LDWF Enforcement Region 8 News

Belle Chase Man Cited for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 08/30/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Belle Chase man for allegedly driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) on Aug. 27.

Agents performed a boating safety inspection of a personal watercraft (PWC) being operated by Kevin Hoots, 40, in the Intracoastal Waterway near Lafitte.  During the inspection, agents detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Hoots' breath.

During the standard field sobriety test, agents determined Hoots was impaired.  Hoots also registered a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08 after agreeing to take a Breathalyzer test.  Agents booked Hoots into the Gretna Correctional Facility for a first offense DWI.

First offense DWI brings a fine between $300 and $1,000, up to six months in jail or both.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agent Doug Danna and Agent Jared Taylor.

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

LDWF Agents Cite Mississippi Man For Shrimping During Closed Season

Release Date: 08/25/2011

 

August 25, 2011-Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Mississippi man for allegedly shrimping during a closed season in St. Bernard Parish on Aug. 19.

Agents cited Dac Quoc Nguyen, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents were responding to complaints of illegal shrimping in St Bernard Parish's North marsh.  Agents were in the area of the complaints and observed the vessel occupied by Nguyen engaging in skimming operations in Elephant Pass.  Agents issued Nguyen a citation and seized 280 pounds of 16-20 count white shrimp.

Using skimmers in a closed season brings up to a $950 fine, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus courts costs.

In addition to any other penalties, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer and butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer or butterfly net, only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible by LDWF.

Agents participating in the cases were Sgt. Kris Bourgeois, Senior Agents Austin Arteaga and Brett Nabors.

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

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.

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.

L.D.W.F. Agents Issue Four Citations for Closed Season Shrimping

Release Date: 05/02/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four Louisiana men for allegedly shrimping during a closed season in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Rodney Hereford Jr., 28, and Mark Farrell, 41, both of Slidell, and Lenny Serpas Jr., 52, and Aaron Serpas, 19, both of Meraux, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents responded to reports of illegal shrimping in Plaquemines Parish on the morning of April 29 and observed the vessel occupied by Hereford and Farrell engaging in skimming operations in Black Bay near Belle Island.  Agents seized and returned 60 pounds of shrimp to the water.

In the early evening hours on April 30, agents again responded to reports of illegal shrimping in Plaquemines Parish.  Agents observed the vessel occupied by the Serpas engaged in skimming operations in Black Bay near Iron Banks.  Agents seized and returned 40 pounds of shrimp to the water.

Using skimmers in a closed season brings up to a $950 fine, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus courts costs.

In addition to any other penalties, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer and butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer or butterfly net, only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible by LDWF.

Agents participating in the cases were Senior Agents Brett Nabors and Mike Garrity.

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

Three Men Cited for Shark Violations in Federal Waters

Release Date: 03/18/2011

March 18, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents assigned to the statewide strike force cited three men fishing violations in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on March 17.

Agents cited James Braddock, 32, of Empire; Anthony Pellegrini, 25, of Pearl River; and Andrew Prest, 60, of Buras; for possessing 67 blacktip sharks in federal waters without the required Federal Shark Permit. The limit for large coastal sharks per trip and per day is 33.

Violating shark regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine, or up to 60 days in jail or both. Failing to comply with federal law in the Exclusive Economic Zone carries a fine from $900 to $950, or up to 120 days in jail or both.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agent Michael Williams, Agent Cody Soileau and Agent Charles Talbert.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Charge Metairie Man With Insurance Fraud

Release Date: 12/28/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division strike force agents charged a Metairie man on Dec. 23 for alleged theft by insurance fraud, filing a false application and injuring public records.

LDWF agents assigned to the southern strike force charged Bryan M. Miguez, 49, of Metairie, for insurance fraud after a joint investigation with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Progressive Insurance Company.

Miguez accepted a payment from the Progressive Insurance Company for his boat, which Miguez claimed was lost during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In early 2010, Miguez contacted Progressive Insurance Company claiming to have recently found the boat. However, investigators found that Miguez had been in possession of the boat since early 2006.

If convicted of theft by insurance fraud, Miguez could face imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine up to $3,000 or both. For filing a false application, Miguez could be ordered to pay a $500 fine, or sentenced for up to 90 days in jail or both. If convicted of Injuring Public Records, Miguez could be sentenced to up to five years in jail, or a fine up to $5,000 or both.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Agent Ronnie Engelhard.

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

Operator In Boat Crash Arrested For D.W.I And Drug Violations

Release Date: 12/08/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Hammond man for alleged drug and alcohol charges after he crashed a boat in Bayou Segnette in Jefferson Parish on Dec. 2.

Agents charged Angelo N. Brettillo, 53, with driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI), reckless operation of a moving vehicle, illegal possession of drugs and boating safety violations.

Brettillo allegedly lost control of his vessel causing property damage to nearby camp owners. While interviewing Brettillo about the crash, agents noticed that he was displaying signs of intoxication. After performing poorly on standardized field sobriety testing, he was arrested.

Brettillo was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center where he was found to be in possession of several types of illegal prescription drugs. Chemical analysis and identification are pending with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Driving a vessel while intoxicated carries a fine between $300 and $1,000, and shall be imprisoned between 10 days and six months, with the chance of losing driving privileges. Reckless operation of a vehicle carries a fine up to $200, or imprisonment for up to 90 days or both. Illegal possession of drugs carries imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to five years and a fine up to $5,000 for each count.

The agents involved in the case were Sgt. Jason Russo and Agent Terrance Hicks.

For more information, contact Capt. Stephen McManus at 504-284-2023 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

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Two St. Charles Parish Residents Cited On Salvador WMA

Release Date: 12/07/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two St. Charles Parish men for alleged hunting violations on Salvador Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Dec 4.

Agents cited Jason Foster, 27, of Luling, and Brad Kubelka, 27, of Des Allemandes, for three counts of not abiding by commission rules and regulations on a WMA.

Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois received a complaint about several subjects hunting from illegal stands and baiting for deer on the Salvador WMA. The agents located the stands along with the bait in a remote area on the WMA and set up surveillance on a subsequent date.

Agents observed the subjects on Dec. 4 hunting from the illegal stands, hunting over bait, hunting without the required hunters orange and applying more bait to the hunting area after their hunt.

Hunters are not allowed to bait, hunt over bait or construct a permanent tree stand on any WMA. Hunters may leave a portable deer stand on a WMA if the stand is removed from the tree and left in the non-hunting position properly tagged with the user’s name, address, phone number and big game hunting license number (or lifetime license number).

The penalty for each violation carries a fine up to $350, jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court costs.

For more information, contact Capt. Steve McManus at 504-284-2024 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

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Bridge City Man Sentenced On Felony Conviction

Release Date: 11/04/2010

A Bridge City man pled guilty to a felony conviction in Jefferson Parish on Nov. 4 for stealing a boat.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Michael Joseph Higgerson, 25, on April 25, 2010 after being found to be in possession of a boat that was reported stolen in Orleans Parish in late 2009.

24th Judicial Court Judge Erin Shirer Kovach sentenced Higgerson to five years imprisonment at hard labor with three suspended, three years of active probation and 40 hours of community service.

Agents initially stopped Higginson for a standard safe boating check when they found him to be in possession of the reportedly stolen 19 foot Chaparral boat with motor. Agents seized the boat and trailer and returned them to the legal owner.

The prosecuting Assisting District Attorney for the case was Matthew Clausen.

The investigating agents in the case were Sgt. Jason Russo and Cadet Terrance Hicks of LDWF. Detective Nick Vega of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted the agents with the forensic evidence in the case.

For more information, contact Captain Stephen McManus at 504-284-2023 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

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