COMMERCIAL FISHERIES INVESTIGATION YIELDS CITATIONS
On August 14, Gillray Patin, 49, and Sharon Patin, 47, residents of
Henderson in St. Martin Parish and proprietors of Bonanza Crawfish, Inc.
were jointly cited after a month-long investigation with 30 felony
violations for injuring public records, filing false records and
obstruction of justice. They were also cited for 36 misdemeanor counts of
buying crawfish from unlicensed commercial fishermen and failing to
maintain records. The investigation uncovered over 32 tons of crawfish
taken from the wild and unreported to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife
and Fisheries from January to July of 2003.
Eighteen commercial fishermen who sold to Bonanza Crawfish Inc. were cited
with a total of 85 misdemeanor counts for selling crawfish without a
commercial license, failing to maintain records and transporting
commercial fish without required licenses.
The violation of buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman
carries a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for 30 days. In
addition, the license under which the violation occurred shall be revoked
and shall not be reinstated at any time during the period for which it was
issued and for one year thereafter.
Selling commercial fish without commercial licenses and transporting
without required licenses carry fines of up to $500, jail for not more
than 90 days, or both plus court costs.
Injuring public records and filing or maintaining false public records
carry penalties of imprisonment for not more than five years with or
without hard labor, a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.
Obstruction of justice carries a fine of not more than $10,000,
imprisonment for not more than five years with or without hard labor or
Sgt. James D. Rhodes conducted the investigation for the Louisiana
Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division.
For more information, contact Maj. Keith LaCaze at 225/765-2469
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