Fish sting nets arrests in parish

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Rarely has a man paid so much for a cooler full of fish – to be exact, $750 bail and up to $500 and 30 days in jail if convicted.

Four Concordia Parish residents were arrested Thursday on charges of buying and selling game fish and whitetail deer.

Thursday’s arrests were made as the result of an undercover investigation of alleged sales of crappie and perch and deer meat.

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The alleged sales – as much as 90 to 100 pounds of crappie in one transaction – took place in the Ferriday and Wildsville areas &uot;in the winter, during hunting season,&uot;&160;said Capt. Charles Tarver of the Enforcement Division of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region IV Office.

The following were arrested Thursday morning by Region IV enforcement officers, booked into the Concordia Parish Jail and released Thursday, each on $750 bond:

4Louis Matthew, 53, of 215 Doty Garden Circle in Ferriday, on one count of criminal conspiracy to buy or sell game fish.

4Darwin K. Book, 47, of 319 Shirley Circle in Monterey, on one count of selling game fish.

4King G. Watkins, 71, of 3600 U.S. 84 W. in Ferriday, on one count of buying game fish.

In addition, Russell W. Clay, 43, of 276 Wildsville Road in Wildsville, on one count of selling whitetail deer. He was released Thursday on $2,250 bond.

Clay was also charged with two counts of selling deer in Catahoula Parish, Tarver said.

As of late Thursday afternoon, officers were traveling to Baton Rouge to arrest Bobby L. Carter, 28, and Rebecca K. Woolsey, 20, both of Baton Rouge, on charges of selling game fish. Those incidents allegedly took place last winter near Jonesville.

A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Mike Wiley of Wildsville on federal charges of buying and selling game fish across state lines. Actually, such sales are not that rare for the Miss-Lou, Tarver said.

&uot;This area is well known&uot; for illegally selling game fish and meat, he said, noting Thursday’s arrests were not thought to be part of a large operation.

&uot;We make this amount of arrests or more every year or two.&uot;

In this case, an investigation was begun in response to tips from the public, he added.

Selling game fish – non-commercial fish including bass, brim, crappie and perch – can get one a $500 fine and 30 days in jail per count.

The maximum penalty for selling whitetail deer meat is $750 or 30 days in jail.

While buying and selling game fish may not seem like much of a crime, it is one Tarver takes very seriously.

&uot;It depletes your wildlife,&uot;&160;Tarver said. &uot;People come from all over the country to fish at lakes like Concordia, Horseshoe, Black River and others. It’s a very popular sport and brings in a lot of income.&uot;