A Port Sulphur man pleaded guilty on April 15 to his sixth offense of taking oysters in a polluted area and felony public intimidation of a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Agent.
Judge Michael C. Clement of the 25th Judicial District in Plaquemines Parish accepted the guilty plea from Jonathan K. Ragas, 51, and sentenced him to pay a $2,500 fine plus court costs, five years in parish prison suspended and probation for six years.
Judge Clement also revoked all of Ragas’ commercial and recreational licenses for two years. Ragas was also ordered to not be on a vessel that possesses oysters or any gear that takes oysters and he cannot act as deckhand on any commercial fishing vessel for those two years. After the two-year revocation, he cannot be on a vessel with oysters or gear to take oysters, or work on a vessel with oysters for a period of three years unless the vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring system that is monitored by LDWF.
The sentence stems from an incident when an LDWF agent and Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO) deputies caught Ragas harvesting polluted oysters for the sixth time in an area closed to the harvest of oysters by the Department of Health and Hospitals on March 20, 2013.
After the stop occurred, Ragas resisted and threatened the LDWF Agent with a hatchet that was on board.
Edward McGowan prosecuted the case for District Attorney Charles Ballay’s office.
LDWF Sgt. Adam Young and PPSO Marine Division deputies assisted in the stop.
Please remember that the deadline for the 2014 Environmental Education Student Art and Language Arts Contest is April 25, 2014. We are very excited to see all of your students' stories and artwork. Please use the form attached and send entries to the address below.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Environmental Education Section
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000
Contact Thomas Gresham at 225-765-0124 or email@example.com with any questions regarding the entries.
A Monterey man pleaded guilty and was sentenced on April 3 in Concordia Parish for illegally killing a Louisiana Black Bear.
Seventh Judicial District of Louisiana Judge Kathy Johnson took Duell Moreland's, 24, guilty plea and sentenced him to a $10,000 civil restitution fee for replacement value of the black bear, a $950 fine, $254 in court fees, two years of probation, 120 days in Concordia Parish Jail with 60 days suspended and 60 days mandatory, suspended his hunting license for five years and he cannot possess a firearm or bow for five years.
Moreland turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 18, 2013, for the illegal killing of a Louisiana Black Bear.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents got an arrest warrant for Moreland on Nov. 14, 2013. Agents began the investigation after receiving a mortality signal from a radio collared black bear that was a part of LDWF’s Black Bear Program. A mortality signal is sent after a certain amount of inactivity.
Upon arriving to the scene of the radio collar off of Pete Davis Road in Wildsville in Concordia Parish, agents found the collar and a burn pile next to the collar containing bear parts. Agents also noticed an abandoned broke down pickup truck on the property that they later found belonged to Moreland.
Agents interviewed the two leaseholders of the property whom both disclosed that Moreland was the person responsible for the illegal killing of the black bear. Agents seized a rifle and crossbow from Moreland’s truck and a knife from the scene.
Agents assisting in the case were Senior Agent Joey Merrill and US Fish and Wildlife Agents Mark Cupit and John Tarver.