POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 12:04am
Allen Parish, La — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Basile man for an alleged alligator violation on May 21 in Allen Parish.
Agents cited Michael R. Gaspard, 18, for second offense taking or possessing an alligator during a closed season, operating an unregistered motor vehicle without insurance and booked him into the Allen Parish Jail.
Senior Agent Wendel Vaughn allegedly observed Gaspard load a 5-foot alligator, which he caught on the Calcasieu River, into the extended cab portion of a small white truck. When Senior Agent Vaughn approached the vehicle he found the alligator behind the front seat with a hook and line still in its mouth. Gaspard and a 15-year-old juvenile admitted to catching the alligator.
Senior Agent Vaughn ran Gaspard’s record and discovered that he was issued citations by LDWF Agents on Jan. 26, 2012 for the possession of alligators during a closed season. The juvenile was issued a citation for taking or possessing an alligator during a closed season and released to a family member.
Gaspard and the juvenile each face fines ranging from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for possessing an alligator during a closed season. Operating a motor vehicle without a registration brings a fine up to $100 and up to 30 days in jail. Operating a vehicle without insurance carries a $50 fine. Gaspard was also charged civil restitution value of the alligator totaling $375.80.
Alligator season in Allen Parish runs from the first Wednesday in September and stays open for 30 days.
Gaspard’s trial date for his first offense of possessing an alligator during a closed season has been set for July.