Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested a St. Mary Parish man on Tuesday for alleged fishing, boating and drug violations on Lake Palourde.
According to a press release, Mark Derouen, 33, of Stephensville, was booked with operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI), illegal possession of suspected marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, felony cultivation of marijuana, not possessing a recreational fishing license, and failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements. Agents also cited Melinda Hartley, 49, of Stephensville, for violating crab trap marking requirements.
While patrolling the Lake End Park, agents observed a boat operated by Derouen, who was accompanied by Hartley, along with a cooler full of crabs onboard, the release states.
After making contact with them, agents found that Hartley did not tag any of the crab traps she used with the required LDWF license number, according to the release.
Upon further investigation, agents allegedly found Derouen in possession of a Ziploc bag with marijuana, and a large grocery bag full of fresh marijuana, multiple smoke pipes and other drug paraphernalia, the release states.
After receiving permission to search Derouen’s residence, the Morgan City Police Department and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotics teams inspected Derouen’s residence where they allegedly found marijuana plants, according to the release.
Derouen was also found to be impaired at the time of the stop, and agents booked him into the St. Mary Parish Jail, the release states.
Not tagging crab traps with the required markings carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Not abiding by PFD requirements and not possessing a fishing license each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail. A DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail. Cultivation of marijuana carries up to a $50,000 fine and five to 30 years in jail, according to the release.