After receiving an anonymous tip from a St. Helena Parish resident, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents launched a month-long investigation into a number of alleged wildlife violations.
On December 19th, Sgt. Toby Miller of LDFW was able to question Rogelio Perez, 52, at his residence regarding a pair of deer he was skinning out in his shed. It was later revealed that the animals were taken on the same day and Sgt. Miller also made note that the accused attempted to conceal the head of a buck in the shed while the agent was on the property.
After questioning, Perez eventually admitted to taking up to 11 deer under the cover of night with help from his accomplice Ben Avants, 54, and a variety of equipment. The pair allegedly utilized night vision and a flashlight attached to a .270 rifle to acquire the animals illegally over a number of night-time hunts since November 19th. In addition to illegally killing the animals, which ended up being seven deer over Louisiana’s legal limit, Perez also admitted they had been selling the meat of eight of the deer to local residents.
The two men were subsequently cited for hunting deer during illegal hours, without wearing hunter’s orange and possessing illegally taken deer. Individually, Perez was also cited for failing to meet deer tagging requirements, taking over the daily limit of deer, intentional littering, taking deer illegally during an open season, selling deer meat, taking over the season limit of deer, concealing wildlife and failing to maintain sexual deer identification.
All said, the combined offenses could add to upwards of $5,000 worth of fines and the potential of up to 540 days worth of jail time.
Perez is also subject to potential civic restitution amounting to $21,521 for the 13 illegally taken deer.