A Port Sulphur man accused of taking oyster from polluted waters for a third time last spring was arrested Monday after information taken from his cellphone linked him to off-limits areas, according to a release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Nelson C. Williams III, 41, was arrested for taking oysters from an unapproved area, taking oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms and violating the state’s sanitation code for refrigeration, the release states.
Acting on a tip last April 22, agents arrived at 1 a.m. and found Williams’ vessel already at the Hi-Ridge Marina with 30 sacks of oysters onboard. After obtaining a warrant, agents recovered a cellphone on the boat, and a forensic download allegedly provided evidence linking Williams’ vessel to unapproved areas and other unleased state water bottoms in the Grand Bayou area, according to the release.
This would be Williams’ third offense for taking polluted oysters from waters closed by the Department of Health and Hospitals, which could carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Williams may also be have his oyster harvester license revoked for 10 years from the date of the third conviction, which would make him unable to be present on a vessel harvesting or processing oysters, the release states.
The penalty for taking oysters during illegal hours, from unleased state water bottoms and in violation of the state’s sanitation code for refrigeration each carries up to a $950 fine and 120 day in jail for each offense.