Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged crab trap violations in Plaquemines Parish on May 14.
Agents cited Liem Thanh Ngo, 63, and Trung Nguyen, 63, both of Gretna, and Ha Tran, 46, of Avondale, for destroying serviceable crab traps. Liem Ngo, the captain, of the vessel was also cited for theft of crab traps.
Agents were on patrol in Breton Sound when they spotted a double rigger shrimp vessel actively shrimping. As they approached for a license and TED inspection numerous crab traps were seen hanging off the side of the vessel. When agents boarded the vessel other traps were found in the rigging and on the top of the wheelhouse.
As the investigation continued the traps were seen with all the lines cut and the lines were wrapped and thrown on top the rigging. The traps belonged to four different local fishermen who were contacted and stated the men did not have permission to possess their crab traps.
Destroying legal crab traps and theft of crab carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Additionally, any crab license held by the offenders can be revoked for a period of one year for the first offense and a vessel monitoring system may be installed on any commercial fishing vessel they are on board.
Agents seized 24 crab traps that will be held as evidence and returned to the proper owners.
The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution. Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young and Corporal Blaine Wagner.