Judge Michael Clement accepted guilty pleas earlier this week from three men for numerous commercial oyster violations last summer in Plaquemines Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
On Feb. 25, John Phillipe, 32 and Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., were sentenced in connection with oyster thefts observed by LDWF agents on Bayou Stephan under cover of darkness on Aug. 16, 2013, the release states.
Phillipe pleaded guilty to harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill, violating the state’s health code by not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book, violating the state’s health code for vessel sanitation requirements, no tarp, no visible boat numbers and taking commercial fish without a vessel license.
Phillipe also was cited for improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of a vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal, according to the release.
Sylve and Taylor pleaded guilty to harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission and violation of the emergency fishery closure in effect from the BP oil spill.
Phillipe was ordered to pay a fine of $3,900 plus court costs and was placed on two years probation. All of Phillipe’s commercial licenses were also revoked for a period of two years and he is forbidden to be on any oyster vessel for two years. His oyster dredge was also forfeited to the LDWF, according to the release.
Sylve and Taylor were each ordered to pay a fine of $950 plus court costs and were ordered to not be on a vessel harvesting or possessing oysters or gear to take oysters for two years unless that vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring device that is approved and monitored by the LDWF Enforcement Division, the release states.