Port Sulphur Man Arrested For Oyster Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement division agents arrested a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish on Jan. 13.

Agents arrested Jeremiah Phillips, 42, for his fifth offense of taking oysters from a polluted area, second offense of fishing under while under license revocation for unpaid civil restitution, intentional concealment of fish, and fishing without basic season and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents were on patrol near Port Sulphur when they observed Phillips harvesting oysters from a closed area deemed to be polluted by the Louisiana Department of Health. After Phillips was aware he was being watched by agents, he then dumped his oysters over the side of his vessel.

Agents made contact with Philips and since it was his fifth offense of harvesting oysters from a polluted area, he was arrested and booked into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.

Taking oysters from a polluted area and intentional concealment of illegal fish each carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Since it is his fifth offense of taking oysters from a polluted area, the court shall require Phillips, for ten years after the date of such conviction, to harvest only from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system. Phillips’ oyster harvester license also shall be revoked and no new license shall be issued for 10 years from the date of the conviction. In addition, Phillips shall be sentenced to perform up to 120 hours of community service.

Second offense for fishing while under license revocation for failure to pay civil restitution carries up to an $800 fine and 60 to 90 days in jail. Intentional concealment of illegal fish brings up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Fishing without basic and saltwater fishing licenses carry up to a $50 fine for each offense.

Agents physically seized the small vessel being used and all the equipment in the vessel for the taking of oysters. The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution. Case agents involved for this case are Senior Agent Shea Schexnaydre and Lt. Adam Young.