General

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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.

August Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting to be Held in Grand Isle, LA

Release Date: 07/11/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will be meeting in Grand Isle, LA for the meeting on August 3, 2017.  An agenda will be published prior to the meeting date.

 

What:  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

 

When:  Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 1:30 P.M.

 

Where: 195 Ludwig Annex, Grand Isle, LA 70358

 

 

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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Agents Cite Three Subjects for Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 07/07/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited multiple people for alleged shrimping violations on July 7 in Yellow Cotton Bay in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited David Pitre Jr., 45, of Empire, Tommy Berthelot, 39, of Buras, and Jessica Frelich, 30, of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents found the subjects actively skimming for shrimp in Yellow Cotton Bay this morning, July 7.  During the stop agents seized 170 pounds of shrimp.

Using skimmers 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.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Travis Bartlett and Agent Johnathan Boudreaux.

LDWF Agents Make Five DWI’s on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 07/05/2017

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested five boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2.

On July 1 agents arrested Bryce Busby, 23, of Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish; Timothy Leblanc Jr., 21, of Jarreau, on False River in Pointe Coupee Parish; Christopher Edmond, 42, of Maurepas, on the Amite River in Livingston Parish; and Christopher Ferachi, 21, of Baton Rouge, on the Tickfaw River in Livingston Parish all for DWI on the water.

Agents also arrested Paul Dehart, 47, of Morgan City, on Grassy Lake in St. Martin Parish on July 2 for DWI on the water.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Friends of the Louisiana Whooping Crane Newsletter

Dear Friend of the Louisiana Whooping Cranes,

Please find the link below to the second quarterly newsletter for 2017. As always, we appreciate your continued support of our efforts to restore this important species to its historic Louisiana habitat.

LEEC eNews: Watershed Webs, Webinars and More!

Our eNews is linked below. Please share.
Louisiana Environmental Education Commission

LEEC eNews: Watershed Webs, Webinars and More!


BUY A PLATE TO EDUCATE

Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at

www.expresslane.org

 

 

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 06/29/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 30 to July 2.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

“Alcohol use and operating a vessel don’t mix.  We want people to treat a boat the same way they would a vehicle when it comes to having a sober operator.” said LDWF Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to come home safely.”

Louisiana had 24 boating fatalities in 2016, with alcohol playing a role in three fatalities or 12.5 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2016 reveal that 15 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Bayou Dularge Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Release Date: 06/28/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested a Bayou Dularge man for alleged drug and commercial fishing violations on June 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Anouda Lirette, 39, for using oversized skimmer nets, possession of marijuana, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of nongame birds.

Agents were in state offshore waters on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they made contact with Lirette who was on board a 42 foot shrimp boat.  Agents found the skimmer nets were oversized and noticed some dead seagulls on the deck of his vessel.

Upon further investigation agents found a .22 cal rifle, marijuana, crystal meth, and drug paraphernalia on board.  Agents booked Lirette into the Terrebonne Parish correctional facility.

Agents seized 784 pounds of shrimp, six seagulls, a .22 cal rifle, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and crystal meth.

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.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison.

Using oversized skimmer nets brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Possession of nongame birds carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Agent Gerald Sander, Senior Agent Scott Dupre, Agent Mike Williams and Agent Richie Bean.

A Man and Two Boys Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Vessel in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 06/27/2017

A Man and Two Boys Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Vessel in Vermilion Bay

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent rescued three people from a sinking vessel in Vermilion Bay this morning, June 27.

Agents were alerted around 5:30 a.m. about a sinking shrimp vessel in Vermillion Bay with three people on board.  LDWF Sgt. Mitch Darby responded by boat to the scene and was able to rescue a 55 year old New Iberia man, 14 year old boy and 11 year old boy.

Sgt. Darby then transported the rescued people to a boat launch where family members were waiting.  The 55 year old and 14 year old sustained minor injuries in the incident.

According to the rescued 55 year old, they were in route to go shrimping on a 20 foot vessel when they struck a submerged object causing their vessel to begin sinking.  The man said they were just about to enter the water with personal flotation devices when Sgt. Darby showed up with the rescue vessel.

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