partially smoked marijuana cigarette, one glass pipe used to smoke methamphetamine, one package of uboxone, one spoon used to heat up methamphetamine and one pill bottle containing suspected methamphetamine residue inside.

All three subjects were placed under arrest and booked into the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Possession of suboxone brings up to a $15,000 fine and 10 years in jail.  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.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Jared McIver, Lt. Kenneth Balkom, Senior Agent John Blalock and Agent Justin Greer.

LDWF website will be down for maintenance on the evening of Monday, July 17

Release Date: 07/14/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ website will be offline for maintenance after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 17. You will still be able to purchase fishing and hunting licenses online at www.la.wildlifelicense.com. This link will also be posted on our homepage during the maintenance period.  The site will be restored by Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Two Men Cited for Summer Time Night Hunting Deer Violations in St. Landry Parish

Release Date: 07/13/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Agents cited two St. Landry men for alleged deer hunting violations in St. Landry Parish on July 12.

Agents cited Christian Cannatella, 21, and Lucas Leblanc, 21, for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours with aid of artificial light, hunting deer from a moving vehicle and hunting deer using illegal methods.

Agents were notified by an anonymous informant of illegal night hunting activity near Melville.  Upon investigating the tip, agents discovered that Cannatella and Leblanc allegedly harvested one antlerless deer the morning of July 12.

Agents learned the two men were out spotlighting deer on a Utility Task Vehicle and used a .17 caliber rifle to harvest an antlerless deer.

Agents seized the .17 caliber rifle and the cleaned deer meat.  The deer meat was later donated to a local charity.

Hunting deer during a closed season and during illegal hours with artificial light each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle and taking deer using illegal methods each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Cannatella and Leblanc may also face civil restitution totaling $1624.61 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Ryan T. Faul and Senior Agent David Boudreaux.

Gueydan Man Pleaded Guilty for Illegal Shooting of Whooping Crane in Federal Court

Release Date: 07/11/2017

A Gueydan man pleaded guilty on July 7 in Federal Court in Lafayette for migratory bird violations that occurred in Vermilion Parish.

Judge Carol B. Whitehurst of the Western District Court accepted the guilty plea of Lane T. Thibodeaux, 21, for taking a whooping crane for which there is no season, taking migratory game birds out of season, from a moving vehicle and without a Louisiana hunting license, and wanton waste of migratory game birds.  Judge Whitehurst sentenced Thibodeaux to serve 45 days in Federal Prison for each of the five convictions to run concurrently and a $2,500 fine.  He must pay his fine in full within one year or he will have to serve 45 days in Federal Prison for each of the five convictions to run consecutively.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents began investigating a whooping crane that was found in a field just north of Gueydan off of Zaunbrecher Rd. with a gunshot wound in its left leg on Nov. 4, 2014.  The crane was transported to the LSU Veterinary School where it had to be euthanized because of its gunshot injury.

Through the course of the investigation agents were able to ascertain information from confidential informants that told them Thibodeaux was the person that shot the whooping crane.  Agents were able to obtain a search warrant for Thibodeaux’s phone and then collect videos and photos showing Thibodeaux shooting migratory game birds from a vehicle off of a public road near the area where the whooping crane was found.  The phone also contained information of Thibodeaux being involved in illegal narcotic activity, which was turned over to the Vermilion Parish Narcotics Task Force.

During the investigation agents also learned that Thibodeaux threatened the informants to not give any information to LDWF agents about the whooping crane he shot.  Agents arrested Thibodeaux on charges of felony witness intimidation on March 4, 2015 and those charges are still pending at this time.

The crane in this case had been released in January of 2014.  LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, the International Crane Foundation and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state. This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The confidential informants will split a reward for their information that led to the arrest and conviction of Thibodeaux.  The reward money consisted of $1,000 each from LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation; $5,000 from The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust; and $3,000 from anonymous donors.

The lead LDWF investigative agent for this case was Senior Agent Derek Logan with assistance from Lt. Beau Robertson and Sgt. David Sanford.  The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and PC Recovery in Lafayette assisted with collecting the data from the seized cell phones.  The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the execution of warrants.

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