CAMERON PARISH, LA — Two men from Texas walked 14 hours through Louisiana marsh during severe weather, then swam the Sabine River all in an attempt to avoid being arrested for stealing crabs. Although they survived their journey, they ended up surrendering to law enforcement the next day.
After receiving several complaints of missing crab from traps set in Cameron Parish, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries launched an investigation. Agents patrolled the Black Bayou-area in an attempt to locate the culprits.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, a commercial fisherman contacted agents after he watched two men pull up in a boat and steal crabs from his traps. Before agents were able to arrive, the men had abandoned the boat and dumped the crabs in the marsh. They then hid in the nearby marsh.
“When the agents arrived, they called out to the men to come out of hiding. After obtaining the suspects’ names from an overdue boater report from the Orange County Texas Sheriff’s Office, agents then contacted Louisiana State Police, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Cameron Sheriff’s Office for air support and additional officers to assist in the search for these men,” officials said in a press release.
After 14 hours of searching, agents received a phone call from an Orange County Deputy. He said that the two men had arrived home.
The two men, Jireh A. Slaughter, 21, and Tevvin T. Jones, 20, surrendered to law enforcement agents in Lake Charles the next morning. They were arrested and charged with Theft of Crabs, Taking Commercial Fish Without a License, Without a Gear License and Without a Vessel License, Violating Interstate Commerce Regulations; and Resisting an Officer by Flight. Both were booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.
Theft of crabs brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Taking commercial fish without a license, without a gear license and without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Violating interstate commerce regulations brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Resisting an officer by flight carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.