LAFAYETTE RESTAURANTS CHARGED WITH SEAFOOD VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 08/29/2006

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited employees at four Lafayette restaurants that included restaurant owners, managers and chefs.  They were charged with purchasing illegal game fish, buying commercial fish from unlicensed fishermen and failing to maintain proper records.  This action brings to close a year long investigation conducted by LDWF undercover agents.  


Zhou Zheng, 46, of Lafayette, was cited with purchasing game fish, failing to maintain records and buying fish from other than a wholesale or retail dealer.  Zheng, the owner of Hot Wok in Lafayette, purchased 90 pounds of red drum from an undercover agent.     


Chung Ling Bih, 48, of Lafayette, was charged with three counts of buying fish from an unlicensed fisherman, two counts of violating interstate commerce regulations and three counts of failing to maintain records.  Other charges include buying spotted sea trout from an unpermitted fisherman, two counts of failing to report commercial fisheries data and three counts of buying fish from other than a wholesale or retail dealer.  Bih is the manager at Shangri-La in Lafayette.  Over 55 pounds of red drum and 14 pounds of spotted sea trout were purchased by the restaurant from undercover agents posing as recreational fisherman.


Jin Yun Ni, 38, of Lafayette, was issued citations for buying fish from an unlicensed fisherman, buying spotted sea trout from an unpermitted fisherman, failing to maintain records, failing to report commercial fisheries data, and buying fish from other than a wholesale or retail dealer.  Ni is the manager of Jumbo Buffet in Lafayette. Undercover agents sold 15 pounds of spotted sea trout and six pounds of grouper and vermillion snapper were sold to Jumbo Buffet by.


Quyen Ton Lu, 41, of Lafayette, was cited with purchasing game fish, failing to maintain records and buying fish from other than a wholesale or retail dealer.  Lu is a cook at the Royal Panda in Lafayette.  The manager of the restaurant, Hung T. Lu, 45, also of Lafayette, was charged with the same violations.  Undercover agents sold 49 pounds of red drum to the Royal Panda.


The penalties for restaurants buying fish from other than a wholesale or retail dealer, failing to report commercial fisheries and maintain records are fines ranging between $250 and $500, or jail time for 90 days, or both plus court costs.


If convicted for buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman or for purchasing game fish the fine is between $350 and $500 and 30 days in jail.


Buying spotted sea trout and violating interstate commerce regulations each carry fines from $900 to $950, or 120 days in jail, or both plus cost of court


Agents from Region 6 participating in the case were Lt. Donald Salpietra, Sgts. Chris Carpenter, Brad Garon and Steven Huval and undercover agents from LDWF Headquarters.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-3548 or klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2006-265