Covering Louisiana

Mar 27, 2013 2:07 PM

Port Sulphur Man Charged with Attempted First Degree Murder

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Port Sulphur man for attempted first-degree murder of a LDWF agent, aggravated assault, resisting an officer, public intimidation and taking oysters from a polluted area on March 26.

With the aid of Louisiana State Police and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office (PPSO), LDWF agents arrested Jonathan K. Ragas, 50, at his home in Port Sulphur and booked him into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.

The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on March 20 when Ragas was stopped by an LDWF agent and PPSO marine division deputies who were assisting in the patrol. The agent and deputies found Ragas taking oysters from polluted waters.

When the LDWF agent attempted to board Ragas' vessel, Ragas exhibited violent behavior toward the agent and would not allow the agent to board the vessel. At one point during the encounter Ragas brandished a hatchet toward the LDWF agent in an aggressive manner. After repeated attempts to board the vessel and because of officer safety concerns, the agent and deputies decided to detain Ragas at a later date with an arrest warrant.

This is the sixth time that Ragas has been charged by LDWF agents for taking oysters from an unapproved area. This also makes the third time that Ragas has been charged for assaulting an LDWF agent.

Attempted first-degree murder carries a penalty of life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Aggravated assault brings up to a $1,000 fine and six months of jail time. Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months of jail time. Public intimidation brings up to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail with or without hard labor. Taking oysters from an unapproved area brings up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.

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