A Cameron Parish oyster company and 12 people have been indicted in federal court, accused of illegally harvesting and selling raw osyters.
Those named in the indictment accusing them of violations of the Lacey Act are:
• Bay Fresh Oyster Company, Inc.
• Adley Leo Dyson, 71, of Cameron;
• Clarence Dyson, III, 46, of Cameron;
• Kirk Patrick Daigle, 47, of Cameron;
• Brandon Kent Duhon, 24, of Lake Charles;
• Kent Anthony Duhon, 58, of Cameron;
• Robert Alton Watson, 41, of Cameron;
• Kerwin Tyler Perry, 25, of Cameron;
• Jenson Kyle Griffith, 28, of Cameron;
• Kasey Lyn Mock, 28, of Cameron;
• Terry Wayne Dickens, 41, of Cameron;
• Phillip Cecil Dyson, 59, of Cameron; and
• Phillip Cecil Dyson, II, 38, of Cameron.
An original release from the US Attorney's Office listed the incorrect age for Adley Leo Dyson. A corrected age of 71 has been edited, per information from US Attorney's Office.
The indictment alleges that the company and the 12 people conspired to harvest raw oysters from Calcasieu Lake in violation of Louisiana law, from March until May 2019.
They're accused of falsifying records, lying about the amount of oysters harvest, the locations of harvest and the times when they were harvested; of not refregerating the oysters properly; of harvesting in the lake without a valid permit or with a revoked permit;
The illegally harvested oysters were then sold by the harvester and purchased by BFO at its Cameron location, where records were falsified to reflect that the oysters had been harvested in compliance with Louisiana law. BFO subsequently transported those oysters across state lines to their facility in San Leon, Texas. Sacks of oysters were not tagged prior to removal from the vessels as required by Louisiana law but were later tagged by BFO employees and agents as being harvested by harvesters other than the actual harvesters.
Oysters had been harvested by harvesters with revoked permits, were harvested in excess of the sack limit set by Louisiana law, and/or were harvested outside the harvesting hours set by Louisiana law. The indictment alleges that the harvesting and dealing in raw oysters in violation of state law violated the federal Lacey Act, which among other things, makes it unlawful to transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate commerce any fish or wildlife that is taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any state.
An initial appearance for the Defendants has been set for March 10, 2021. The U.S. Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries are conducting the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo is prosecuting the case.