Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries busted three alleged thieves last weekend on their way back from writing up commercial shrimpers accused of fishing in a closed season.
According to a press release, agents cited Shawn T. Tran, 30, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dung T. Hong, 48, of New Orleans, for allegedly using skimmer nets during a closed season on July 9.
Agents acting on a complaint observed the vessel actively shrimping 3,671 feet inside the closed waters line in Caillou Boca, and seized more than 1,700 pounds of shrimp that were ultimately sold at the dock.
While escorting that vessel back to port, agents came across a small vessel with no navigational lights about 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, July 10. The three men in the boat — Devin Fanguy, John Fanguy and Elliot Fanguy, all of Dulac, were arrested for simple burglary after agents allegedly found a 40-inch flat screen TV, a 5,000 KW generator, fishing poles, a .22 rifle and other items in their possession, according to the release.
Officers with the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed the items were stolen, and the men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail, the release states.
Agents also cited Devin Fanguy for improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to display a valid boat registration decal and was also arrested for outstanding warrants, according to the release.
The TPSO is currently investigating the Fanguys to determine if they possess other items reported stolen from fishing camps in the area, the release states.
Burglary brings up to a $2,000 fine and 12 years in jail. Using skimmers during a closed shrimp season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized. Improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements and failing to display a valid decal all bring up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.
Tran and Hong could also have their gear licenses revoked by the department for up to one year, the release states.