LDWF Agent Cites Subject for Commercial Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent cited a subject for alleged commercial oyster violations in St. Bernard Parish on Feb. 13.

Agents cited Luis A. Garcia, 23, of Mexico, for failing to have valid commercial fishing, commercial gear and commercial vessel licenses and obtaining commercial licenses by fraud.

Agents started their investigation into Garcia when they stopped him in Lake Borgne on the state’s public oyster seed ground in November of 2022 for a license and creel check.  During the license check, Garcia produced Louisiana residential commercial fishing licenses even though he admitted to living in Mexico.

When agents asked for additional identification, Garcia produced a valid ID from Mexico and non-residential commercial fishing licenses from Texas for 2022 that listed his Mexico residence as his address.

Louisiana law states that a Bona fide resident means any person who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and has resided in this state continuously during the 12 months immediately prior to the date on which he applies for any license and who has manifested his intent to remain in this state by establishing Louisiana as his legal domicile.

After further investigation, agents determined that Garcia fraudulently obtained 2022 residential commercial fishing licenses.  According to trip tickets filed by Garcia, he illegally caught, landed and sold approximately 5,915 sacks of oysters with a dockside value of $354,900 in 2022.

Failing to have valid commercial fishing, commercial gear and commercial vessel licenses, and obtaining a license by fraud carries up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail for each offense.  Garcia may also be subject for civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally sold oysters.

The investigating agent for this case is Corporal Blaine Wagner.