Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited two Houma men on Wednesday for alleged oyster theft in Terrebonne Parish.

According to a news release, Santiago Mendez-Luis, 50, and Joshua Manuel Gregoire, 19, were cited for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease and failure to have written permission.

Agents on patrol near Bay Sale allegedly saw the subjects harvesting oysters by hand. Neither man had permission to harvest oysters on the private lease, the release states.

Agents returned eight sacks of oysters to the water and seized the vessel under an LDWF seizure order.

Unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail, plus forfeiture of anything seized.  Failure to have written permission carries a $400 to $900 fine and up to 120 days in jail, according to the release. 

The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year, the release states. Additionally, the violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.