Three Men Arrested for Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 04/15/2019

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agent along with St. Bernard Deputies arrested three men for alleged commercial fishing violations on April 9 in St. Bernard Parish.

An LDWF agent, with assistance from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office, arrested Raymond Nehlig Jr ,35, of Violet, Kenneth Marrero, 42, of St. Bernard, and Brandon Perez, 32, of Meraux, for unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission.  Nehlig Jr was also cited for operating a vessel while under license suspension and taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license.  Perez was also cited for resisting an officer and flight from an officer.

An LDWF agent was on patrol south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet channel when he observed a vessel actively dredging for oysters in Lake Coquille around 1 p.m. on April 9.  The agent made contact with the subjects on the vessel and determined they were dredging on a lease without permission.

As the agent was following the vessel back for arrest and booking purposes, Perez  jumped from the vessel and swam towards the marsh near Hopedale Bayou.  The agent with St. Bernard Parish deputies were able to apprehend Perez.

All three men were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.

Unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission both carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to have a gear license brings up to a $500 and 90 days in jail.  Operating under license suspension carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  Resisting an officer and flight from an officer each carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail for each offense.

The men could also face having their oyster harvester license revoked by LDWF for up to one year. Violators can be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only harvest oysters from a vessel equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.