A Plaquemines Parish man pleaded guilty on April 15 to his sixth offense of taking oysters in a polluted area and felony public intimidation of a game warden, according to a release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Jonathan K. Ragas, 51, of Port Sulphur, was sentenced to pay a $2,500 fine plus court costs, and was given a five-year suspended sentence in parish prison and probation for six years by Judge Michael C. Clement.
His commercial and recreational licenses were revoked for two years, and Ragas also was ordered to not be on a vessel that possesses oysters and he cannot serve as deckhand on any commercial vessel during those two years, the release states.
After the two-year revocation, Ragas cannot be on a vessel with oysters or work on a vessel with oysters for a period of three years, unless that vessel is equipped with a monitoring system overseen by LDWF, according to the release.
The sentence stems from an incident in March, 2013 when LDWF agents and Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s deputies caught Ragas harvesting polluted oysters for the sixth time in an area that was closed to the oyster harvest by the Department of Health and Hospitals.