A Violet man was found guilty of commercial crab trap theft in the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse in Chalmette on March 17, 2022.
The Honorable Judge William McGoey for the 34th Judicial District of St. Bernard Parish found Paul Emile Metzler IV, 40, guilty of theft of crab traps and sentenced him to a fine of $400 plus court costs. Metzler also had his crab trap gear licenses revoked for one year.
Additionally, during the period of his license revocation Metzler cannot be on any boat harvesting crabs, possessing crabs, or gear to take crabs unless the vessel he is on is equipped with and is actively using a vessel monitoring system accessible to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division.
Metzler must also perform 40 hours of community service by removing abandoned crab traps as a part of the derelict crab trap removal program or in a litter abatement community service program.
The conviction stems from an incident that occurred May 19, 2020 when LDWF agents stopped Metzler in Lake Borgne tending to crab traps. Agents boarded the vessel and found 20 crab traps that belonged to another commercial fisherman in his line. The traps were seized as part of the investigation and will be returned to the rightful owner.
Assistant District Attorney Justin Stephens prosecuted the case for the state. Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Jason Gernados and Corporal Blaine Wagner.