Sample News

St. Martin Parish Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 02/22/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited a Coteau Holmes man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 13.

Agents cited Randy J. Bourque, 42, for hunting under hunting license revocation, hunting on a Louisiana State Park, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, failing to possess deer tags and failing to follow deer tagging requirements.

On Jan. 5, agents learned about the illegal taking of a deer from Bourque’s social media page.  During the investigation, agents discovered that Bourque illegally killed a 12-point buck on the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park on Jan. 1.  Bourque was hunting without any current hunting licenses or deer tags due to being under revocation.

Agents seized the 12-point rack and cape.

Hunting deer under hunting license revocation, failing to possess deer tags, and failing to follow deer tagging requirements each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting deer on a Louisiana State Park carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic season and big game hunting licenses each carries a fine up to $50 and 30 days in jail.

Bourque could also face civil restitution totaling $2033.29 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

LDWF Investigation Indicates Dead Pelicans Succumbed to Natural, Accidental Causes

Release Date: 02/21/2019

Several dead pelicans discovered recently in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes died from natural and accidental causes, according to an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LDWF’s Enforcement Division launched an investigation Feb. 19 when it was notified of several dead pelicans in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. One of the pelicans was found stuck to a water level gauge. Agents retrieved that pelican and another dead pelican in the surrounding area then brought them to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge for necropsies, the equivalent of autopsies performed on humans.

The necropsies found no illegal activity associated with the pelican deaths.

The pelican found hanging from the water level gauge in the Caernarvon Diversion area in Plaquemines Parish accidentally hooked its pouch on a protruding screw. The pelican then broke its neck trying to free itself from the screw, according to the LDWF veterinarian

The other pelican, found floating in shallow water, died from severe parasitism and emaciation.

During winter, mortality rates in juvenile brown pelicans can be high. Young pelicans are not as good at fishing as mature pelicans and have higher rates of parasites. Young pelicans also have little to no fat reserves for the colder months and can die from hypothermia and malnutrition.

Due to these naturally occurring events, the LDWF Enforcement Division is closing the investigation pending further evidence that would indicate the birds were illegally killed.

$7,500 Reward Offered for Information on Shooting of Endangered Whooping Crane in Acadia Parish

Release Date: 02/21/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are looking for leads regarding an endangered whooping crane that was shot in Acadia Parish.

The crane was found with a wounded wing on Nov. 2, 2018 between Crowley and Rayne off of Monceaux Rd.  The crane was taken to a vet where it had to be put down due to its injuries.  The crane was then sent in for a necropsy where it was determined to have been shot in the wing.

Up to $7,500 is being offered by various groups for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal shooting of this whooping crane.  LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and Whooping Crane Conservation Association are each offering a reward of up to $1,000.  LDWF also received a total of $4,500 from private donations.

Anyone with information regarding the illegal shooting should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, residents can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” app.  The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day.  Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

LDWF with support from partners has released 147 whooping cranes since 2011 to reintroduce the birds to the state.  The population is currently estimated to be 76 whooping cranes.  This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.  The crane in this case was released in December of 2016.

Whooping cranes are the most endangered of the world’s crane species.  The Louisiana flock is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Tallulah Man Cited for Taking Six Antlered Deer this Hunting Season

Release Date: 02/07/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Tallulah man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1 in Madison Parish.

Agents cited Kenneth D. Gunter, 53, for taking over the seasonal limit of deer, taking over the daily limit of antlered deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 31 that Gunter harvested two antlered deer on the same day along the Mississippi River Levee five miles north of Tallulah.  Agents made contact with Gunter and found that he had harvested six antlered deer during the 2018-19 deer-hunting season including two antlered deer he harvested on Jan. 20.

Gunter also failed to tag any of the six antlered deer he harvested.

The seasonal limit for antlered deer is three and the daily limit of antlered deer is one for this area of the state.  Agents seized six sets of antlers including a 10-point, two 9-points, two 8-points and a five point as evidence.

Taking over the daily limit of deer and over the daily limit of deer each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Gunter may also face civil restitution totaling up to $11,382 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Deer Hunting Violations Leads to Two Arrests

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four Plaquemines Parish residents for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 1, 2019.  Agents also cited one subject for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and another for pubic intimidation and threatening a public official in addition to their wildlife charges.

Agents cited William J. Dillman, 41, Devin A. Bourgeios, 28, Paul R. Hammer, 48,  and Jerry J. Vicknair Jr., 30, all from Belle Chasse, for hunting deer during illegal hours and hunting from a public road.

Agents were on patrol in Plaquemines Parish at night when they observed three all-terrain vehicles (ATV) on Buccaneer Road just south of Belle Chasse bordering the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.  The agents witnessed the men actively night hunting.

Agents made contact with the men and during questioning Dillman admitted to actively hunting at night.  Dillman then began making numerous threats to the agents and he was arrested for threatening a public official and public intimidation.

Agents also arrested Hammer for a DWI after witnessing him operate an ATV on a public roadway while impaired.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle both bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Public intimidation carries up to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail.  Threatening a public official carries a up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

St. Landry Man Cited For Illegal Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/30/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a St. Landry man on Jan. 18 for alleged deer hunting violations.

Agents cited Christopher Rocio for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, hunting deer from a moving vehicle, driving under suspension, and obstruction of justice.

Agents were on patrol in St. Landry Parish when they observed a vehicle stop on a public roadway.  The agents witnessed the driver shoot at a deer at night.

Agents stopped the vehicle with Rocio as the operator.  During questioning, Rocio admitted to shooting at the deer and then throwing his 12-gauge shotgun from the vehicle before being stopped.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle both bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense. Driving under suspension carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Obstruction of justice carries up to a $10,000 fine and five years in jail.

Two Men Sentenced for Alligator Violations

Release Date: 01/29/2019

Two Louisiana men pleaded guilty in St. Martin Parish court on Jan. 23 for alligator violations.

The Honorable Judge Anthony Thibodeaux sentenced Jeremy E. Kibble, of Lafayette, and Daniel D. Norton, of New Iberia, for their roles in intentionally concealing an illegally taken alligator.  Judge Thibodeaux sentenced each man to serve 100 days in jail suspended, to serve one year of probation, to pay $900 in fines, to perform 80 hours of community service and revoked their hunting and fishing privileges for one year.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited Kibble and Norton on Aug. 19, 2018 for intentional concealment of an illegally taken alligator.

Agents on patrol near Catahoula observed two trucks parked off of Henderson Levee Road with Kibble and Norton nearby.  When agents approached the men they saw Kibble go to the woods to discard something.  Agents went to the woods and found a freshly cleaned alligator.

During questioning, Norton admitted to shooting the alligator after Kibble caught the alligator.  The alligator season was closed in this part of the state at the time the alligator was harvested.

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Musumeche prosecuted the case for the state.

Rayville Man Caught with Over the Limit of Deer

Release Date: 01/25/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Rayville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Jan. 18 and 19 in Tensas Parish.

Agents cited Robert M. Harris Jr., 31, for taking over the season limit of antlered deer, taking over the daily limit of deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements on Jan. 18.

On Jan. 19, agents arrested Harris Jr. for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, hunting deer from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public road, taking over the season limit of antlered deer and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Agents were on patrol in Tensas Parish on the morning of January 18 when they found Harris Jr. with a freshly harvested antlered deer.  During questioning, Harris Jr. admitted to harvesting two antlered deer on Jan. 16 and another antlered deer earlier in the hunting season.  He also used one of his nephew’s deer tags for one of the antlered deer he harvested on the 16th.

Agents were again on patrol in Tensas Parish on the night of Jan. 19 when they found him in possession of another freshly harvested antlered deer.  Agents were able to determine that Harris Jr. took the deer from his truck while his juvenile son and nephew were with him.  He also used his son’s tag on the deer.

Harris Jr. was arrested and booked into the Tensas Parish Detention Center.  Agents seized a .22 rifle.

For this area of the state, the seasonal limit of antlered deer is three and the daily limit of antlered deer is one.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for each offense.  Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possessing over the seasonal limit of deer, possessing over the daily limit of deer, and hunting from a moving vehicle each brings a $250 to $500 fine for each offense.  Hunting deer from a public road and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries up to a $50 fine and 30 days in jail.

Harris Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling up to $5,691 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Orleans Parish Man Pleads Guilty To Illegal Disposal of Waste Tires

Release Date: 01/24/2019

Orleans Parish resident Bryant Joseph Ballard pleaded guilty Friday, Jan. 18, in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court for illegal disposal of waste tires and unauthorized use of a movable.

In Feb. 2018, Ballard, 57, was arrested by New Orleans Police Department officers for theft of a U-Haul truck and an outstanding Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) warrant for illegal disposal of waste tires in New Orleans East.  As the result of an extensive investigation, agents concluded that Ballard was using rented U-Haul trucks to collect and illegally dispose of waste tires in New Orleans East.  After conducting numerous hours of covert surveillance, investigators with the LDEQ Criminal Investigation Section obtained an arrest warrant for Ballard on Dec. 1, 2017.

The LDEQ warrant outlined four counts of illegal disposal of waste tires in New Orleans and New Orleans East.  The investigation was handled by a task force comprising of agents from LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana State Police, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and NOPD.

On Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, Ballard pleaded guilty to all charges. The Honorable Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson sentenced Ballard to the statutory maximum of two years in prison for unauthorized use of a movable and to the statutory maximum of one year for illegal disposal of waste tires. Judge Landrum-Johnson ordered Ballard to serve the two sentences consecutively for a total of three years.

“Cases like this send the message that this department will not go easy on waste tire disposal violators,” LDEQ Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown said. “Our CIS personnel put in many hours of time and effort to stop these perpetrators and send our message to others: If you break the law, we’re coming after you.”

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “I applaud everyone that helped make this case. The horrible practice of dumping tires is devastating to our fishing, hunting and recreational areas that our residents and visitors want to enjoy.”

The prosecution was handled by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro and Assistant District Attorney Darius Greene.

Opelousas Man Cited For Illegal Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/23/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents cited an Opelousas man for alleged deer night hunting violations on Jan. 13.

Agents cited Marcus Ortego, 41, for taking deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, taking deer from a moving vehicle, illegal spotlighting from a public road, and discharging a firearm from a public road.

Agents were on patrol in the Lawtell area and responded to call from a Louisiana State Police trooper about possible deer hunting violations.  The trooper made a traffic stop and found a dead doe in the bed of a pickup truck.

Agents responded to the call from Louisiana State Police and during questioning determined that Ortego harvested the doe at night with a 20 gauge shotgun from a public road near the intersection of Hwy. 29 and Interstate 49 in Evangeline Parish.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road and taking deer from a moving vehicle each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Discharging a firearm from a public road brings up to a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Illegal spotlighting from a public road brings up to a $175 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Ortego may also face civil restitution totaling up to $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

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