Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Texas man and cited a Louisiana man for alleged illegal oyster sales in Terrebonne Parish on April 19.
Agents received a public tip about a man selling sacks of oysters from an unrefrigerated truck in Houma. After investigating the tip, agents found Wally J. Bazar, 33, of New Orleans, selling green tagged oysters to the public from an unrefrigerated truck. Green tagged oysters are to only be sold to a certified dealer or to a post-harvest treating facility. Bazar also did not have a wholesale seafood license allowing him to sell oysters.
During questioning, Bazar admitted to buying a total of 10 sacks of oysters from Randy Smith, 51, of Angleton, Texas, on April 18 and 19. Agents found Smith and learned that he was a deckhand on a commercial oyster fishing vessel. Agents learned that Smith stole the oysters from the vessel without the owner’s knowledge and put them in his car before selling them to Bazar.
During Smith’s background check, agents found that he was wanted in Texas for the past two years on parole violations in Calhoun County Texas. Agents arrested Smith as a fugitive from justice and charged him with theft, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, failing to maintain records, selling improperly tagged oysters and transporting oysters without a transport license. He was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail and is awaiting extradition to Texas.
Agents cited Bazar for violating oyster refrigeration requirements, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, selling improperly tagged oysters and failing to maintain traceable oyster records.
Theft brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Selling seafood without a seafood wholesale license, failing to maintain records, transport without transport license and selling improperly tagged oysters each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating oyster refrigeration requirements brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Sgt. Bryan Marie.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or email@example.com.