General

Content tagged with general will appear on the About LDWF Page.

LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 9 New Agents at Graduation

Release Date: 06/29/2016

LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 9 New Agents at Graduation
LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 9 New Agents at Graduation

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, June 29, graduated its 30th class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.

After six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, nine newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.

LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.  “We feel that the six months of training you received in the academy will make you an outstanding agent in the field,” said Melancon as he addressed the class.  “The job you hold is very important as you are the last line of defense in ensuring our wildlife and fishery management plans are carried out so that future generations can enjoy everything Louisiana has to offer.”

Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadets’ transition to commissioned agents official.  “We welcome these cadets into the Enforcement Division ranks.  They will now shift into phase two of their careers as they get real hands on experience during the next six months when they are assigned to a field training officer in their respective regions.”

The nine new agents are:

Michael Cook, 29, of Shreveport, assigned to Caddo Parish
Joshua DiBenedetto, 30, of Winnfield, assigned to Winn Parish
James Gregory, 28, of Hornbeck, assigned to Vernon Parish
Tib Guillory, 24, of Ville Platte, assigned to Allen Parish
Steven Jackson, 27, of Pontchatoula, assigned to St. James Parish
Austin Landry, 22, of Metairie, assigned to St. Charles Parish
Joshua Laviolette, 31, of Metairie, assigned to Jefferson Parish
Joshua LeBouef, 27, of Baton Rouge, assigned to East Baton Rouge Parish
Jared Riddle, 23, of Baker, assigned to Catahoula Parish

During the graduation ceremony, Landry received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class.  Laviolette received the physical training award for being the most fit.  Jackson received the academic award for having the highest grades.  Laviolette won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.

The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty.  Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations.  These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.

Single Boat Incident in Livingston Parish Leads to Fatality

Release Date: 06/26/2016

Search and rescue personnel recovered a Prarieville man from the Blood River on June 25 following a single boat incident.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents recovered the body of Larry Andre Jr., 59, around 10:15 p.m.  LDWF agents then transported Andre Jr. to land for transport to the North Oaks Hospital in Hammond where he was pronounced dead.

According to Andre Jr.'s wife who was the passenger in the vessel, Andre Jr. was travelling on Blood River when he collided with a bulkhead and subsequently trees ejecting him into the water around 9:55 p.m.  Andre Jr. suffered serious head trauma upon entering the water.  His wife remained in the vessel and suffered some minor injuries.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Andre Jr. was not wearing a personal flotation device.  Andre Jr.'s body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner's Office to determine an official cause of death.  LDWF agents took blood from Andre Jr. for a toxicology report.  LDWF believes that alcohol played a significant factor in this boating incident at this time.

The Livingston Parish Fire Department was also at the boating incident scene and assisted in recovery efforts.

Four Men Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 06/24/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four men for alleged oyster violations on June 22 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Ernesto Frederick-Valentin, 45, Carlos Treminio, 31, Marshal Palacios, 35, all of New Orleans, and Casey Billiot, 24, of Houma, for unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and from an unapproved area.  Agents also cited the Frederick-Valentin for not possessing a commercial gear license for the dredge at the time of the stop.
Agents received an anonymous tip about four people taking oysters off of a private lease without permission in Bay Marlene.  Upon arriving on the scene agents discovered the area was also located inside a polluted area for taking oysters.  Agents then made contact with the four subjects and found them actively dredging for oysters in the area.

Agents seized nine sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.  They also seized the vessel and dredge on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters off a private lease and taking oysters from an unapproved area each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department 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 with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Dean Aucoin and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 06/23/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

“Alcohol use and operating a vessel don’t mix.  We want people to treat a boat the same way they would a vehicle when it comes to having a sober operator.” said LDWF Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to come home safely.”

Louisiana had 22 boating fatalities in 2014 with alcohol playing a role in four fatalities or 17 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2015 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued three DWI citations to boat operators during the 2015 Operation Dry Water weekend and five DWI citations during the same weekend in 2014.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

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.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Second Man Sentenced for Downed Trees on Spring Bayou WMA

Release Date: 06/20/2016

Another man was sentenced on June 16 in 12th Judicial District Court in Avoyelles Parish for his part in the cutting down of trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Judge William Bennett sentenced Allen Gaspard, 62, of Marksville, to serve two years in jail suspended, to pay $20,000 in civil restitution to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), $400 in court costs and $250 for criminal court fund.  Gaspard was also given five years of probation during which time he will not be allowed on any WMA and not allowed to possess recreational hunting or fishing licenses.

Gaspard is the second man convicted for the cutting down of trees in an effort to block navigation to hunting areas on the Spring Bayou WMA.  Keith Savoy, 49, of Hessmer, was found guilty on March 2 and sentenced on April 11 in 2016.

Judge William Bennett sentenced Savoy to serve two years in jail suspended, to pay $15,000 in civil restitution to LDWF, $2,500 fine, $750 for the cost of prosecution and $400 in court costs.  Savoy was also given five years of probation during which time he will not be allowed on any WMA and not allowed to possess recreational hunting or fishing licenses.

Savoy and Gaspard cut over 100 trees in December of 2014 in the northeast corner of Spring Bayou WMA to block navigable access to an area known as the “fields” where they regularly hunted.  The trees Savoy and Gaspard cut down ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches in diameter and up to 50 foot tall including cypress, oak and willow trees.

LDWF agents arrested Savoy in March of 2015 and Gaspard in October of 2015 for criminal damage to state property.

Avoyelles District Attorney Charles Riddle and Assistant District Attorney Tony Salario prosecuted the cases.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. John Volentine, Sgts. Gabe Guidry, Chad Watts and Bear Fletcher, and Senior Agents Doug Anderson Jr., Jay Callegari, Heath Wood, Kurt Hatten, Dale Wheat, Kenny Robertson and John Hattaway.  Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Smith and Detective Jeremiah Honea also assisted in the case.

Single Boat Incident Leads to Fatality in St. Landry Parish

Release Date: 06/17/2016

Search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the deceased body of an Arnaudville man from a St. Landry Parish waterway on June 16.

Search and rescue crews recovered the body of Arron M. Baber, 22, around 10:15 p.m. on June 16.  Authorities received word around 8:30 p.m. of a single boat incident on Bayou D’Arbonne.

According to the operator of the 14 foot aluminum vessel he and Baber were traversing Bayou D’Arbonne when they got distracted and the vessel struck a railroad bridge piling in the water ejecting Baber into the piling and water.

The operator was able to swim back to the bank to a witness of the incident and call authorities.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Agents sent in a toxicology test on both the operator and Baber.  Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device.  Baber’s body was turned over to the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.

Authorities Find Body of Missing Boater in Vermilion Parish

Release Date: 06/16/2016

Search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard found the deceased body of a missing boater in Vermilion Parish today, June 16.

Search and rescue crews retrieved the body of Ernest Hebert, 79, of New Iberia around 5 p.m. about a half mile from the Oaks Canal in Vermilion Bay.

Search and rescue crews received a call around noon about the missing boater.  The crews learned that a boat had sunk in Vermilion Bay outside of Oaks Canal along the Northshore of Vermilion Parish earlier in the morning with two people on board.

One of the boaters was rescued by a Good Samaritan shortly before noon.  Once on board the Good Samaritan’s vessel, the rescued boater was able to relay information to authorities that Hebert was missing.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Hebert was found without a personal flotation device.  LDWF will continue to search for the sunken vessel, which is believed to be an aluminum flat bottom vessel.

Hebert’s body was turned over to the Vermilion Parish Coroner’s Office.

Authorities Find Body of Missing Boater in Vermilion Parish

Release Date: 06/16/2016

Search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard found the deceased body of a missing boater in Vermilion Parish today, June 16.

Search and rescue crews retrieved the body of Ernest Hebert, 79, of New Iberia around 5 p.m. about a half mile from the Oaks Canal in Vermilion Bay.

Search and rescue crews received a call around noon about the missing boater.  The crews learned that a boat had sunk in Vermilion Bay outside of Oaks Canal along the Northshore of Vermilion Parish earlier in the morning with two people on board.

One of the boaters was rescued by a Good Samaritan shortly before noon.  Once on board the Good Samaritan’s vessel, the rescued boater was able to relay information to authorities that Hebert was missing.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Hebert was found without a personal flotation device.  LDWF will continue to search for the sunken vessel, which is believed to be an aluminum flat bottom vessel.

Hebert’s body was turned over to the Vermilion Parish Coroner’s Office.

Syndicate content