Enforcement

Fundraising efforts ongoing for Wildlife agent Tyler Wheeler

Release Date: 01/11/2017

Fundraising efforts ongoing for Wildlife agent Tyler Wheeler

There is now a t-shirt selling campaign and special fund established to help Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler’s family with medical bills and expenses.

Wheeler is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds suffered while making a traffic stop early Saturday morning. The 25-year-old agent was shot in the arm, shoulder, jaw and head. Two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

According to a recent Facebook entry, Wheeler’s father, Darren Wheeler posted “Thanks for everything and all the prayers. That old saying, ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ I guess he (Tyler Wheeler) is answering our question.”

According to the Monroe News Star newspaper, over $21,000 has been raised through the t-shirt selling campaign. Shirts can be ordered, according to the newspaper, until Jan. 23 and will arrive Feb. 8. Prices vary based on the style ordered. For more information regarding the fundraiser, visit www.booster.com/tylerwheeler

A fund has also been established by the Louisiana Wildlife Agents’ Association, a nonprofit corporation which seeks to protect and promote the welfare and interest of all classified commissioned wildlife agents, active or retired.

 

The account is set up under the LWAA c/o Tyler Wheeler. According the newspaper, anyone who wants to donated can visit any Capital One location and make a deposit to account number 2082047754. Funds generated will be used to assist with medical expenses incurred by the Wheeler family.

Single Vessel Boating Incident Claims Life of Pierre Part Man

Release Date: 01/10/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a boating fatality in Assumption Parish.

The boating fatality occurred in the Belle River sometime before 9 p.m. on Jan. 9 and claimed the life of Aaron Vickrey, 31, of Pierre Part.

Agents were notified around 9 p.m. of a single boating incident.  It appears at this time that Vickrey was travelling south in a 16-foot aluminum vessel in the Belle River before striking a pier ejecting him from the vessel.  Witnesses were able to recover Vickrey’s body from the water and to the shore where they were able to call 911 for help.

When emergency medical personnel arrived Vickrey was unconscious and attempts to bring him back were unsuccessful.  Vickrey’s body was turned over to the Assumption Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Vickrey was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of this boating incident.

Update from Interim Secretary Patrick Banks Regarding LDWF Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler

Release Date: 01/09/2017

Today at a joint press conference in Quachita Parish with Gov. John Bel Edwards, State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson and other law enforcement officials, LDWF Interim Secretary Patrick Banks provided an update on LDWF Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler.

“Everyone at our agency is praying for Senior Agent Wheeler and his family.  We are all stunned by this cowardly act and very proud of the law enforcement team bringing the suspects to justice,” said Interim LDWF Secretary Patrick Banks.

“We received some good news this morning by Agent Wheeler’s father.   He is responding well to treatment, and is able to respond to the commands of his family and hospital staff by making movements and squeezing hands."

“Our agency is strong, and is built on these brave men and women who protect us all.  The whole of our agency, brave enforcement agents, talented scientists and dedicated public servants are praying with that strength for Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler today.  We are grateful for his service."

 

“We are pleased with the progress and recovery of Senior Agent Wheeler, we will continue our work to ensure he and his family get the justice they deserve,” said LDWF Col. Joey Broussard.

Suspect Who Shot LDWF Agent Arrested for Attempted 1st Degree Murder

Release Date: 01/08/2017

Amethyst Baird

On Saturday, January 7, 2017 a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was shot in the line of duty while on patrol in Morehouse Parish.

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler was shot multiple times during a vehicle stop on US 165 in Morehouse Parish just north of the Ouachita Parish line.

Louisiana State Police Detectives began investigating the shooting and evidence was quickly discovered that lead to the arrest of 31-year-old Amethyst Baird of Monroe.  Baird was charged and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center on one count of Attempted 1st Degree Murder of a Police Officer for the shooting of Senior Agent Wheeler.

Also, during the course of this investigation, it was discovered that 34-year-old Jeremy Gullette of Monroe, LA assisted Baird in this crime.  Gullette was charged and booked at the Ouachita Correctional Center on one count of Accessory After the Fact to Attempted 1st Degree Murder.

“We are very pleased that the suspected shooter and her accomplice are in custody at this time.” said LDWF Col. Joey Broussard.  “Now we hope that Senior Agent Wheeler continues his recovery progress and that he and his family get the justice they deserve for this senseless shooting.”

Senior Agent Wheeler is listed in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the LSU Health Shreveport Trauma Center.

Louisiana State Police is handling the investigation into the shooting with assistance from the LDWF Enforcement Division.

Wheeler has been an LDWF agent for two and a half years and is married with one child.

Shot LDWF Agent Listed in Stable Condition

Release Date: 01/07/2017

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent is listed in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the LSU Health Shreveport Trauma Center after being shot in the line of duty.

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, of Monroe, was shot five times including once in the temple, jaw, shoulder and twice in the arm.  Wheeler was shot while performing a vehicle stop at 2:06 a.m. on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in the Perryville area.

“Whoever committed this heinous act was shooting to kill.  Luckily Senior Agent Wheeler has displayed the type of courage, toughness and determination it takes to hopefully survive this senseless and cowardly shooting.” said LDWF Enforcement Division Col. Joey Broussard.  “We are encouraged by the hospital updates that say he is in stable condition and responsive to commands.  We will be by Senior Agent Wheelers’ side throughout his recovery and our prayers will remain with him and his family.”

Louisiana State Police is handling the investigation into the shooting with assistance from the LDWF Enforcement Division.

Wheeler has been an LDWF agent for two and a half years and is married with one child.

LDWF Agent Shot Multiple Times in Morehouse Parish

Release Date: 01/07/2017

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent was shot in the line of duty while on patrol in Morehouse Parish in the early morning hours of Jan. 7.

At 2:06 a.m. Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, of Monroe, performed a vehicle stop in the south bound lane of Hwy. 165 in between Sterlington and Bastrop in the Perryville area.  During the vehicle stop, Wheeler was shot multiple times.

Another LDWF agent was a short distance from the traffic stop and arrived on scene around 2:15 a.m. when he found Wheeler on the ground.  He was able to radio a distress call to LDWF dispatch, secure the scene, notify local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and render assistance to Wheeler.

EMS arrived on scene and were able to stabilize Wheeler and prepare him for air transport.  Wheeler was airlifted around 4 a.m. to the LSU Health Shreveport Trauma Center for immediate treatment.  It is unknown at this time the extent of Wheeler’s injuries.

Authorities are currently looking for the shooting suspect at this time.  Louisiana State Police will be handling the investigation into the shooting with assistance from the LDWF Enforcement Division.

Wheeler has been an LDWF agent for two and a half years and is married with one child.

Agents Cite Five Men for Deer Hunting Violations in Ouachita Parish

Release Date: 01/06/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited five men for alleged deer hunting violations in Ouachita Parish.

Agents cited Joe Willis, 37, of West Monroe, Dana J. Murray, 66, of Monroe, and Bert T. Willis, 62, of St. John, Fla., for possession of an untagged deer on Dec. 12.  Joe Willis was also cited for hunting deer during illegal hours, possession of an illegally taken deer, and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents also cited John Pineda, 32, of Benton, Ark., and Edward Grant Jr., 22, of Bryant, Ark., for hunting without non-resident basic and big game hunting licenses, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, criminal trespassing and possession of an illegally taken deer on Dec. 14.

Agents received a tip on Dec. 12 about night hunters on Whitewood Road in West Monroe.  Agents arrived on scene and stopped a vehicle near a hunting camp and found an eight-point and seven-point deer head in the bed of the truck.  The driver of the vehicle, Joe Willis, admitted to shooting a deer in a field across from the camp at night with aid of a spotlight that did not belong to one of the antlered deer heads in the back of the truck.

Agents then escorted Joe Willis back to the camp where they came into contact with Bert Willis and Murray.  Agents then found an ice chest with quartered up deer meat, of which the men claimed as theirs.  They then found another ice chest with more quartered up deer meat with no possession tags, of which the men said belonged to Grant and Pineda.

Joe Willis then stated that he legally killed the eight-point deer on his land in Luna.  He then stated the seven-point deer was shot by his friend, Grant, across the river from the camp on Dec. 11.  He also admitted to Pineda harvesting an antlerless deer behind the camp on Dec. 11.  Willis also stated that Grant and Pineda already went back to Arkansas.

Agents then found that Joe Willis had not tagged three antlered deer from earlier in the season that he admitted to taking.  Agents seized Willis' 30-30 rifle, spotlight and all the deer meat.

Agents contacted Arkansas Game and Fish agents whom interviewed Grant and Pineda on Dec. 14 in relation to the incident of the two deer they shot in Louisiana.  They both admitted to killing the deer without licenses.  Grant also stated that he and Pineda went across the river in a boat and retrieved one of the deer from private property.  LDWF agents were then able to issue citations for Grant and Pineda.

Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and hunting without non-resident and big game hunting licenses each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 30 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

The men may also face civil restitution totaling $4,872 for three illegally taken deer.

Criminal trespassing brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Sean Moreau and Agent Tyler Wheeler and Arkansas Game and Fish agents.

Two Greensburg Men Cited for Numerous Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/03/2017

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent cited two Greensburg men for alleged deer hunting violations in St. Helena Parish on Dec. 22, 2016.

LDWF Sgt. Toby Miller cited Rogelio Perez, 52, and Ben Avants, 54, for hunting deer during illegal hours, without wearing hunter’s orange, and possessing illegally taken deer.  Perez was also cited for failing to meet deer tagging requirements, taking over the daily limit of deer, intentional littering, taking deer illegally during an open season, selling deer meat, taking over the season limit of deer, concealing wildlife and failing to maintain sexual deer identification.

Agents received an anonymous tip about Perez illegally selling deer meat from deer he harvested at night in St. Helena Parish.  After a month long investigation Sgt. Miller was able to question Perez at his residence on Dec. 19 about a couple of deer he was skinning in his shed that were later revealed to have been taken on the same day.  Perez also tried to conceal an antlered deer’s head.

During questioning, Perez admitted to taking 11 deer at night in St. Helena Parish with Avants, night vision and a flashlight attached to his .270 rifle.  He also took two deer during the day giving him a total of nine antlered deer and four antlerless deer since Nov. 19.  Hunters are only allowed to take three antlered and three antlerless deer per season putting Perez seven over the daily limit.

Sgt. Miller questioned Avants on Dec. 22 and he admitted to going hunting with Perez eight different times and also helping with cleaning the deer.  Perez also admitted to selling eight deer and throwing the deer carcasses in a ditch.

Sgt. Miller seized two whole deer, two sets of antlers, the night vision and rifle with attached flashlight.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light and intentional concealment of wildlife each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Possession of illegally taken deer and taking deer illegally during an open season each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Taking over the daily and season limit of deer and failing to maintain sexual identification each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and to wear hunter’s orange each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Selling and purchasing deer meat brings a $500 to $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail for the first offense.  For all subsequent offenses, Perez faces a $750 to $1,000 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Intentional littering carries up to a $500 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter-abatement work program.

Perez may also face civil restitution totaling $21,521 for the 13 illegally taken deer.

LDWF Enforcement Agent Assaulted During Arrest of Fleeing Suspect

Release Date: 12/28/2016

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents was assaulted while arresting a fleeing suspect involved in a vehicle accident and attempted carjacking in Evangeline Parish on Dec. 27.

Mario Juan Cardenas, 19, of St. Landry, was arrested for resisting an officer by flight, resisting an officer with force or violence, battery of a police officer, carjacking, possession of marijuana and illegal possession of Xanax.  He was booked into jail at the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Dec. 27 around 11 a.m. LDWF Sgt. Scott Fontenot was checking duck hunters near St. Landry when one of the hunters advised him of a car that had flipped over on LA Hwy. 3042.  Sgt. Fontenot responded to the scene of the incident and observed the driver was no longer present.  Sgt. Fontenot drove further down the road and located the driver, Cardenas, who was walking along Hwy 3042.

Sgt. Fontenot attempted to stop Cardenas who then fled on foot.  Cardenas then attempted to carjack a vehicle occupied by an elderly woman and her granddaughter.  While Cardenas attempted to pull the elderly woman out of her truck, Sgt. Fontenot caught up to him.  Cardenas then charged at Sgt. Fontenot and struck him in the head.  Sgt. Fontenot was then able to discharge his Taser Electronic Control Weapon to subdue Cardenas and arrest him.

Sgt. Fontenot then found marijuana and Xanax in Cardenas’ pockets after the arrest.  Additional charges may also be pending based on the results of the investigation by Louisiana State Police into the vehicle accident.

Resisting an officer by flight brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Resisting an officer with force or violence carries up to a $2,000 fine and one to three years in jail.  Battery of a police officer brings up to a $500 fine and 14 days to six months in jail.  Carjacking brings two to 20 years in jail.  Possession of marijuana carries up to a $500 fine and six months of jail.  Possession of Xanax brings up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

LDWF Agents Arrest Two Convicted Felons

Release Date: 12/06/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two Mount Herman men on Dec. 3 in Washington Parish.

Agents arrested Teddie Williams, 26, and Catlin Williams, 21, for possessing a stolen firearm, being convicted felons and possessing a firearm, hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting deer from a public road and moving vehicle, hunting without basic season and big game hunting licenses and deer tags.

Agents received information about gunfire at night northwest of Franklinton.  Agents setup surveillance off of Jim Edwards Rd. and observed the Williams’ in the vehicle driving slowly while spotlighting the fields and ditches.  Upon contact and further investigation, the Williams’ admitted to the illegal deer hunting.  Agents also found out that the Williams’ were convicted felons and in possession of a stolen .270 rifle.

Agents booked the men into the Washington Parish Jail where more charges may be pending for the theft of the rifle.

Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years of jail.  Possession of a stolen firearm brings one to five years of jail.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting deer from a public road and without deer tags each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Hunting deer without a basic season and big game hunting licenses each carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Darryl Galloway, Sgt. Toby Miller and Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies.

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