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Two Men Plead Guilty to Federal Shark Violations

Release Date: 02/26/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents participated in a joint enforcement patrol that resulted in two men pleading guilty to violations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty to shark violations involving illegal finning and over the limit of sharks.  Shark “finning” is an illegal practice of removing the shark’s fins, which are the most profitable part of the shark, and then discarding the rest of the shark’s body overboard.

The pair were ordered to pay a fine to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) totaling $45,000.  The men were also placed on two years of probation and during which they agreed to not transfer any of their federal shark directed permits. They also further agreed that if they are determined to be in violation of any provision of the Magnusson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act during this two-year period, they will surrender all of their federal shark directed permits for a period of nine months.  Lastly the men had their Louisiana state shark permits and set line licenses revoked for life.

LDWF agents initially made contact with Nguyen and Tiet while responding to an anonymous complaint.  Agents stopped the vessel “Lady Lyanna” in Tiger Pass located in Venice in April 2012.

Agents found 11 whole sharks located on the deck and a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins totaling 2,073 fins.  The bodies of the fins found in the sacks were not found on the vessel.

The 2,073 individual fins represent a total of 518 sharks possessed by the two fishermen bringing the total number of sharks possessed to 529.  The daily commercial limit for sharks in Louisiana is 33 per vessel placing the two men 496 sharks over their daily limit.

Agents participating in the case were LDWF Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio and NOAA Special Agent Steve Campbell.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Agents Find Body of Grosse Tete Man

Release Date: 02/22/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents recovered the body of a missing boater on Feb. 19 in Iberville Parish.

Agents were notified around 1 p.m. on Feb. 19 about a 10 foot aluminum vessel found floating without an operator.  Agents then found the body of Donald Gage, 59, of Grosse Tete, around 1:45 p.m. in a borrow pit north of I-10 near Ramah.

Agents believe at this time that Gage was fishing when for unknown reasons fell out of his vessel.  Agents turned Gage’s body over to the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Gage was not wearing a personal flotation device when he was found.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Boating Incident Leads to Fatality in Sabine Parish

Release Date: 02/19/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred this morning, Feb. 19, on the Toledo Bend Reservoir in Sabine Parish.

The boating incident claimed the life of David W. McManus, 74, of Iowa.

According to eye witnesses and survivors of the incident two vessels were leaving out to go fishing from their camp in the Negreet Creek area around 7:15 a.m.  When the lead boat got up on plane it left a wake that caused the second boat to pitch violently ejecting McManus and the passenger into the water.

In the process of circling back to help McManus and his passenger, the lead vessel struck the now empty 15 foot aluminum vessel that was circling the men in the water.  The lead vessel was able to retrieve McManus who was unresponsive.  A local fishermen who was nearby was able to retrieve the passenger from the water.  The rescuers were then able to get back to the shore, call 911 for help and render aid to the unresponsive McManus.

First responders pronounced McManus dead at the shore.  The passenger was airlifted to University Health Hospital in Shreveport and was listed in stable condition.  McManus’ body was turned over to the Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office to determine the official cause of death.

When LDWF agents arrived on the scene they were able to get control of the empty vessel and recover it from the water.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Neither McManus nor his passenger were wearing personal flotation devices or a kill switch.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Lafayette Parish Men Cited For Filing Fraudulent Homemade Boat Registration Applications

Release Date: 02/19/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited four Louisiana men on Feb. 12 for alleged fraudulent homemade boat registration applications.

In two separate cases agents cited Brodie Wilson, 25, of Broussard, Dennis Anderson, 49, of Youngsville, Charles Jackson, 47, of Lafayette, and Richard Messa, 49, of Broussard, for injuring public records.  Agents also cited Wilson, Anderson and Jackson for filing false public records.

During the required LDWF Agent homemade boat inspections, agents found that the two aluminum vessels that Wilson and Jackson were trying to register contained fraudulent registration documents. 

Agents learned that Messa altered documents after selling his vessel to Jackson to illegally help Jackson get the vessel registered.  Agents also found that Anderson and Wilson worked together to create a fraudulent notarized bill of sale with false material receipts to attempt to get the vessel registered.

Injuring public records and filing false public records are felonies and both bring up to five years in jail with or without hard labor and up to a $5,000 fine for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ryan Faul, Sgt. Mitch Darby, Senior Agent David Boudreaux and Senior Agent Allan Marbury.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Lafayette Parish Men Cited for Hunting Violations

Release Date: 02/16/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited two Duson men on Feb. 12 for alleged hunting violations in Lafayette Parish.

Agents cited Lane K. Leblanc, 19, of Duson, for hunting ducks and geese during closed seasons, hunting without a basic license, hunting without state duck license and hunting without a federal duck stamp.  Agents also cited Austin J. Credeur, 19, of Rayne, for hunting without a basic hunting license.

LDWF agents were responding to a complaint about possible illegal hunting activity taking place behind a residence in Lafayette Parish. Upon arrival agents met two individuals at the residence.

After an investigation agents learned that Credeur harvested a snipe during the hunt and Leblanc two wood ducks and a white fronted goose.

Hunting ducks during a closed season, hunting geese during a closed season and hunting without a federal duck stamp each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting without a basic hunting license and state duck license each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Leblanc may also each face civil restitution totaling 104.80 for the illegally taken wood ducks and white fronted goose.  Agents seized the snipe, wood ducks and white fronted goose.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ryan Faul and Senior Agent David Boudreaux.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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Two Men Cited For Red Drum Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 02/12/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents cited two men for alleged red drum violations in Port Sulphur on Feb. 11.

Agents cited Byron Turner, 35, of Port Sulphur, and Raishon Hingle, 18, of Labadieville, for possessing undersized red drum, possessing over 10 red drum, angling without a basic fishing license and angling without a saltwater license.

Agents received a complaint about two men trespassing on Plaquemines Parish property at a pump station located on West Paula Drive in Port Sulphur.  Upon responding to the complaint, agents found the vehicle that matched the description given in a parking lot in Port Sulphur.

Agents found Turner and Hingle in the vehicle possessing undersized red drum.  Turner and Hingle then took agents to a residence where the rest of the fish were being kept.

Agents found 23 more red drum at the residence bringing the total to 33 red drum of which ten were under the legal size limit of 16 inches.  Each man was only allowed five drum per day putting them 23 red drum over the minimum limit.  The penalty for over the limit of red drum is stricter for anyone possessing 10 or more red drum.  Both men were also unable to produce valid basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Possessing over 10 red drum carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking undersized red drum brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Angling without a basic or saltwater license each carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  The men will also be assessed civil restitution in the amount of $608.81 for the illegally taken fish.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, Senior Agent Travis Bartlett and Agent Blaine Wagner.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

West Monroe Man Cited for Deer Tagging Violations

Release Date: 02/10/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited a West Monroe man on Feb. 5 for alleged deer hunting violations in Lincoln Parish.

Agents cited Kenneth Cook, 67, for deer tagging violations on one antlered deer and one antlerless deer.

LDWF agents were alerted by an anonymous complaint about Cook taking an antlered deer and using someone else’s tag on Dec 10, 2015.  Agents met up with Cook on Feb. 5 when Cook admitted to using his wife’s tag on the antlered deer.

After further investigation, agents also learned that Cook harvested an antlerless deer on Oct 1, 2015 and failed to validate the deer in the required seven day period.

Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Josh Harris, Sgt. Patrick Staggs and Lt. Thomas Risser.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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