Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested two men Wednesday in St. Bernard Parish for alleged oyster harvesting and drug violations, according to a press release.
Oliver Rudesill Jr., 33, and Tracy Gallardo Jr., 23, were cited for several oyster, boating safety and drug violations after an inspection in the Reggio Marina, the release states.
LDWF agents boarded their vessel for a safety inspection when the two entered the marina with improper running lights. During the inspection, agents found 28 sacks of oysters and learned Rudesill Jr. is on probation until May, 2016 because of prior oyster harvesting violations.
Agents also learned that Rudesill Jr. did not have a working Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that was part of his probation, according to the release.
Additionally, Rudesill did not fill out a harvester’s log sheet for that day’s harvest. Plus, the vessel did not have a valid commercial license, and wasn’t equipped with a tarp per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations. The vessel also did not have proper ID numbers visible from the air, and agents found the sacks of oysters were not properly tagged.
Rudesill Jr. also did not have the proper amount of personal flotation devices, a vessel registration, a working fire extinguisher or navigation lights, the release states.
During the interview, agents allegedly found Gallardo in possession of oxycodone, suboxone and drug paraphernalia, according to the release.
Agents seized 28 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water, and both subjects were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.
Violating the VMS guidelines carries a fine of $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of untagged oysters and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating the sanitation code for not having a tarp and the logbook violation each carries a $25 fine and 10 days in jail.
No vessel registration, failing to display proper numbers on a vessel, failing to comply with PFD requirements, no fire extinguisher and improper running lights each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Possession of oxycodone and suboxone each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail, according to the release.