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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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6 accused of taking polluted oysters in 2 incidents

6 accused of taking polluted oysters in 2 incidents

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Six men in their teens and 20s are accused of harvesting polluted oysters in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Sgt. Bryan Marie cited Dustin Buquet, 18, Richardo Najero-Morales, 25, and Cline Ledet, 29, all of Chauvin, on Sept. 18, according to a department news release Tuesday. They're accused of taking oysters from a polluted part of Bay Antoine in Terrebonne Parish.

Marie ticketed 23-year-old Dillon Verdin of Cut Off, and 21-year-olds Alexei Vargas and Holden Verdin, both of Houma, on Tuesday in Bayou Faleau in Lafourche Parish, Enforcement Division spokesman Adam Einck said.

Phone numbers were not available for any of them; it was not clear whether any has an attorney who could comment.

Einck said the health department had closed the areas because of pollution. He did not say what caused the pollution.

Each boat held 15 sacks of oysters, Einck said. He said Marie confiscated the boats and dredges, and put the oysters back in the water.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. In addition, the men could be sentenced to serve 40 hours community service and be required to only harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring system.

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