Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Union Parish men and a juvenile on May 29 for taking alligators during a closed season and related charges.
Daniel S. Parker, 29, Bryan P. Upshaw, 17, James D. Ford, 18, and a 16-year-old juvenile, all from Farmerville, were cited after agents received a complaint that somebody was in Phillips Ferry Lake shining a light and shooting a .22 caliber rifle.
Agents arrived at the lake area, which is adjacent to Bayou DeLoutre in Union Parish, and watched spotlights being shined from a boat and heard multiple gunshots. Agents made contact with the three men and the juvenile at a boat ramp and found them in possession of an illegally-taken, dead 7-foot alligator and a raccoon.
The men and juvenile were transported to the Union Parish Sheriff's Office. During questioning, agents learned that Parker had allegedly killed another alligator earlier in the day during a fishing trip. Agents later located the meat from that alligator and also recovered another 7-foot alligator that had been shot floating dead in Phillips Ferry Lake. Upshaw and Ford were questioned about the alligator found floating and they allegedly admitted to shooting at two different alligators, but only recovered one of them.
Parker was cited for three counts of taking alligators during a closed season, two counts of taking raccoons by using illegal methods, no possession of a boat registration, no running lights and failure to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements. Upshaw was cited for two counts of taking alligators during a closed season and possession of an illegally taken alligator, and two counts of hunting raccoons by using illegal methods. Ford was cited for two counts of taking alligators during a closed season, two counts of taking raccoons by using illegal methods (from a boat and without a dog) and possession of an illegally taken alligator. The juvenile was cited for two counts of taking alligators during a closed season and two counts of taking raccoons by using illegal methods.
The penalty for taking alligators during a closed season and the possession of an illegally taken alligator is a fine from $450 to $900, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs. The penalty for taking raccoons illegally is a fine from $250 to $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court costs. The penalty for no boat registration, improper running lights and failure to comply with PFD requirements is a fine of $50 for each offense.
Agents seized two .22 caliber rifles and two spotlights as evidence. Agents also seized the raccoon, one 7-foot alligator and the alligator meat. The men and the juvenile will also be responsible for civil restitution to be paid to LDWF for the illegally taken wildlife.
Agents involved in the case were Senior Agent John Volentine and Agents David Harrell and Joe Gouedy
For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at 318-362-3102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.