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LDWF Agents Busy During Opening Weekend of Turkey Season

Release Date: 03/28/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents made six turkey baiting cases during the opening weekend of the 2013 turkey hunting season.

The six cases were made in East Feliciana, St. Helena, and Livingston parishes from March 23-25.

Agents cited Jerry Harris, 42, of Zachary on March 23 in East Feliciana Parish for allegedly hunting turkey over a baited area, hunting with an unplugged shotgun, failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations and not possessing a turkey stamp.

Randall Foto, 46, and Edward Philippe, 45, both of Mandeville, were cited for allegedly hunting turkey over a baited area in Livingston Parish on March 23.

Bobby Valentene, 48, from Hammond, was cited for allegedly hunting turkey over a baited area in St. Helena Parish on March 23.

Agents also cited Warren Womack, 69, from Clinton, and Cory Edwards, from Jackson, in East Feliciana Parish for allegedly hunting turkey over a baited area on March 25.

According to the 2013 Turkey Regulations pamphlet, no person shall hunt or take turkeys by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area.  Hunters are not allowed to place, expose, deposit or scatter corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed to lure turkeys to their hunting area.

Also, turkey hunters are required to possess Louisiana basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey permit and turkey tags.  In addition, shotguns capable of holding over three shells must be plugged with a one piece filler.

Hunting turkeys over a baited area and hunting without an unplugged gun each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Not possessing a turkey stamp brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

LDWF agents involved in these cases are Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Guy Adams, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Toby Miller, Senior Agent Clay Marques, Senior Agent Ronny Robbins, Senior Agent Garrett Kimble, Senior Agent Carl Armstrong, Senior Agent Brody Roberts and Senior Agent Terry Hicks.

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

Port Sulphur Man Charged with Attempted First Degree Murder

Release Date: 03/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Port Sulphur man for attempted first-degree murder of a LDWF agent, aggravated assault, resisting an officer, public intimidation and taking oysters from a polluted area on March 26.

With the aid of Louisiana State Police and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO), LDWF agents arrested Jonathan K. Ragas, 50, at his home in Port Sulphur and booked him into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.

The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on March 20 when Ragas was stopped by an LDWF agent and PPSO marine division deputies who were assisting in the patrol.  The agent and deputies found Ragas taking oysters from polluted waters.

When the LDWF agent attempted to board Ragas’ vessel, Ragas exhibited violent behavior toward the agent and would not allow the agent to board the vessel.  At one point during the encounter Ragas brandished a hatchet toward the LDWF agent in an aggressive manner.  After repeated attempts to board the vessel and because of officer safety concerns, the agent and deputies decided to detain Ragas at a later date with an arrest warrant.

This is the sixth time that Ragas has been charged by LDWF agents for taking oysters from an unapproved area.  This also makes the third time that Ragas has been charged for assaulting an LDWF agent.

Attempted first-degree murder carries a penalty of life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.  Aggravated assault brings up to a $1,000 fine and six months of jail time.  Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months of jail time.  Public intimidation brings up to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail with or without hard labor.  Taking oysters from an unapproved area brings up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Adam Young, Lt. Eddie Skena, Sgt. Jason Russo, and Senior Agents Villere Reggio, Robert Cosse Jr., Gary Pierce, and Mitch Saunders.  Also assisting in the case are Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Gerald Cormier and Deputy Chad Lafrance and from Louisiana State Police Lt. Dean Behrens, Sgt. Joseph Piglia, Trooper Gus Bethea, and
Trooper Kory Borcheding.

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

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Eight Oyster Fishermen Convicted for Oyster Harvest Violations

Release Date: 03/19/2013

March 19, 2013 -- Today, March 19, eight oyster fishermen entered a no contest plea for several health and oyster violations in the 15th Judicial District Court of Louisiana in Vermilion Parish.

The Honorable Judge Durwood Conque accepted the pleas from Antonio G. Ayala, 34, Jose L. Ayala, 41, Jose M. Ayala, 21, all of Dickinson, Texas, Jose F. Rodriguez, 31, Jose G. Arredondo, 45, Octavio R. Vega, 38, all of Houston, Texas, Jose M. Bocanegra, 23, of Bacliff, Texas, and Heliodoro Gonzalez-Bocanegra, 43, of Chalmette.  Judge Conque ordered the men to each pay a fine of $1,922.50.

On July 25, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents in Vermilion Parish conducted surveillance on a group of oyster fisherman that were harvesting oysters in Southwest Pass.

Agents observed several boats coming into the dock in Intracoastal City with sacks of oysters that were labeled to be shucked and processed.  However, agents later observed these fishermen change the tags on the sacks of oysters to indicate that the oysters could be consumed raw when offloading the sacks from their boats.  These mislabeled sacks of oysters were then loaded onto a truck and were destined for Florida, before LDWF agents intercepted the shipment.
Oysters that are intended for raw consumption have strict harvest and refrigeration requirements that were not met by these fishermen.  Agents seized a total of 495 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water in an area closed to oyster harvesting.

Each man pleaded no contest for violating the sanitation code for logbook and refrigeration requirements, adulterating or misbranding seafood, violating interstate commerce regulations and failing to fill out oyster tags correctly.

Since April of 2012, LDWF agents have seized over 1,000 sacks of oysters in Vermilion Parish alone and returned these oysters to closed areas.  These seizures were mainly pertaining to the enforcement of refrigeration requirements for oysters intended for raw consumption.

Sgt. Justin Sonnier was the lead investigator on this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Aimee Hebert.

Major Jubal Marceaux, Capt. Robert Buatt, Sgt. Brian Theriot and Senior Agents Jason Stagg, Myron Verret, Derek Logan, Carl Pickett, Donnie Bozeman and Jason Marks also assisted with this case.

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

Five New Orleans Men Cited for Fishing Violations in Gulf

Release Date: 03/19/2013

March 19, 2013 -- After a joint investigation between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), LDWF Enforcement Division agents cited five New Orleans men for alleged fishing violations today, March 19.

LDWF agents cited Nam Nguyen, 52, Nam Truong, 82, Hung Tran, 55, Son Pham, 41, and Hang Nguyen, 51, for violating highly migratory species regulations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Agents received a complaint from NOAA Fisheries that the USCG discovered the vessel fishing in federal waters with live bait on March 18.  LDWF agents boarded the vessel, The Blue Fin, when it returned to Dulac this morning and found J-hooks, hand lines and three places to hold live bait.

It is illegal to fish for highly migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico with live bait and J-hooks.  Circle hooks and either artificial lures or dead bait can be used with a highly migratory species permit.

Violating highly migratory species regulations brings up to $50,000 in fines, loss of any highly migratory species permits for up to one year and loss of catch.  Agents seized 2,861 pounds of yellowfin tuna and a total of 623 pounds of swordfish, wahoo and escolar, hand lines and two buoys.

LDWF Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Louis Burnett, Senior Agents Dean Aucoin and Norman Deroche and Sgt. Ted Dewitt.  NOAA Fisheries Special Agent Steve Campbell and USCG Ensign Zack Bowman also assisted in the case.

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

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday, La
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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