Enforcement

Plaquemines Parish Man Arrested on Deer Violations

Release Date: 06/11/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Buras man on June 6 for deer hunting violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents arrested Blake J. Rigby, 25, for hunting without a bow license, failing to comply with deer harvest record requirements, intentional concealment of illegal wildlife and violating interstate commerce regulations.

In October of 2018, LDWF agents received a complaint about Rigby taking a deer off the Delta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).  Agents made contact with Rigby and he admitted to taking the deer with a bow without having a bow license and without reporting the deer.  Rigby also told agents that the illegally taken deer was in Alabama at a taxidermist.

LDWF agents obtained an arrest warrant for Rigby on these charges and he turned himself in on June 6.

Intentional concealment of illegal fish or wildlife and violating the interstate commerce regulations each carries a $900 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer reporting requirements brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without a bow license carries a up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Rigby may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Des Allemands Man Cited for Crabbing Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Des Allemands man for alleged commercial fishing violations in Port Sulphur located in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Ryk A. Frickey, 42, for illegal possession of undersized crabs and immature female crabs.

Agents stopped Frickey on the Mississippi River with twelve crates of crabs estimated to be 1,200 pounds.  Agents inspected the crabs and found four crates containing over 20 percent of undersized crabs and all 12 crates containing up to 22 percent of immature female crabs.

Possession of over 20 percent of undersized crabs carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this law shall, in addition to any other penalties imposed, have his crab trap gear license suspended for six months and shall not engage in any activity requiring a crab trap gear license during the period in which he is prohibited from applying for a new license.

Possessing immature female crabs carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents seized and returned all 12 crates of crab to the water.

Search and Rescue Crews Locate Missing Man in St. Tammany Parish

Release Date: 06/03/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO) deputies performed a successful search and rescue on May 30 in St. Tammany Parish.

LDWF agents and STPSO deputies were called around 3:30 p.m. about a missing man lost on or near the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area.

Agents and deputies responded to the scene and learned that two men were riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on a trail on the WMA in order to access some private property that was just purchased.  After the ATV couldn’t get any further because the brush was too thick, the property owner decided to leave the ATV and the other man behind and try to access his property on foot around 11 a.m.

The agents and deputies began searching for the missing 65-year-old Lacombe man around 4 p.m.  After a few hours, the rescuers and the missing man were able to hear each other in the distance.

The agents and deputies with the help of a K-9 unit were able to reach the man around 8:15 p.m.  When the rescuers found the man he was dehydrated and tired and they were only able to walk in 20 to 50 yards segments before taking a break.

The rescuers were able to get the missing man back to Oil Field Road around midnight where Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel were waiting to offer assistance.  The man was checked by EMS personnel and released.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Tangipahoa Parish

Release Date: 06/02/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in Tangipahoa Parish on June 1.

The body of Freddie Richardson, 51, of Baton Rouge, was recovered from the Tickfaw River around 6 p.m.

According to the operator, Richardson was a passenger in a 19-foot fiberglass boat when they went over a wake causing their vessel to violently turn to the right.  Richardson was ejected into the water without wearing a personal flotation device.

His body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

LDWF, the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Livingston Parish Fire Department participated in the search.

Three Men Cited for Recreational Fishing Violations in Lafourche Parish

Release Date: 05/30/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged recreational fishing violations in Lafourche Parish on May 23.

Agents cited Westley Wood, 22, of Columbus, Miss., Reginald Marks, 56, of Lafayette, and Adrian Alexander, 38, of Gray, for failure to keep saltwater fish intact, possessing red snapper during a closed season and over the limit of red snapper.  Wood was also cited for not possessing non resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses.  Marks was also cited for not possessing basic and saltwater fishing licenses and possessing gray triggerfish during a closed season.

The season for red snapper opened on May 24 with a limit of two red snapper per day per licensed fisherman.  The season for gray triggerfish closed on May 11.

Agents had received a tip about an oil supply boat that possessed fish illegally.  They were able to stop the vessel in Belle Pass and found 24 red snapper filets, three and a half pounds of cut up gray triggerfish meat and 17 pounds of cut up red snapper meat.

During questioning, Marks admitted to taking six red snapper and the gray triggerfish.  Wood and Alexander admitted to taking three red snapper a piece and the cut up red snapper meat.

Failing to keep saltwater fish intact brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking over the limit of red snapper and taking red snapper during a closed season each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to possess nonresident basic and saltwater fishing licenses brings up to a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Failing to possess basic and saltwater fishing licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Marks may also face civil restitution totaling up to $180 for the replacement value of the illegally taken grey triggerfish and red snapper.  Wood and Alexander may also face civil restitution totaling up to $112 a piece for the replacement value of the illegally taken red snapper.

Seven Cited For Red Snapper Violations During Opening Weekend

Release Date: 05/28/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited seven individuals for alleged fishing violations during the opening weekend of the recreational red snapper season in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

Agents cited James Allen, 55, of Pass Christian; Micheal Keel, 55, of Slidell; Shantelle Petrovich, 37, of Belle Chasse; Charles McNulty, 35, of Tampa, Florida; Gerald Popejoy IV, 27, of Pinellas Park, Florida; and Kristofer Haddon, 40, of Holiday, Florida; for over the daily limit of red snapper.

Keel was also cited for intentional concealment of illegal fish when agents found him attempting to sink a red snapper that was over the limit.

Agents also cited Joseph Bellande, 40, of Meraux, for possessing two red snapper without basic and saltwater fishing licenses and not having a recreational offshore landing permit.

Agents found Allen in possession of three red snapper, Keel with four red snapper, Petrovich with seven red snapper, and McNulty, Popejoy and Park in possession of three snapper a piece.  The daily possession limit of red snapper is two per licensed fisherman.

Agents seized the 15 red snapper that were over the limit.

Taking over the limit of red snapper carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Intentional concealment brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possessing fish without the required licenses and not having the required recreational offshore landing permit carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Three Terrebonne Men Cited For Harvesting Oysters in Polluted Waters

Release Date: 05/23/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three oyster fisherman for alleged oyster harvester violations on May 22 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Luis Zarraga-Flores, 40, Jose Dolores Vega Hernandez, 25, and Manuel Mendoza Vega, 34, all from Houma, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents observed the three subjects harvesting oysters with two oyster scrapers in Bay Antoine in lower Terrebonne Parish.  The area was located in an unapproved polluted location.

Agents seized 15 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

LDWF Agents Cite Two Men For Federal Violations in Gulf of Mexico

Release Date: 05/22/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged commercial fishing violations on May 15 in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Agents cited Nghia Van, 53, and Trang Le, 46, both of Boothville La, for violating federal shrimp permit regulations, turtle excluder device regulations and the Endangered Species Act.  Van was also cited for violation of the Marine Mammal Act.

Agents were on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when they made contact with both subjects who were actively shrimping in the Exclusive Economic Zone south of Terrebonne Parish without possessing a federal shrimp permit.

Upon further investigation, agents found an endangered and deceased loggerhead sea turtle onboard the shrimping vessel.  During questioning, the subjects admitted to dragging their nets continuously for about two hours.  Regulations require skimming vessels to pick their nets up after 55 minutes in lieu of using turtle excluder devices.

Agents followed the vessel into port and seized 1,626 pounds of shrimp.  A search was then conducted on the vessel and two dolphin skulls were found onboard the vessel.

The case has been referred to NOAA Office of Law Enforcement for prosecution.

LDWF Agents Cite Two Louisiana Men for Turkey Hunting Violations

Release Date: 05/17/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged turkey hunting violations on May 16 in Rapides Parish.

Agents cited David Poston, 31, of Woodworth, and Darrell Cole, 29, of Boyce, for hunting turkey without basic season, big game and turkey hunting licenses, hunting turkey with a rifle, hunting turkey during a closed season and possession of an illegally taken turkey.  Poston was also cited for taking an alligator without a license and during a closed season, taking a bobcat without a basic season and big game hunting license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Agents were on patrol when they made contact with Poston on Bayou Boeuf off of North Lake Road.  Agents observed blood and turkey feathers in the back of his truck.

After further investigation and questioning, Poston told agents that a turkey was harvested by Cole with a .17 caliber rifle on May 10.  Agents were able to confirm with Cole that he took the turkey illegally, during a closed season and without the proper hunting licenses.  Turkey season closed for this area of the state on May 5.

Poston also admitted to harvesting an alligator on March 26 and another alligator on May 13 without a license and during a closed season.  He also admitted to taking a bobcat on March 22 without a license.

Agents also found Poston in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Hunting turkey during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken turkey and taking an alligator during a closed season each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting turkey and alligators without a license and hunting turkey with a rifle each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without basic season and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Cole may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken turkey totaling $1,539.  Poston may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken alligators and bobcat totaling $778.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 18-24

Release Date: 05/16/2019

The state of Louisiana has issued a proclamation that recognizes May 18-24 as “Safe Boating Week” in Louisiana, which signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.

Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.  LDWF regulations also state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.

For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.  Since the safe boating course’s inception in 2003, over 110,000 boaters have been certified in Louisiana.

In 2018, Louisiana reported 20 boating fatalities.  So far, in 2019 Louisiana has reported five fatalities.

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