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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 both.

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 lacaze_bk@wlf.state.la.us


 

 

 

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