Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Mississippi man for alleged possession of stolen property on March 3.
Agents arrested Donald Juan, 36, of Picayune, Miss., after finding him in possession of two stolen personal watercrafts and a trailer that belonged to a New Orleans man.
The personal watercrafts and trailer were reported stolen in the summer of 2013. LDWF agents received an anonymous tip that the stolen watercrafts were located in Slidell in St. Tammany Parish in February of 2015.
After further investigation, agents were able to trace the personal watercrafts back to Juan. Agents booked him into the St. Tammany Parish Jail and seized the personal watercrafts and trailer.
It is unknown at this time who was responsible for stealing the personal watercrafts and trailer in 2013. Agents believe that Juan fully knew they were stolen when he acquired the stolen property.
Possession of stolen property brings up to a $3,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.
Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Michael Marquez and Mike Williams.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Chalmette men for alleged oyster harvesting and drug violations on Feb. 25 in St. Bernard Parish.
Agents arrested Oliver Rudesill Jr, 33, and Tracy Gallardo Jr., 23, for several oyster, boating safety and drug violations after a boating safety inspection.
After observing a large skiff come into the Reggio Marina with improper running lights, LDWF agents performed a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, agents found 28 sacks of oysters and learned that Rudesill Jr. is on probation until May of 2016 because of prior oyster harvesting violations. Agents also learned that Rudesill Jr. did not have a working Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that was part of his probation.
Rudesill Jr. also did not fill out an oyster harvesters log sheet for that day’s harvest. Additionally, the vessel did not have a valid commercial vessel license, was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations and did not have a proper identification number visible from the air. Agents also found the sacks of oysters were not properly tagged. Rudesill Jr. also did not have the proper amount of personal flotation devices, a vessel registration, a working fire extinguisher or navigation lights.
During the interview process, agents found Gallardo in possession of oxycodone, suboxone and drug paraphernalia.
Agents seized and returned the 28 sacks of oysters to the water. Both subjects were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail with the assistance of St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents.
Violating the VMS guidelines carries a fine of $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of untagged oysters and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating sanitation code for not having a tarp and logbook violation each carries a $25 fine and 10 days in jail.
No vessel registration, failing to display proper numbers on a vessel, failing to comply with PFD requirements, no fire extinguisher and improper running lights each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Possession of oxycodone and suboxone each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Michael Garrity, Senior Agents Jason Gernados and Brett Nabors and Agent Blaine Wagner.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish resident for alleged Wildlife Management Area (WMA) violations on the Ouachita WMA.
Agents cited John Johnson, 63, of Monroe, for criminal damage to state property, intentional littering, hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position.
Agents observed Johnson returning from a deer hunt on Jan. 31 on the Ouachita WMA, which was closed for deer hunting for the youth waterfowl hunt. Agents observed Johnson discard plastic bottles on the ground and leave his deer stand in a hunting position from a few days prior.
Upon further investigation, Johnson admitted to agents that he cut 14 trees down along with 79 limbs in various sizes and diameters to clear a shooting lane. Agents cited him for criminal damage to state property on Feb. 15.
Cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage to state property and carries a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail. Johnson may also face a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees.
Hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position on a WMA each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Intentional littering brings a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.
Agents involved with the case are Lt. Lane Kincaid, Lt. Thomas Risser, Sgt. Scott Bullitt and Agent Joshua Harris.
LDWF is still investigating and seeking leads for information about who cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA in Avoyelles Parish. LDWF has found up to 100 trees cut down on the Spring Bayou WMA since early December of 2014.
LDWF has secured up to $1,000 in reward money each from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Spring Bayou Restoration Team and Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief. The reward now totals up to $3,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest in this case. Anyone with information regarding the cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.
To use the tip 411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited a father and son near Pointe-aux-Chenes in Terrebonne Parish for alleged oyster violations on Feb. 20.
After receiving a complaint, Sgt. Bryan Marie observed Kenneth J. Naquin Jr., 28, of Montegut, and Kenneth J. Naquin Sr., 55, of Chauvin, harvesting oysters from an unapproved area.
Sgt. Marie seized and returned five sacks of oysters to the water. He also seized the dredge and vessel.
Taking oysters from an unapproved area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized in connection with the violation. The father and son could also have their oyster harvesting licenses suspended for a year and serve 40 hours community service.
2015 Environmental Education Grant Opportunities
In case you missed our recent announcement, check out the 2015 EE Grant Opportunities at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/grant-opportunities. Applications are open for educator, professional development and research grants. The application deadline is March 16, 2015. You can find guidelines and links to the online application forms at the link above.