Enforcement

Two Missing Men Found Alive in Atchafalaya Basin

Release Date: 06/22/2017

Two Franklin men and their dog were found alive this morning, June 22, in the Atchafalaya Basin in Lower St. Martin Parish.

Two Franklin men were reported missing last night, June 21, around 10 p.m.  Due to weather, search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office had to suspend their search until daybreak this morning.

Around 11 a.m. this morning, a Good Samaritan was in his boat when he spotted a man on top of a roof of a camp.  The man on top of the roof of the camp then led the Good Samaritan to the other missing man and the dog that were on top of the roof of a sunken vessel.

On their way back in the Good Samaritan and the two rescued men with their dog made contact with search and rescue vessels that were searching for them.  The men didn’t need any medical attention and were transported back to the boat launch.

According to the men they were checking on crawfish traps in Bayou Long when their vessel sunk after hitting a stump in the water around 9 a.m. on June 21.  One of the men was able to walk to a nearby camp where he waited out the storm on the roof.  The other man stayed with the vessel with where they waited out the storm on top of the roof of the sunk vessel.

Illegal Selling of Red Snapper Leads to Drug Charges

Release Date: 06/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged commercial fishing and drug violations on June 18 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Arthur Freeman, 53, of Lockport, for selling fish without a commercial wholesale dealer’s license, failing to complete a trip ticket, possession of marijuana, and failing to comply with the individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for by not giving a three hour notification of selling red snapper, not getting a IFQ confirmation number and not reporting his IFQ landing.  Agents arrested Ross Adam, 33, of Grand Isle, for possession of meth, drug paraphernalia and being in possession of a firearm while in possession of an illegal controlled substance.  Adam was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

Agents received a tip about two men trying to illegally sell red snapper at a seafood dock in Dulac.  Agents arrived on scene and found a vessel with Freeman and Adam on board with eight red snappers totaling 69 pounds.  Agents learned that Freeman was attempting to sell the fish for $3 a pound without having a commercial wholesale dealer’s license nor a completed trip ticket.

Agents also found that Freeman did not give the proper three hour notification for the IFQ program and subsequently did not receive a IFQ confirmation number and failed to report the caught red snapper.

Upon inspection of the vessel, agents also found Freeman in possession of marijuana and Adam in possession of meth, two pipes, and a rifle and pistol.  Agents seized the snapper and sold them to the highest bidder.  Agents also seized the firearms.

Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.  Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison.

Selling fish without a wholesale dealer’s license and failing to complete a trip ticket each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to give a three hour notification, receive a IFQ confirmation number and report the red snapper each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Louis Burnett, Senior Agents Dean Aucoin, Mike Williams, Stephen Rhodes and Richie Bean.

Agents Cite Man for Harassing Fisherman

Release Date: 06/14/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited an Opelousas man for an alleged dispute over a public fishing hole on Toledo Bend Reservoir in Sabine Parish on June 12.

Agents cited Dean Bullara, 56, from Opelousas, for harassment of persons lawfully fishing.

Agents were called to the scene following 911 calls to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office (SPSO) from both Bullara and Donald Johnson, 48, of Deridder.  Both men were in a dispute over a public fishing area on the reservoir near Kite’s Landing about 10 miles southwest of Negreet.

When LDWF agents and SPSO deputies arrived on scene they learned that Johnson and his wife were fishing the area when Bullara pulled up in his boat demanding Johnson leave the area.  After a lengthy and heated dispute over the public fishing area, Johnson pulled a firearm on Bullara.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Johnson for aggravated assault with a firearm and booked him into the Sabine Parish Correctional Center.  Johnson reported that he had pulled his handgun in self-defense on Bullara because he felt threatened by his actions.

LDWF urges citizens that are being harassed while lawfully fishing in an area, to please call local authorities.

Harassment of persons lawfully fishing brings a up to a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.  The harassment of persons lawfully fishing regulation provides that it is unlawful to disturb any hunter, trapper, or fisherman who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to dissuade or otherwise prevent the taking, or to prevent such person’s enjoyment of the outdoors.

Aggravated assault carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Andrew Mitchell and Agent James Smith.

Three Raceland Men Cited for Over the Limit of Frogs on Salvador WMA

Release Date: 06/12/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcements agents cited three Raceland men in two separate cases for alleged frogging violations on the Salvador Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Charles Parish on June 10.

Agents cited Rickey Ponson, 40, and Jared Loupe, 38, for being over the legal limit of frogs and failing to provide agents with a self-clearing permit.  Agents were on boat patrol on the Salvador WMA when they inspected Ponson and Loupe’s vessel and found the two men to be in possession of 69 frogs.

Agents then cited Frank Curole Jr. 39, for being over the legal limit of frogs.  During an inspection of his vessel, agents found him in possession of 99 frogs.

Agents seized the frogs from the three men and returned them to the water.

Over the limit of frogs on a WMA and failing to provide a self-clearing permit each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

The experimental nighttime frogging and fishing season on the Salvador WMA will be open until official sunrise on Aug. 15.  To frog on the Salvador WMA a self-clearing permit and basic fishing license are required and frogs are limited to 50 frogs per vessel.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Kyle Wagner and Agent Jonathan Boudreaux.

Two Buras Men Cited for Gillnet Violations

Release Date: 06/12/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited two Buras men for alleged gillnet violations in Plaquemines Parish on June 10.

Agents cited Jason Wilkerson, 27, and Freddy J. Creppel, 45, for illegal use/possession of a gillnet in a saltwater area and resisting an officer.

While on a boat patrol in the Empire area agents observed the two men actively fishing a gillnet in the marsh.  Agents attempted to stop the subjects, however they ignored agent’s orders to stop and fled the area.

During the investigation, agents were able to identify the men in the vessel and the following day made contact with both men at their residences.  When confronted with the evidence both subjects admitted to their crimes and were charged.  Agents seized the illegal gillnet used in connection with the violation.

Use/possess gillnet in a saltwater area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Travis Bartlett and Agent Tom Forehand.

Texas Man Cited for Commercial Fishing Violation in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 06/09/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Texas fisherman for an alleged oyster violation on June 8 in Plaquemines parish.

Agents cited Luis G. Cabrera, 34, of Texas City, Texas, for violations of the state’s health code for refrigeration of half shell, raw consumption oysters.

While on patrol in Bay Adams in Plaquemines Parish Agents boarded the vessel “Dolphin” that was actively fishing for oysters.  Upon inspection of the vessel agents found that the cooling system was only cooling the oysters at 59 degrees.

Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) and LDWF regulations state that oysters harvested for raw consumption must be placed under refrigeration at 45 degrees or lower.

Violations of the state’s health code carries up to a $950 fine.  Agents seized 162 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young, Sgt. Villere Reggio and Agent Anthony Corner.

Four Men Honored at June Commission Meeting

Release Date: 06/08/2017

Four Men Honored at June Commission Meeting

Four men were honored at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) meeting in Baton Rouge this morning, June 8.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division recognized the Bayou 69 Blackhawk Helicopter crew of the Louisiana Air National Guard for their efforts in rescuing six people during the 2016 March floods in Winn Parish.

Command Chief Warrant Officer Five Jack Mucha, Command Chief Warrant Officer Two Corey Sayer, SSgt. Chad McCann and Sgt. Aaron Adam, were awarded LDWF Enforcement Citizens Exceptional Bravery Awards for their efforts.

The Bayou 69 helicopter crew was called into action to bring LDWF Sgt. Rusty Perry and Winn Parish Firefighter Buddy King to safety.  The vessel Sgt. Perry and King were using to try and evacuate people from the flooded and turbulent waters capsized along the Dugdemona River east of Winnfield on March 10, 2016.

Sgt. Perry and King stayed with the capsized vessel for several hours.  After several unsuccessful rescue attempts by vessels and high water vehicles, the men were successfully airlifted into the helicopter by the Bayou 69 crew.

After rescuing Sgt. Perry and King, the helicopter crew then rescued a Louisiana State Trooper and a DOTD officer that were stranded on a road grader.  The helicopter crew then rescued the two civilians that Sgt. Perry and King were attempting to rescue before capsizing their vessel.

Rapides Parish Man Found Alive by Search and Rescue Crews

Release Date: 06/07/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO) located a missing Boyce man this afternoon, June 7, in Rapides Parish.

Charles T. Pickering, 48, was found by LDWF agents around 4:30 p.m. in a wooded area off of St. Claire Road about four tenths of a mile from his residence.

RPSO deputies were able to transport Pickering to the road where Acadian Ambulance then transported him to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and exposure to the elements.

The RPSO was alerted that Pickering had been missing since around 3:30 p.m. on June 6th.  The RPSO deputies learned that Pickering was last seen on June 5th around 5 p.m.

According to family members, Pickering is partially blind.

Three Jennings Men Cited for Illegally Killing two Alligators

Release Date: 06/07/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited three Jennings men for alleged alligator and frog violations on June 3 in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Agents cited Rhett Guidry, 24, Dodie Bouley, 19, and Kyle Thibodaux, 23, for taking alligators during a closed season, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road and taking frogs using illegal methods.  Guidry and Thibodaux were also cited for collecting frogs without a basic fishing license.

Agents were notified about an incriminating video of the three men on Guidry’s Facebook page.  The video showed the three men shoot and kill two alligators and some frogs from a truck and road with a .17 caliber rifle on the night of June 2 off of Cherokee Road in the Welsh Drainage Canal near Jennings.

Agents were able to make contact with all three men and they all confessed to their crimes when confronted with the video.  Alligator season in Jefferson Davis doesn’t open until the first Wednesday in September for those with alligator tags.

Taking alligators during a closed season brings a $400 to $900 fine and 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road, and taking frogs using illegal methods each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Collecting frogs without a basic fishing license carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

The men could also face civil restitution totaling $751 for the replacement value of the alligators.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Scott Fontenot, Sgt. Danon Maricle, Senior Agent Steve Vidrine and Agent Luke Langley.

Two Overdue Boaters found On Mississippi River

Release Date: 06/05/2017

Search and rescue crews found two overdue boaters this morning, June 5, on the Mississippi River in West Feliciana Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, West Feliciana Sheriff’s Office and family members found the two 22 year old men in their vessel on the Mississippi River around 9 a.m.

Search crews were alerted around 11:30 p.m. on June 4 about the two overdue boaters after they didn’t return from their afternoon fishing trip.  The crews searched throughout the night for the missing men.

According to the rescued men, they left to check fishing lines around 1 p.m.  Shortly into their trip, the motor struck an unknown object in the water that damaged the propeller and made the motor inoperable.  They were able to paddle the vessel to a backwater area of the river and tie off to a tree for the night.

This morning, the men began to paddle back to the main channel of the river when a family member spotted them.  The men were found without any injuries.

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