GRETNA COMMERCIAL FISHING GUIDE SENTENCED FOR OPERATING
ILLEGAL GUIDING SERVICE
BLAKE A. MITCHELL, age 26, a resident of Gretna, Louisiana, and owner/operator of “Louisiana Bowfishing, Inc.,” was sentenced today to three (3) years probation, including two months of home confinement and a $1,000 fine by U. S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown after previously pleading guilty to a felony for providing a commercial fishing/guiding service in violation of federal law, announced United States Attorney Jim Letten. As part of his sentence, MITCHELL also was ordered to pay $529.40 in restitution and to forfeit the airboat and trailer he used in connection with the illegal activity.
According to court documents, MITCHELL owned “Louisiana Bowfishing, Inc.,” a fishing, hunting, and guiding service based out of Gretna, Louisiana. In January 2010, MITCHELL arranged to take several men from Tennessee on a combined duck hunt and bowfishing trip in Plaquemines Parish. During the two-day trip, MITCHELL captained an airboat with the men aboard, and he provided them with the necessary equipment to hunt and instructed them on where to stand and how to operate the equipment. During the hunt, MITCHELL took the men on multiple bowfishing trips each day and encouraged them to exceed the legal limit of five redfish per person. MITCHELL himself took twenty redfish over the two days. Between hunts, MITCHELL returned the airboat to the boat launch, put the fish in an ice chest, and hid them in an obscure location next to a nearby convenience store. MITCHELL was paid $1850 for the entire hunt.
The case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
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