A Marrero man pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to commercial fishing violations committed in Plaquemines Parish.
Joseph Morris III, 30, pleaded guilty to selling fish without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, selling game fish illegally, selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, taking/selling undersized spotted sea trout, possessing commercial red drum illegally and failing to comply with charter boat regulations.
Morris was ordered to pay a $2,250 fine plus court costs, serve 120 days in parish prison suspended, and have all commercial and recreational fishing privileges seized and revoked for a period of two years. Continued litigation is pending in Jefferson Parish for additional alleged violations.
He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish. Jerry Lobrano for the 25th Judicial District prosecuted the case.
Agents arrested Morris on Jan. 24, 2014 for numerous commercial fishing violations after agents secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish when Morris sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.
LDWF Special Investigations and Sgt. Adam Young participated in the case.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men and a juvenile male for alleged fishing violations on Aug. 15 in Bossier Parish.
Agents cited Matthew D. Pyle, 18, of Minden, Caleb A. Lee, 20, of Doyline, and a juvenile male for taking game fish using illegal methods. Pyle was also cited for fishing without a fishing license.
Agents received a complaint about the three suspects using a seine net at the Lake Bistineau Spillway and keeping every fish that was caught. Agents made contact with the subjects and found them to be in possession of two seine nets and nine crappie, five black bass and three bream.
According to the suspects, they would stretch the net out across the spillway and then walk the net back to the bank where they would retrieve the fish caught in the net.
Agents seized the fish and nets. Taking game fish illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Angling without a fishing license carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail
Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Chuck Dison, Senior Agent John Blalock and Senior Agent Bryant Coburn.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested an Ascension Parish man this morning, Aug. 15, for his alleged involvement in a boating hit and run.
Agents arrested Thomas J. Amorello, 32, of the St. Amant area, for felony hit and run, negligent injury and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.
Agents began investigating a hit and run between two ski boats on the Amite River Diversion Canal on July 26 in Livingston Parish. The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when a ski boat was rear ended and ran over by another ski boat allegedly operated by Amorello. The three passengers of the boat that was run over were treated for minor injuries and released.
Using eyewitness accounts of the description of a ski boat that sped through a no wake zone just north of where the hit and run took place near the Tiki Hut, agents were able to identify and track down Amorello’s boat on July 28 at his residence. Amorello’s boat matched the description and also had damage to the hull.
Agents seized Amorello’s boat and the victim’s boat and brought them to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for further investigation. The crime lab was able to make a direct match between the damage sustained on both vessels and determined that Amorello’s ski boat was involved in the hit and run.
Felony hit and run brings up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in jail. Negligent injury carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Reckless operation brings up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Golden Meadow man for alleged drug violations on July 31 in Lafourche Parish.
Agents arrested Nick A. Collins, 42, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Agents booked Collins into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Facility.
Agents boarded Collins’ oyster vessel to perform a commercial fishing compliance check. Agents observed a firearm located within the cabin of the vessel where Collins was operating the vessel. After checking with dispatch and learning of a previous felony conviction, agents got permission to search the vessel for any further contraband.
While searching the vessel agents located an additional firearm along with a metal container containing suspected marijuana, several hand rolled cigarettes containing suspected marijuana, two grinders, one mini scale, scissors, and several plastic bags under the mattress where Collins slept. After speaking with agents, Collins admitted that all contraband on the vessel was his.
Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute brings up to a $50,000 fine and between five and 30 years of prison. Possession of a firearm while in possession of marijuana carries up to a $10,000 fine and between five and 10 years of prison. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years of prison. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $1,000 fine and one year of jail.
Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert Jr. and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.