Offshore fishing guide stripped of charter captain's license

Deep South Charters owner admitted to keeping out-of-season bluefin tuna

From News Reports
March 01, 2013 at 1:17 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Offshore fishing guide stripped of charter captain's license
A Venice offshore guide was stripped Wednesday of his charter-captain's licenses for the rest of 2013 after pleading guilty to harvesting an out-of-season bluefin tuna last year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries reported.

Denham Springs' Josh S. Howard, who owns Deep South Charters, also entered a guilty plea for two counts of resisting an officer and intentional littering, the LDWF said.

Howard was arrested May 18, 2012, after LDWF enforcement agents confronted him in connection with an investigation into the illegal catch.

The agents had begun an investigation after confidential informants informed them that Howard had particpated in catching a bluefin in April 2012 after the season closed.

After a lengthy investigation, agents secured a subpoena for the cell phone owned by Howard where photos of the fish were believed to be stored, LDWF said.

However, when agents approached Howard with the subpoena and asked for his phone, the fisherman threw the phone overboard and destroyed any evidence it might have contained, the agency said.

Howard was placed under arrest and booked into the Plaquemines Parish Jail, after which agents secured a search warrant for his home and seized his computer. The LDWF said Howard then provided agents with photos and videos of the illegally harvested tuna. 

Judge M. Clement of the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish accepted Howard’s guilty plea Wednesday, and sentenced him to forfeit his 2013 charter boat guide licenses and forbid him from acting as a charter captain for 2013.

Howard also was sentenced to a total of $850 in fines plus court costs, 32 hours of community service and two years of probation, with the addition that no wildlife-and-fishery offenses can be committed during the time of probation. If Howard does commit any wildlife and fishery violation during his two years of probation, he faces further revocation of charter boat licenses.






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