MISSISSIPPI RESIDENTS SENTENCED IN LOUISIANA FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE LACEY ACT

Release Date: 02/07/2006

Terrys Seafood Inc., of Lakeshore, Miss. was sentenced for a single count felony violation of the Lacey Act in United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana by United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon on Aug. 22, 2005.


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents from the Oyster Strike Force and Region 8 along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agents documented a scheme of Lacey Act violations.  In 2002, commercial fisherman Raymond Green took oysters from Louisiana public oyster reefs and unlawfully transported the oysters for the purpose of sale from Louisiana to Mississippi.  The oysters were then landed at Terrys Seafood Inc. in Lakeshore, Miss, which is in violation of Louisiana law.


Approximately 10 different dates of sale were documented by USFWS and LDWF agents including a total of 679 sacks of oysters that had a total retail value of $17,654.  Terrys Seafood Inc. and owner Keath Ladner received and purchased the oysters while knowing that the oysters were required by Louisiana law to be landed in Louisiana.


On Nov. 29, 2005, Ladner and Green were each sentenced for separate single count misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act in United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez.


Ladner of Bay St. Louis, Miss. was sentenced to home detention for a period of one month.  Ladner was also sentenced to probation for a period of two years.  Green of Lakeshore, Miss. was sentenced to probation for a period of one year.


As an additional probation term, Ladner and Green were ordered to participate in an orientation and life skills program as directed by the U.S. Probation Office.  They were also both ordered to pay a mandatory $25 special assessment fee.


Terrys Seafood Inc. was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 and also ordered to pay $17,654 in restitution to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  In addition, Terrys Seafood Inc. was ordered to pay a mandatory special assessment fee in the amount of $400 and serve a term of probation for a period of three years.  Total amount of fines, restitution and special assessment fees paid by Terrys Seafood Inc. was $20,554.


LDWF agents participating in the investigation were Capt. Brian Clark, Lt. Steve McManus, Sgts. Todd Laviolette, Brian Marie and Scot Keller, Senior Agents Desi Fulmer, Kris Bourgeois, David Nunez and Ronnie Granier.  USFWS Special Agents that participated in the case were Stephen Clark and Bill Mellore.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Marcelle handled the prosecution of all subjects.



EDITORS: For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov or 225-765-2469.