A Many man pleaded guilty on Sept. 26 to possessing a shotgun and ammunition after being convicted of multiple felonies, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced.
Jerry Kenneth Thompson Jr., 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition after a felony conviction.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents discovered Thompson on Dec. 31, 2013 in possession of a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition while hunting on private property without permission and using a stolen deer stand. Thompson admitted to LDWF agents that he had prior felony convictions and knew he could not possess a firearm.
Further investigation confirmed that Thompson had seven felony convictions in California. The felony convictions include: two convictions for grand theft, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, second degree burglary of a vehicle, possession with intent to sell a controlled substance with a gang affiliation enhancement, transportation of a controlled substance, and possession for sale of cocaine base. Thompson also had a prior felony conviction in Sabine Parish for simple burglary.
Thompson faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and forfeiture of the firearm and ammunition. A sentencing date of Jan. 30, 2015 was set.
The ATF and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Gillespie Jr. is prosecuting the case.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Lafayette man for allegedly operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and other violations on the Vermilion River in Lafayette Parish on Sept. 20.
Agents arrested Benjamin J. Pooler III, 46, for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and three counts of aggravated assault and booked him into the Lafayette Parish Jail.
Agents were notified around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 about a man operating a vessel while intoxicated near Southside Park. The complaint came from three people kayaking in the river whom claimed that the operator of a white cigarette boat appeared to try and run them over and was traveling at a high rate of speed in a no wake zone. The kayakers said the operator of the vessel circled them multiple times eventually swamping one kayak before they were able to call 911.
When agents arrived on scene they received another tip about the same white cigarette boat operating a boat in a reckless manner and that the vessel was stopped on the bank of the river appearing to have struck a tree.
Agents observed Pooler III on the Vermilion River operating a vessel that matched the description just south of Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Agents made contact with Pooler III and after doing a field sobriety test arrested him for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and aggravated assault.
Agents noted that Pooler III’s vessel had green leaves inside and that tree limbs were stuck to the side of the vessel indicating he hit a tree somewhere on the river.
DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Aggravated assault brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Agents participating in this case are Sgt. Ryan Faul and Senior Agent Thomas Ashley.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued 10 citations for alleged oyster violations to men on three separate vessels on Sept. 15 in Sister Lake in Terrebonne Parish.
Agents cited Johnathan M. Reyes, 25, of Houma, Louis M. Carbajal, 23, of Houma, John T. Parker, 25, of Houma, Zachary Lacoste, 19, of Chauvin, Avilez A. Carbajal, 51, of Theriot, Teddy D. Dardar, 28, of Houma, and Dylan D. Parker, 21, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on Sister Lake. Reyes was also charged with taking oysters without a commercial license. Parker was also charged with violating the oyster sanitation code and failing to possess a commercial license.
Agents received numerous complaints about oyster vessels operating on the Sister Lake State Seed in early September. During this particular patrol of the area agents found three vessels actively dredging for oysters in the closed area.
Agents seized 33 sacks of oysters and returned them to Sister Lake.
Taking oysters during a closed season on state water bottoms brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Failing to possess a commercial license and taking oysters without a commercial license each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating the oyster sanitation code carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.
Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes and Agent Ryan Breaux.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Jefferson Parish resident for alleged illegal piranha possession violations on Sept. 14 in Harahan.
Agents received a complaint about Jonathan M. Currey, 23, of Harahan, being in possession of several piranhas in a fish tank located in his apartment. The agents made contact with Currey at his apartment where he was found to be in possession of five piranhas. LDWF biologists assisted in the identification of the piranhas.
Illegal exotic fish possession of certain species, in this case piranhas, brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail plus court costs.
An LDWF issued permit for exotic fish of certain species is needed to possess piranhas.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Tim Fox and Agent Jeff Farmer.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued 101 dove hunting related citations during the opening weekend of dove season on Sept. 6 and 7 statewide.
Of the 101 total citations, 55 were for hunting doves over a baited area. Most of the other charges were for hunting with an unplugged gun, hunting without a basic hunting license, placing bait, hunting from a moving vehicle, and taking non-game birds.
A large portion of the hunting doves over a baited area took place in Franklin Parish where agents found 28 people hunting over bait. Other places that agents found numerous people hunting over bait included Avoyelles Parish with five people, Tensas Parish with four people, Claiborne with four people, Washington Parish with four people, Beauregard Parish with two people, Rapides Parish with two people and St. John Parish with two people.
Agents also seized over 300 doves associated with the citations.
Dove season began on Sept. 6 with a daily bag limit of 15 doves and possession limit of 45 doves. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed-turtle doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag. Please check the LDWF dove hunting web page found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove for more information.
Hunting over a baited field for doves, placing bait, and taking non-game birds each brings a state penalty of $400 to $950 in fines and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting with unplugged guns and from a moving vehicle each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Hunting without a basic hunting license brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.