Three Cameron men sentenced in illegal shrimping case - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Three Cameron men sentenced in illegal shrimping case

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CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in federal court on Dec. 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Wildlife officials say that 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.

Officials said on Sept. 6, 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. Kay ordered a pre-sentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.

Officials said 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 night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl, officials said.

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, according to officials.

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.

Officials said 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.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. David Sanford and Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Carl Pickett, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Dave Panas. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.

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