POSTED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 5:00am
UPDATED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 5:04am
CAMERON PARISH, LA — Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in Federal Court on December 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
Judge Kathleen Kay for the Western District of Louisiana in Lake Charles sentenced Anthony G. Theriot, 37, Philip Lejeune, 50, and Jerimie M. Pugh, 37, all from Cameron, to $6,730 in fines and restitution and 30 days in jail for each defendant.
On Sept. 6, 2012, Theriot, Lejeune and Pugh pleaded guilty for commercial operation on an NWR, fishing on an NWR after sunset and taking over the limit of shrimp. Judge Kay ordered a presentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.
On May 29, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed the three subjects place a shrimp trawl over the boat bay opening at the Grand Bayou water control structure on the Cameron Prairie NWR. With the aid of a night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl.
The three subjects were subsequently apprehended and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail. Agents seized the subject’s vessel, a 36 foot shrimp trawl and 631 pounds of shrimp.
Each defendant was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a $70 special assessment for commercial operation on an NWR and for fishing on an NWR after sunset. The men were also assessed $13,980 in restitution for the shrimp, which makes each defendant responsible for $4,660.
Each defendant was also placed on probation for five years in which they will not be allowed on any NWR. Each defendant was ordered to serve 60 days in jail in which 30 days was suspended. The defendants were taken into custody in the courtroom to begin serving their jail sentences.