POACHERS CAUGHT HUNTING WITH NIGHT-VISION EQUIPMENT

Release Date: 01/15/2007

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Oakdale men and cited another for alleged night hunting violations on Jan. 6 in Allen Parish.


Verdie Longino, 43, and  Robert Sauls, 27,  Roger Johnson, 51, all from Oakdale, were arrested for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting deer with illegal weapons and hunting with firearms equipped with electronic sights.    Logino and Sauls were also charged and arrested for flight from a police officer.


Agents received information on Jan. 5 pertaining to a group of hunters who were using night vision and infrared scopes to hunt deer from box stands and by aid of four-wheelers after legal shooting hours ended on a private hunting lease.  The investigating agents entered the hunting lease on foot and located a hidden truck at a camp off Ballard Road.  After several hours of surveillance and searching, agents heard sounds of four-wheelers traveling down one of the lease roads without the use of headlights.  At approximately 10:30 p.m., with the aid of night vision equipment, the hunters were seen exiting a box stand and then leaving the area by four-wheelers.  The agents attempted to stop one of the four wheelers occupied by Longino and Sauls, who then tried to flee resulting in them crashing the four-wheeler into a briar patch.    
 
The three men were in possession of four different types of night vision equipment.  A loaded .17 caliber bull-barrel rifle with a night vision scope, a loaded .22 caliber rifle with a red lensed night vision light mounted on top of a scope, a night vision monocular and a pair of night vision binoculars.


Over twenty items were seized in connection with the case, including the two four-wheelers, guns and the night vision equipment.  Longino and Sauls were booked into the Allen Parish Jail with bond set at $2,500 each.  Johnson was released at Kinder Hospital due to a medical condition. 


The penalty for hunting deer during illegal hours is a fine up to $950, up to 120 days in jail, or both, plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized.  Hunting deer with an illegal weapon carries a fine up to $300, up to 60 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Hunting with a firearm with electronic sights is punishable by a fine up to $500, up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Flight from an officer carries a fine between $150 to $500, up to 180 days in jail, or both plus court costs. 


Agents participating in the case were Lt. Jesse Savoie, Sgts. David Liles and Keith Aucoin, and Senior Agents Steven Vidrine and Ray Thomas.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2007-019