The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating and identifying suspects who are responsible for intentionally dumping barbed wire in St. Bernard Parish commercial and recreational fishing waters, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.
During the past two weeks, Sheriff Pohlmann said, the Sheriff’s Office has received several reports from commercial fishermen who have had barbed wire become entangled in their nets and, in some instances, their boat motor propellers while trawling between Pointe Fortuna and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal.
According to the fishermen, barbed wire getting caught in their nets and boat motor propellers can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and put their lives and livelihood at risk. If the barbed wire gets wrapped around a motor propellor it can cause a boat to sink, and fishermen could be exposed to marine bacteria while trying to untangle the wire.
Sheriff Pohlmann warns individuals who are caught intentionally dumping barbed wire in any waterway in St. Bernard Parish will be arrested and could face felony charges, a hefty fine, and/or possible jail time.
The intentional sabotaging of a commercial fishermen’s livelihood will not be tolerated, the Sheriff said.
Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau are investigating several leads in the case, and have obtained information on the possible identity of specific suspects.
Anyone with information regarding individuals known to be intentionally dumping barbed wire in any St. Bernard Parish waterway is asked to call the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at (504) 278-7630 or (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers GNO at (504) 822-1111. Tipsters who call Crimestoppers can remain anonymous, do not have to testify, and could be eligible for a cash reward.
Any boaters who have been affected by this also are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office.