Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited five men for alleged oyster violations in St. Bernard Parish on Nov. 17.

Agents cited Judge Williams, 78, of Point A La Hache, Lamarchs Gardner, 37, and Lonnie Harris, 65, both of Magnolia, Miss., Dennis Heffron, 42, of Kiln, Miss., and Thomas Deogracias, 43, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., for taking undersized oysters.  Heffron and Williams were also cited for failing to fill out oyster tags correctly.

Agents stopped a vessel with Heffron as the captain while he was actively dredging for oysters on a seed ground in Three Mile Bay.  After an inspection, agents found Heffron and his crew in possession of eight sacks of undersized oysters taken from the seed ground.

Agents also learned about an oyster cargo vessel located off the seed ground that stored oysters harvested the day before.  Agents then boarded the cargo vessel and found 50 additional sacks of oysters that were undersized or tagged incorrectly.

After further inspection of the cargo vessel, agents found that Williams harvested 30 sacks of oysters on Nov. 17 that were not in compliance with current Department of Health and Hospitals refrigeration requirements for raw consumption oysters.

Both Heffron and Williams also filled out oyster tags incorrectly by stating the oysters were landed in Mississippi when they should have been tagged as being landed in Louisiana.

Taking undersized oysters from a natural reef carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Since this is Williams’ fifth offense for taking undersized oysters, his maximum fine is $750.  Failing to fill out oyster tags correctly and violation of the states heath code for raw consumption oysters carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Additional penalties can also include seed ground vessel and gear permit revocations for one year if convicted.

A total of 88 sacks of oysters were seized and returned to the Three Mile Bay seed ground.

Participating agents in this care are Lt. Adam Young, Corporal Blaine Wagner and Agent Josh Schilling.