GILLNETTERS ARRESTED IN PLAQUEMINES PARISH

Release Date: 01/09/2007

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Plaquemines Parish men for alleged saltwater gill net violations and flight from a police officer on Jan. 5 in lower Plaquemines Parish.


Agents responded to a complaint in the area of Scofield Bay and immediately saw two men working a gill net.  When the agents tried to approach, both men discarded the net and immediately fled the area by boat.  A short chase ensued and the two men were apprehended near the Venice Marina with the assistance of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office.  Agents also retrieved the net from the water.


Webley Bourgeois, 35, and Billy Johnson Jr., 22, both of Boothville, were arrested and transported to the Plaquemines Parish detention center for using a saltwater gill net illegally, taking commercial fish during a closed season and flight from a police officer.


A total of 356 pounds of black drum, and 40 pounds of sheepshead were still in the boat when the two men were apprehended. All fish were seized and later sold.  The gill net and boat were both seized by the agents and are being held as evidence. 


The penalty for using a saltwater gillnet illegally is a fine up to $950 and jail time up to 120 days or both, and forfeiture of anything seized.  Taking commercial fish during a closed season carries a fine up to $350, or jail time up to 60 days, or both and court costs on each violation.  Flight from an officer is punishable by a fine up to $500 and imprisonment up to six months, or both if convicted.


Agents participating in the case were Senior Agents Adam Young and Villere Reggio.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2007-011