Enforcement

Two Metairie Men and a Juvenile Charged with Alligator Violations

Release Date: 07/15/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men and a juvenile for alleged alligator violations in St. John Parish on July 13.

Agents cited Justin J. Pichon, 19, Jeffrey T. Hodgson, 19, and a juvenile, all of Metairie, for taking an alligator during a closed season and without alligator licenses.

Agents observed the two men and the juvenile on Shell Bank Bayou north of LaPlace load a gray looking tote into the back of their truck.  Agents then stopped the truck on Hwy. 51 where they found blood and chicken parts in the back of the truck.  The three subjects then admitted to the agents that they shot a 6-foot alligator after catching it on a hook and line and putting it in the gray tote.

The season for alligators varies, but normally runs the month of September.  In order to take alligators legally, an LDWF alligator license must be obtained with the LDWF issued alligator tags for a specified area.

Taking an alligator during a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Hunting an alligator without a license brings a $250 to $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  The three subjects also face a civil restitution charge for the value of the alligator up to $375.80.

Agents seized the alligator, boat and truck used in connection with the violations.  Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent William Boyd.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Bogalusa Man Cited for Illegal Alligator Possession

Release Date: 07/13/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued a citation to a Bogalusa man for alleged illegal possession of an alligator on July 12.

Kevin Freeman, 40, was cited for illegally possessing an alligator during a closed season when agents found a 10 1/2 foot alligator on his property.

Freeman allegedly found a dead alligator on the banks of the Pearl River just north of Bogalusa in Washington Parish on July 12 and transported the alligator back to his residence.  The alligator had been caught on a setline and perished on the banks.

Agents are currently investigating this case to determine the identity of the person that originally rigged the setline during a closed alligator season.

Alligators are a protected species and may only be harvested and possessed by a licensed alligator hunter with valid alligator tags during an open season.

Illegal possession of an alligator during a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine, and jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.  Freeman will also be assessed a civil restitution penalty of $375.80 for the value of the alligator.

LDWF agents Lt. Darryl Galloway and Senior Agent Lee Davis participated in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Safe Boating Students Have Chance To Enter LSU Ticket Giveaway

Release Date: 07/12/2011

 

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) has purchased two Louisiana State University (LSU) football season tickets that will be raffled to students that attend selected safe boating classes.

The LWAA will randomly select six students who attend a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) safe boating course between July 13 and August 27.  Each of the six students selected will receive two tickets to one of LSU's home games this fall.

"This donation from the agents association was very generous and will help spur interest in our safe boating classes.  Anytime we can offer an incentive for people to take this very valuable class is a bonus as boating safety education is proven to save lives on the water," said LDWF Sec. Robert Barham.

Louisiana boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a LDWF approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

"Not only will the student get their official safe boating certificate from the department, but they get the chance to see our LSU Tigers play in Tiger Stadium.  These tickets are very valuable as LSU is in a great position to make runs at both the SEC and National Championship and have Florida, Arkansas and the defending national champion in Auburn coming to Baton Rouge," said Barham.

For more information on the safe boating course, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

LWAA is a non-profit corporation that fosters, protects and promotes the welfare and interest of all classified commissioned LDWF enforcement agents, active or retired.  For more information and donation opportunities for the LWAA, please visit www.lwaa.org.

LWAA supports and provides funding for the following: Fallen Officers of the LDWF Enforcement Division, Louisiana Law Enforcement Fallen Officers Fund, Louisiana Special Olympics Program, hunting and boating Safety, National Hunting and Fishing Day, Children's Hospital, American Heart Association, St. Jude's Hospital, Louisiana Lions Camp For Crippled Children, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Cancer Society, Toys to Recovery, Louis Infant Crisis Center, Becoming an Outdoor Woman, Operation Game Thief and Camp Quality.

The following are the eligible LDWF safe boating classes for the LSU football ticket raffle:

Minden: July 13-14 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m. both nights) 318-371-3049

Opelousas: July 16 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m) 337-948-0259

Lake Charles: July 16 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 337-491-2580

Abbeville: July 17 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 337-491-2580

Rhinehart: July 23 (class starts at 9 a.m.) 318-487-5634

Covington: July 23 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 225-765-2999

Henderson: July 23 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 337-948-0259

Destrehan: July 23 (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 504-284-2023

Marksville: July 27-28 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. both nights) 318-487-5634

Crowley: July 30 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 337-491-2580

Gonzales: July 30 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 225-765-2999

Metairie: July 30 (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 504-284-2023

Abbeville: Aug. 3 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 337-491-2580

Vacherie: Aug. 6 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 225-562-2572

Ville Platte: Aug. 6 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 337-948-0259

Opelousas: Aug. 13 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 337-948-0259

Houma: Aug. 13 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 985-447-0821

Monroe: Aug. 13 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 318-343-2417

Metairie: Aug. 13 (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 504-284-2023

Ferriday: Aug. 20 (class starts at 9 a.m.) 318-487-5634

Pierre Part: Aug. 20 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 985-447-0821

Lake Charles: Aug. 20 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 337-491-2580

Destrehan: Aug. 20 (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 504-284-2023

Alexandria: Aug. 24-25 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. both nights) 318-487-5634

Minden: Aug. 27 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 318-371-3049

New Iberia: Aug. 27 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) 337-948-0259

Convington: Aug. 27 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 225-765-2999

Gonzales: Aug. 27 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 225-765-2999

Please call the number listed for the classes to register.

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

Lacombe Man Cited For Illegally Transporting an Alligator

Release Date: 07/12/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and Causeway Police finished a joint investigation that lead to a Lacombe man being cited for alleged illegal alligator possession and transportation charges on July 8.

Whitney Holloman, 33, was cited for possessing an alligator during a closed season, illegal possession of an alligator and for having an unsecured load after an alligator he was transporting across the Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain fell out of the back of his truck on June 25.

Causeway Police were notified in the morning on June 25 of a large alligator in the left lane of the south bound side of the bridge about nine miles from the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. 

Sgt. Mike Kelley of the Causeway Police was able to capture the injured gator and transport it to the south side of the bridge where Jefferson Parish nuisance alligator hunters took possession of the alligator and attempted relocation.  However, the alligator sustained mortal injuries, which were the result of falling from a moving vehicle and was later euthanized.

LDWF Senior Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Mike Kelly reviewed footage from the Causeway Bridge and were able to identify the vehicle suspected of having the alligator.  The officers made contact with Holloman, who admitted during questioning to transporting the alligator across the Causeway Bridge in an attempt to relocate it from a Bayou Lacombe swimming hole. 

The penalty for each alligator charge is a fine between $400 and $950, and jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.  The penalty for having an unsecured load on the Causeway Bridge is a non-moving violation to be set by the court.  Holloman will also be assessed a civil penalty for the value of the alligator.

Officers participating in the case were LDWF Senior Agents Austin Arteaga, Joel Crump and Keith Francis, and Causeway police officer Sgt. Mike Kelley.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

New Orleans "Street Act" Found Guilty On All Charges In Orleans Parish Court

Release Date: 07/08/2011

A man and a woman were found guilty in Orleans Parish Court for cruelty to animals and not having the proper permit to possess a non-human primate on July 7.

Joan Susanne Newberger (aka Joan S. Poole), 64, of Rio Hondo, Texas, and James Wells Poole, 62, of St. Augustine, Fla, had four monkeys confiscated on Bourbon Street in New Orleans by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents.

LDWF agents observed the two subjects performing their "street act" with the monkeys dressed in pirate costumes and touching the public.  Agents issued two citations to the subjects on Feb. 26, 2011 for cruelty to animals and failing to have the correct permits to possess a non-human primate. LDWF agents also apprehended the monkeys at that time.

The Honorable Judge Sean Early waived any fines and ordered Newberger and Poole to forfeit the monkeys to the state.  The monkeys will be donated to the Louisiana Purchase Zoo and Gardens in Monroe where they have been living since being confiscated.

During the course of the LDWF investigation, evidence of numerous violations, citations and complaints to police in at least three states regarding alleged illegal animal possession, animal sales and cruel treatment of animals was discovered.  The investigation discovered a history of disregard for both federal and state permitting and license regulations.  The investigation also showed a willing intent to profit from the exhibition of primates with disregard for public health and safety due to alleged monkey biting incidents found in official police reports.

The LDWF Enforcement Division would like to recognize the assistance of Putnam and Columbia County Sheriff’s Offices in Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture Investigators whom all provided evidence and displayed a vested interest in the just adjudication of these violators.  LDWF would also like to recognize the full cooperation of the director and staff of the Louisiana Purchase Zoo and Gardens in Monroe.

The office of District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro prosecuted the case and included lead attorney Bernard J. Blair II, J. Bryant Clark, Naomi Jones and Mark Burton.

Agents involved in the case included Captain Steve McManus and Senior Agents Tim Fox and Jason Gernados.  LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager Maria Davidson also provided assistance in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF AGENT AWARDED BOATING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Release Date: 07/08/2011

Col. Winton Vidrine, Senior Agent Meyers and Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne

The National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) awarded their Louisiana Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division's Senior Agent Toby Meyers.

Meyers received the award on July 7 at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.

Meyers, of Shreveport, joined LDWF in 2003 and mainly patrols the waterways in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto parishes.

"Senior Agent Meyers takes pride in what he does and portrays a positive example of what an enforcement agent should be," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF's State Boating Law Administrator.  "This award is well deserved and reflects Senior Agent Meyer's dedication to safe boating and waterway enforcement."

Meyers is a graduate of the marine patrol officers course, NASBLA’s boating under the influence course and is certified in swift water rescue.  Meyers uses his training and experience to patrol the waterways, investigate boat thefts, determine causes of accidents and enforcing the boating laws.  Meyers is also one of LDWF's boater education instructors.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Agents Still Seeking Leads into Bald Eagle Killings in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 07/01/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement special agents continue to seek information regarding the killing of two federally protected bald eagles.

Agents believe both eagles were killed on or about Dec. 7, 2010 on the East Bank area of Plaquemines Parish.

A deputy from Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office discovered the first illegally killed bald eagle along the Mississippi River levee near the town of Phoenix located in Plaquemines Parish.  LDWF Senior Agent Brett Nabors responded to the scene and initiated an investigation.

During the investigation LDWF agents found a second dead bald eagle.  Agents believe that both eagles were killed in the same area using the same method.  Both bald eagles were delivered to the USFWS and have been forensically tested for cause of death.

The bald eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party is eligible for significant cash rewards up to $3,500.

Anyone with information may call Special Agent Stephen Clark at the USFWS office in Lacombe at 985-882-3756 or the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Capt. Steve McManus at the LDWF Region 8 Enforcement Office at 504-284-2024 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Issue 10 Citations for Illegal Activity on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA

Release Date: 06/30/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five individuals with 10 violations for alleged illegal activity on the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on June 27.

Agents cited Tony Vaughn, 27, of Montegut, Craig Vogel, 25, of Houma, and Jamie Theriot, 31, of Houma, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations after agents observed the men crabbing on one of the WMA dams after legal sunset. 

Agents also cited Jamie Dardar, 37, of Montegut, and Calvin Naquin, 43, of Montegut, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations, using illegal trawls and blocking the passage of fish.  Dardar was also cited for failure to pay class one requirements from a prior wildlife and fisheries related violation.  Dardar and Naquin were observed accessing and using an illegal trawl to block one of the WMA dams after legal sunset.

Not abiding by WMA rules and regulations carries a fine between $100 and $750 or imprisonment between 60 to 90 days.  Using illegal trawls, blocking the passage of fish and failure to pay class one requirements each carry a fine between $250 and $1,000 and between 90 days and 120 days of imprisonment.

It is illegal to be on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA after legal sunset and to block the free passage of fish using an illegal trawl.

Participating in the case were Senior Agents Nicholas Guillory and Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and Three Donaldsonville Men Assessed $34,810 in Fines for Migratory Game Bird Violations

Release Date: 06/29/2011

 

The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and three Donaldsonville men pled guilty to Migratory Bird Treaty Act violations on June 24 in Federal Middle District Court in Baton Rouge.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Riedlinger ordered the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and the three men to pay a total of $34,810 in fines and assessments for the violations.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club located near Donaldsonville in September of 2007 for baiting a dove field to attract mourning doves for paid hunts.  Agents also cited Robert Lemann Sr., 62, Robert Lemann Jr., 38, and Kenneth Gomez, 62, and Wayne Gomez, 60, for baiting a dove field.

The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club was ordered to pay a $25,300 fine and $350 in assessments.  The club was also placed on probation for two years in which they will not be allowed to provide any paid dove hunts.  Lemann Sr. represented the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and accepted their penalties.

Lemann Jr. was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $70 in assessments.  Kenneth Gomez was fined $3,000 plus $70 in assessments.  Wayne Gomez was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $20 in assessments.  All three men were also placed on one year of probation with the stipulation that they cannot provide any paid dove hunts.

LDWF Agents began investigating the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club in August of 2007 after receiving a public complaint.  Agents setup surveillance on the club and observed dove fields that were baited with wheat seeds in an effort to attract mourning doves.

All four men are either employed or connected to the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Dennis Bueche, Sgt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Senior Agent Chad Menzina and Senior Agent Hal Bridges.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents also assisted in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Issue Littering Citations on the Amite River

Release Date: 06/28/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued littering citations to four men who were tubing on the Amite River on July 25.

Agents cited Keynan Long, 19, of Metairie, Byron Diez, 54, of Prairieville, Michael Brassard, 21, of Mamath, Maine, and Bradon Stakes, 19, of Rayne after allegedly observing the men intentionally littering by throwing their empty cans onto the bank, in the water and in the trees.

If convicted of the litter violations, each man will face between $175 and $1,000 in fines and up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program. 

LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 1,001 littering citations for fiscal year 2009-10 and logged 7,958 patrol hours for littering enforcement. 

According to Keep Louisiana Beautiful, litter in Louisiana costs taxpayers approximately $40 million a year.

LDWF also took over the state's 1-888-LITRBUG (1-888-548-7284) hotline last June.  Citizens can call the hotline to report people that litter and littering sites to the department for further investigation.

Agents working the case were Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Senior Agent Nick Guillory, Agent Justin Lowry, Agent Mitchell Saunders and Agent Charles Talbert.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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