Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents concluded an extensive investigation into the illegal sale of spotted sea trout and red drum on Jan. 24, 2014.
Agents arrested Joseph Morris III, 30, of Marrero, for alleged commercial fishing violations after undercover LDWF Agents purchased spotted sea trout and red drum from Morris’ residence in Jefferson Parish.
Agents also secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish after Morris again sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and he also took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.
Commercial fisherman selling without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a max penalty of $500 and up to 90 days in jail plus court costs for each count. Selling game fish illegally and possessing red drum commercially carries a max penalty of up to $500 and jail up to 30 days, license revocation, and forfeiture of anything seized for each count. Failing to comply with charter boat regulation and selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, and taking or selling undersized spotted sea trout carries a max penalty of up to $950 or up to 120 days in jail or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized for each offense.
He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.
Agents also placed a seizure order on two vessels and one vehicle that were used for these alleged offenses and are property of the State of Louisiana until this case is adjudicated in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes.
Morris also had six outstanding warrants for his arrest in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.
Lead agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Adam Young. Assisting agents were Sgts. Villere Reggio, Kris Bourgeois, and Jeff Boyd with the assistance of Deputy Chad LaFrance with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.