Man accused of illegal oyster harvest faces attempted murder charge

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

Agents arrested Jonathan K. Ragas, 50, at his home in Port Sulphur and booked him into the Plaquemines Parish Jail, according to a news release.

The arrest stems from an incident that occurred 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, according to the release.

When the 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 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, according to the release.

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

Ragas faces life in prison without parole, if convicted of first-degree murder.
Aggravated assault brings as much as a $1,000 fine and six months of jail time. Resisting an officer carries as much as 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 as much as a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.

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