The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Special Investigative Unit identified an unlicensed wholesale/retail seafood dealer shipping thousands of sacks of oysters out of state without recording required purchase information and failing to report the shipments to the LDWF as required by law.
On July 1, 2005 agents charged Kyle Sadler, 36, of Bourg, owner/manager of MPM Fisheries, with one count of operating his business without a wholesale/retail dealers license, one count of violating interstate commerce regulations by shipping 5,600 sacks of shell stock oysters, which were landed in Louisiana, to North Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi, 83 counts of failing to maintain records on the purchase of 7,206 sacks of shell stock oysters and three counts of failure report commercial fisheries data to the department on 2,891 sacks of shell stock oysters. The charges were filed in Terrebonne Parish. The violations were for shell stock oysters taken and transported out of state from January 2005 through June 2005.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries uses reported fishery-landing records to manage the state's fisheries. Accurate information is essential to the management of the state's fisheries resources.
On June 12, 2006, Kyle Sadler entered guilty pleas, in Division A of the Terrebonne Parish court, on all charges presented in this case. Thirty Second Judicial District Court Judge Joe Larke assessed Kyle Sadler with the following penalties: count 1, 90 days in parish prison; count 2, 120 days; counts 3 through 85, 90 days in parish prison; counts 86 through 88, 90 days in parish prison. All counts to run concurrent. Sadler was ordered to pay restitution to the department in the amount of $53,658. Jail terms were suspended upon the condition that Sadler pays the restitution to the department. He was placed on two years supervised probation during which time he has to pay the $53,658. Sadler was ordered to pay the restitution in 24 monthly installments of $2,235.75 per month.
According to LDWF Law Enforcement Division Administrator Col. Winton Vidrine the case is very significant. "This type of activity cannot and will not be tolerated in Louisiana. When someone steals resources from the people of this state, justice should be served, and in this case it was," he said. "This case identifies the importance in the roles of the district attorneys and the judges in the overall scheme of fisheries management," he added.
Agents participating in the investigation were Lt. Jay Diez, Sgt. Billy Gomillion and Sgt. Brian Marie.
For more information contact Major Jeff Mayne at 225-765-2980.