Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested three men for alleged oyster violations in the Lake Robin area on Jan. 31 in St. Bernard Parish. 

According to a press release, agents arrested Dustin J. Robin, 30, of St. Bernard, Randal Assavedo Jr., 35, of Mereaux and Carlos Mejia, 42, of Houston, Texas, for dredging for oysters in a polluted area, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease, taking oysters during illegal hours and failing to have written permission to harvest oysters on a private lease.

Additionally, Robin — the captain of the vessel — also was cited for failing to fill out an oyster log book.

Agents were patrolling the Lake Robin area around 6 a.m. when they allegedly observed the vessel actively dredging. Upon making contact with the crew, agents learned the men were dredging in a polluted area on a private lease without written permission during illegal hours, the release states.

Dredging for oysters in a polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during illegal hours and failing to have written permission each brings a $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to fill out an oyster log book carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail, according to the release.

The men could have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year, the release states.