SEVERAL PLEAD GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT

Release Date: 02/28/2007

Michael Fisher Jr., 60, and Rickey L. McMickens, 45, both of Alexandria, along with Neal L. McMickens, 42, Francis W. Melder, 59, Joseph M. Vincent, 47, and Thomas R. Vincent Jr., 48, all of Pineville, appeared before U.S. Federal Magistrate James D. Kirk in Alexandria on Feb. 15 and entered pleas of guilty to taking over the legal limit of ducks and failure to maintain custody of ducks accepted several guilty pleas.  Fisher and Melder also pled guilty to hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp.


Magistrate Kirk sentenced each man to pay a fine of $3,070 and serve 80 hours of community service.  He also placed them on probation for one year and suspended their hunting privileges for three years.  Fisher and Melder were each fined an additional $160 for the duck stamp violation.


On Nov. 11, 2006, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Sgt. Travis Burnett and Senior Agent Spencer Cole checked the hunters in the area of Douglas Farms, located between Interstate 49 and the Diversion Canal south of Alexandria.  Agents found the six hunters to be in possession of 56 ducks, 52 of which were wood ducks.  The daily limit on wood ducks is two per hunter.


In a separate case, James A. Decker III, 30, of Pineville, Gary Eldridge, 51, of Deville, and Robert Monk, 30, of Lafayette, all pled guilty to hunting doves over a baited area. Magistrate Kirk sentenced each man to pay a fine of $510, placed them on probation for one year and suspended their hunting privileges for one year.


On Sept. 3, 2005, LDWF Enforcement agents watched as the three men hunted doves on a field, located off of Bayou Road near Cheneyville, that agents had previously documented as being baited with wheat and corn.  Lt. Eric Stokes, Sgt. Travis Burnett, Sgt. Gabe Guidry, Senior Agent Kevin Hill and Senior Agent Jay Callegari participated in the investigation.


Roger Hanson, 56, and Joseph Lang, 46, both of Atlanta, La., pled guilty to taking over the legal limit of ducks.  Hanson also pled guilty to possession of lead shot, and Lang pled guilty to possession of untagged ducks.  Magistrate Kirk sentenced Hanson to pay a fine of $2,220 and Lang to pay a fine of $1,920.  He also placed both men on probation for one year and suspended their hunting privileges for one year. 


On Jan. 14, 2006, LDWF Enforcement Sgts. Michael Bonner, Marcus Constance, and Rusty Perry watched as the two men, along with a juvenile, hunted ducks at False Lake near the Red River in Winn Parish.  Agents found the hunters to be in possession of 31 ducks, which was 13 ducks over the limit.


Michael Bladel, 42, of Pollock, pled guilty to killing an American Bald Eagle.  Bladel was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,025 and was placed on probation for one year.  On Dec. 20, 2005, LDWF Enforcement Capt. Peter Oliver and Lt. Stokes received a complaint that Bladel had killed a Bald Eagle and removed the talons and tail feathers.  After questioning, Bladel admitted that he shot the eagle thinking it was a "chicken hawk."  He then cut the talons and tail feathers off and threw the American bald eagle away in a nearby dumpster.  Sgts. Michael Bonner, Marcus Constance, and Rusty Perry assisted in the investigation.


U.S. Assistant District Attorney Howard Parker prosecuted the cases.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2007-067