News and Press Releases


March 30, 2012

MARK GAUTREAU, 50, was sentenced today in federal court in New Orleans to 72 months in prison for shooting two Hispanic men on the Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish, La., on Aug. 20, 2006.

In November 2011, GAUTREAU pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

In the factual basis supporting his plea, GAUTREAU admitted he was in a parking lot in the spillway when he told a bystander that he intended to “shoot some Mexicans.” GAUTREAU admitted that he then loaded ammunition into his 12-gauge shotgun and drove off toward the area where four Hispanic men were fishing. Once he reached them, GAUTREAU got out of his truck and fired his shotgun one time. The shotgun blast hit two of the Hispanic men, who suffered injuries that required hospitalization. GAUTREAU admitted that the four Hispanic men did not shoot at him or threaten him in any way that would require him to defend himself.

“Justice has been met for the two Hispanic men who were the victims of a random act of violence,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The department is committed to vigorously enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws.”

“Together with our partners in the Civil Rights Division, who led this important prosecution, and the FBI, along with Sheriff Greg Champagne and the men and women of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, we will remain true to our commitment to fiercely protect the rights of all within our borders to be free from abuse and violence,” said James Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

This case was investigated by the New Orleans office of the FBI, and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Department whose deputies conducted the initial investigation which made this case possible. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Angie Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Greenfield of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.


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