A tip about someone selling oysters from an unrefrigerated truck in Houma on Sunday led to the arrest of a Texas man accused of theft and numerous seafood-related violations, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Agents allegedly found Wally J. Bazar, 33, of New Orleans, selling green-tagged oysters to the public from an unrefrigerated truck. During questioning, Bazar admitted buying 10 sacks from Randy Smith, 51, of Angleton, Texas, the release states.
Agents questioned Smith and learned he was a deckhand on a commercial oyster fishing vessel, and according to the release, Smith stole the oysters from the vessel without the owner’s knowledge and put them in his car.
During Smith’s background check, agents found that he was wanted in Texas for the past two years on parole violations in Calhoun County. Agents arrested Smith as a fugitive from justice and charged him with theft, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, failing to maintain records, selling improperly tagged oysters and transporting oysters without a transport license. He was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail and is awaiting extradition to Texas, the release states.
Bazar was cited for violating oyster refrigeration requirements, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, selling improperly tagged oysters and failing to maintain traceable oyster records.
Theft brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Selling seafood without a seafood wholesale license, failing to maintain records, transport without transport license and selling improperly tagged oysters each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating oyster refrigeration requirements brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail, according to the release.