Complaint Yields Several Polluted Oysters Cases

Release Date: 11/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited 16 subjects for alleged oyster violations on Nov. 16 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Raymond Johnston, 56, Torie Gray, 24, Robert Wells, 57, Thomas Deogracias, 37, Raymond Green, 58, Aaron Tillman, 43, Anthony Johnson, 31, Fredrick Patterson, 39, Karl Carpenter, 34, Paul Farve, 29, Roger Tomasich Jr., 44, Rodney Bass, 49, Richard Mayne, 52, Terry Bilbo Jr., 22, all from Mississippi, Robert Richards, 51, of Laplace, and Jimmy Smith, 46, of Texas, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents were responding to a complaint of several boats harvesting oysters in a polluted area on the seed ground near Half Moon Island in Lake Borgne.  Agents located and documented six vessels harvesting oysters from the polluted area.  Agents seized a total of 192 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Joel Cromp and Corporal Mike Marquez.