Cameron company accused of illegally harvesting oysters from Calcasieu Lake

Oyster farmers are partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to have pop-up events serving...
Oyster farmers are partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to have pop-up events serving locally grown oysters in Richmond and Fredricksburg.(Pixabay)
Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 2:51 PM CST
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CAMERON PARISH, La. (KPLC) - A Cameron Parish company, as well as 12 Louisiana residents, have been indicted in federal court for illegally harvesting and selling raw oysters.

Bay Fresh Oyster Company and its 12 co-defendants are accused of harvesting raw oysters from Calcasieu Lake in violation of Louisiana law from March 1, 2019, through May 5, 2019, then falsifying records for oysters intended to be transported in interstate commerce, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lafayette.

Bay Fresh Oyster Company is located in San Leon, Texas, but also operates a location in Cameron, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The indictment alleges that:

· Oysters were not reported as required.

· Oysters were harvested in amounts in excess of those authorized by state law.

· Oysters were harvested during illegal harvesting hours.

· Oysters were not refrigerated within the required time by state law.

· Oysters were harvested by those who failed to possess a valid Calcasieu Lake Harvest Permit or whose permit had been revoked.

· Oysters were falsely reported as being harvested by those with valid permits.

· Oysters were harvested from areas closed to oyster harvesting.

“The illegally harvested oysters were then sold by the harvester and purchased by BFO at its Cameron, Louisiana, location where records were falsified to reflect that the oysters had been harvested in compliance with Louisiana law,” reads the information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “BFO subsequently transported those oysters across state lines to their facility in San Leon, Texas. Sacks of oysters were not tagged prior to removal from the vessels as required by Louisiana law but were later tagged by BFO employees and agents as being harvested by harvesters other than the actual harvesters. Oysters had been harvested by harvesters with revoked permits, were harvested in excess of the sack limit set by Louisiana law, and/or were harvested outside the harvesting hours set by Louisiana law. The indictment alleges that the harvesting and dealing in raw oysters in violation of state law violated the federal Lacey Act, which among other things, makes it unlawful to transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate commerce any fish or wildlife that is taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any state.”

Charged in the indictment:

· Bay Fresh Oyster Company, Inc. (“BFO”), with its principal place of business in San Leon, Texas, and which also maintained and operated a location in Cameron, Louisiana.

· Adley Leo Dyson, 71, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Clarence Dyson, III, 46, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Kirk Patrick Daigle, 47, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Brandon Kent Duhon, 24, of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

· Kent Anthony Duhon, 58, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Robert Alton Watson, 41, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Kerwin Tyler Perry, 25, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Jenson Kyle Griffith, 28, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Kasey Lyn Mock, 28, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Terry Wayne Dickens, 41, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Phillip Cecil Dyson, 59, of Cameron, Louisiana.

· Phillip Cecil Dyson, II, 38, of Cameron, Louisiana.

Correction:  In a previous version of this story, we printed an incorrect age for Adley Dyson, which we received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Since then, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have corrected the age to be 71. We apologize and regret the misinformation.

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