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Plaquemines Parish Man Arrested for Shrimp Violations and Battery of a Police Officer

Release Date: 08/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Plaquemines Parish man for alleged commercial fishing violations and battery of a police officer on Aug. 15.

Agents arrested Timothy P. Cheramie, 52, of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed season, resisting an officer and battery of a police officer.

Agents were on patrol in Bastian Bay when they found Cheramie actively shrimping with skimmers during a closed season.  The shrimp season is not set to open until Aug. 18, at 6 a.m.

When agents boarded the vessel, Cheramie began resisting the agents by not allowing them to seize his nets.  After numerous attempts to seize the nets and dealing with interference from Cheramie, agents told Cheramie he was under arrest.

When agents attempted to place him in handcuffs he became combative and began fighting with agents as they attempted to handcuff him.  After a brief scuffle, agents were able to handcuff and arrest Cheramie.

Using skimmers during a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.  In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Battery of a police brings up to a $500 fine and between 15 days and six months in jail.

Case agents are Senior Agent Travis Bartlett and Agent Richard Heinold.  Assisting agents were Lt. Adam Young and Sgt. Villere Reggio.

Shot LDWF Agent Returns to Duty

Release Date: 08/15/2017

Shot LDWF Agent Returns to Duty

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent who was shot in the line of duty while on patrol in Morehouse Parish in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2017, has returned to duty.

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, was shot four times including once in the head and once in the back while questioning a motorist around 2 a.m. on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in Morehouse Parish.  After numerous surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, Wheeler was cleared to return to full time duty in late July.

“Tyler Wheeler is an extraordinary young man with a faith and will to live that I have been blessed to witness," said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. "His courage and determination to return to work after surviving a life-threatening attack, typifies what it means to be a law enforcement officer."

Wheeler’s first day back in uniform was Aug. 4 and he went through a week of in-service training before beginning his first week of patrol duties on Aug. 14.

“We welcome back Senior Agent Wheeler with open arms and are very happy for him, his family, and our division that he has made a miraculous full recovery from his gunshot wounds,” said Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “Senior Agent Wheeler has always had very high spirits during the entire recovery process.  He will once again be a vital asset for our enforcement division moving forward and it is great to have him back at full strength.”

Louisiana State Police Detectives arrested Amethyst Baird, 31, of Monroe on one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and Jeremy Gullette, 34, of Monroe, on one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder on Jan. 8.  Both are still awaiting trial at this time.

Wheeler was awarded with the Louisiana Wildlife Agent’s Association (LWAA) “Statewide Agent of the Year” award on March 11.

“I would like to thank everybody who has made it possible for me to return to work especially the doctors who got me stabilized and put back together, the rehab personnel, my family and the enforcement division for always being there every step of the way,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler has been an agent for three and a half years and is married with one child.

Two Men Cited for Closed Season Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 08/15/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited two men for alleged shrimping violations on Aug. 14 in Bay Couquette in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Michael Bourgeouis, 26, of Buras, and Toby Brown, 40, of Boothville, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents found the subjects actively skimming for shrimp in Bay Couquette in the early morning hours of Aug. 14.  Agents seized 513 pounds of shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder.

Using skimmers during a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Travis Bartlett and Agent Rich Heinhold.

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Nine Cited for Closed Season Shrimping Violations in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes

Release Date: 08/09/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited nine people in five separate vessels for alleged shrimping violations on Aug. 8 and 9 in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes.

Agents cited Robert M. Buras, 50, of Venice, Carey O’Neil, 49, of Buras, Jeffery Buras, 57, of Hazelhurst, Miss., Philip David Jr., 50, and Joseph Billiot, 56, both of Marrero, Jeffery Billiot Jr., 29, of Laplace, and Derek Perez, 39, of Laffite, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.  Agents found these subjects during the late night hours of Aug. 8 actively using skimmers in the closed season in Bay Long in Plaquemines Parish located in Zone 2.

Agents also cited Lindy Lebouef, 77, of St. Bernard, and Elward Perez Jr., 51, of Violet, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.  Agents found these two in the early morning hours on Aug. 9 actively using skimmers in Drum Bay located in St. Bernard Parish in Zone 1.

A total of 3,422 pounds of shrimp were seized from all vessels involved and sold to the highest bidder.

Both Zone 1 and Zone 2 have been closed to shrimping since June and is not set to reopen until Aug. 18.

Using skimmers in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the cases are Sgt. Villere Reggio, Sgt. Austin Arteaga, Corporals Gary Pierce and Bret Nabors, Senior Agents Blaine Wagner, Austin Landry and Joel Cromp, and Agents Jonathan Boudreaux and Thomas Forehand.

Body of Missing Boater Found in Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered the body of a missing boater in Lake Pontchartrain this morning, Aug. 2.

The body of Lawrence Guimont, 57, of New Orleans, was found about 7 a.m. near where his capsized vessel was found the previous day under the Hwy. 11 Bridge in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police responded to a report of a capsized vessel under the Hwy. 11 Bridge on the morning of Aug. 1.  LDWF agents were able to recover the vessel along with the attached trolling motor.

The search and rescue crews were able to link Guimont to the vessel and a truck at a nearby boat launch and then contacted his family who confirmed he went out fishing.  The search and rescue crews searched throughout the night before finding his body this morning.

It is unknown at this time what caused the vessel to capsize.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Guimont was found without wearing a personal flotation device and his body was turned over to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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