Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents apprehended two men for multiple counts of alleged crab trap violations in Lake Maruepas on June 24.
Acting upon a complaint from a commercial crab fisherman, agents observed Joseph Lamarca, 20, from Ponchatoula, crab fishing using allegedly stolen traps. When confronted, Lamarca claimed to have purchased the stolen traps from Michael Shea King, 19, of Hammond.
Agents confronted King whom admitted to have stolen the crab traps from a dock with the assistance of Lamarca. Lamarca confessed and both subjects were arrested. Also, while crabbing, Lamarca did not possess a vessel license, fire extinguisher and did not tag all crab traps per regulations.
If convicted of theft of crab traps (five counts each), Lamarca and King could face fines of $400 to $950, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs for each count.
Lamarca was also cited with Illegal possession of stolen property (five counts), possessing commercial fish without a vessel license, no fire extinguisher and using crab traps without required markings (15 counts).
If Lamarca is convicted of Illegal possession of stolen property, he faces a fine up to $3,000, imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to 10 years or both for each count. The penalty for possessing commercial fish without a vessel license is punishable by a fine of $250 to $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court costs. The penalty for failing to have a fire extinguisher is a fine of $50. The penalty for using crab traps without required marking is a $250 to $500 fine, or up to 90 days in jail plus court costs.
Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Dane Thomas, Sgt. Guy Adams, Sr. Agent Clarence Marques and Sr. Agent Buck Hampton.
For more information, contact Capt. Len Yokum at 225-765-2999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.