A 38-year-old Franklin man was arrested Tuesday on the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area for alleged drug and wildlife violations after enforcement agents discovered a doe concealed in the storage compartment of his vessel.
According to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Eric L. Peltier was cited for intentional concealment of illegally taken wildlife, hunting deer from a boat, hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting deer during a closed season, possessing a firearm while frogging at night, collecting reptiles/amphibians and fishing without a basic fishing license and possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone, Xanax, clonazepam, marijuana, and a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs.
Additionally, agents cited Leon P. Savoie, 39, and Shelly G. Lee, 38, for intentional concealment of illegally taken wildlife, hunting deer from a boat, hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting deer during a closed deer season, possessing a firearm while frogging at night and collecting reptiles/amphibians and fishing without a basic fishing license.
Agents were on patrol on the WMA Tuesday when they stopped the vessel around 11 a.m. to perform a boating safety and creel check. During the check, agents allegedly found Peltier in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Upon completion of the investigation, agents allegedly located several other types of suspected illegal narcotics belonging to Peltier including hydrocodone, Xanax and clonazepam.
During the investigation, agents also learned that the three individuals had set out to go fishing with jug lines and to catch frogs without basic fishing licenses.
Agents further learned that while frogging after dark the subjects spotted a deer and shot it from their vessel with the assistance of an artificial light. After shooting the deer, the subjects hid the deer in the front storage compartment of the vessel.
Agents seized a doe deer, an 18 foot vessel, 35 horsepower outboard motor, a 12 gauge shotgun, the illegal narcotics and a .22 caliber pistol and booked Peltier into the St. Mary Parish Jail, the release states.
Illegal possession of hydrocodone and methamphetamine each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail for each offense. Illegal possession of Xanax and clonazepam each brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail for each offense. Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison. Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Intentional concealment of illegally taken wildlife, taking a deer during a closed season and hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Possession of a firearm while frogging carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Hunting deer from a boat carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Collecting frogs and fishing without a basic fishing license carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.
The three subjects may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 for the illegally taken deer, according to the release.