Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited 24 north Louisiana residents for allegedly riding All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) in a closed area and after hours on the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Cotton Valley.
An agent received a tip around 9 p.m. on Aug. 18, 2007 from a concerned citizen who called LDWF's Operation Game Thief hotline after noticing a large number of ATVs driving into the WMA.
The agent later confronted the group and requested assistance from other agents in the area, as well as local law enforcement agencies. The agents then entered the area where the majority of riders had fled. The agents were able to take a few of the riders into custody and then locate the group's vehicles at a nearby residence where the remainder were apprehended.
A Webster Parish deputy was seriously injured while responding to assist the agents, but is home recovering.
A total of 19 ATVs were towed to a local impound where they were processed as evidence and then returned to the owners.
A total of 81 citations were issued to the following parties: Casey A. Deaver, 21, Nicholas A. Garza, 23, Ty Hanson, 24, Michael D. Oglee, 21, William H. Budwah, 24, Gary W. Miller, 22, and Jeremy D. Moore, 21, all of Sarepta; Charles L. Cole, Jr., 19, Nathaniel C. Spurlin, 19, and Shane T.McKinsey, 24, all of Cotton Valley; Jordan T. Whitlock, 21, Brooke I. Dean, 20, and Kelli Jo Festervan, 22, all of Springhill; John R. Hollingsworth, 21, Jacob R. Morrow, 25, and Kimberly L. Morrow, 22, all of Minden; Stacy D. Booker, 17, Rob Booker, 32, and Christopher Thomas, 28, all of Marion; Gregory L. Roath, 40, Tracy L. Cooper, 38, and Jason E. Cooper, 32, all of Shongaloo; Krissi A. Lebrun, 17, of Sterlington, and James L. Chase, 24, of Homer. Each of the aforementioned was cited for three counts of not abiding by WMA rules and regulations, not possessing a self-clearing permit, riding an ATV in a closed area, and riding an ATV after hours.
In addition, the following received citations for littering: Charles Cole, Jordan Whitlock, Ty Hanson, Michael Oglee, Gary Miller, John Hollingsworth and Christopher Thomas. Jacob Morrow and Nicholas Garza were also cited for flight from an officer.
Not abiding by WMA rules and regulations is punishable by a fine between $100-$350, or jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court costs for each count. Littering carries a fine of $250, and eight hours of community service plus costs of court. A person convicted of flight from an officer can be fined $150-$500, or imprisoned six months, or both plus court costs.
Agents involved in the case were: Capt. Wesley Walker, Lt. Richie McCarthy, Sgts. Kenny Balkom, Troy Parker, Patrick Staggs and Mike Kelly, and Senior Agents Toby Meyers, Ryan Brasher, Jared McIver, and Agent Harold Dunn.
For more information contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at email@example.com or 225-765-2988.