A Louisiana fishing guide was arrested in late January by state officers for alleged charterboat and hunting guide violations, plus two felony charges in St. Bernard Parish. (Louisiana has parishes, not counties.)
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Christopher Pike Jr., 38, of Metairie was charged with three charter-boat violations, four charges for failing to abide by hunting laws, plus passing bad checks, credit-card fraud and two counts of felony theft. Pike had been affiliated with Cast & Blast Charters in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
Because St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s officers first arrested Pike Jr., LDWF agents issued their charges while he was in the St. Bernard Parish Jail.
A Number of Illegal Actions
Officers first learned of his illegal actions last December when customers of Pike’s complained that he was accepting charter booking payments but not following through with the trips. Officers say that Pike had booked three fishing trips and four duck hunting trips without a required U.S. Coast Guard license, or proper state fishing and hunting guide licenses.
“After further investigation, agents revealed that Pike illegally charged a customer’s credit card extra money and never provided the trip, issued a worthless check to another customer that requested a refund, and also never returned money paid to him electronically for trips totaling $4,143,” said the LDWF release.
What Possible Penalties Is He Facing?
Including Pike’s most recent charges, he has violated Louisiana charter-guide regulations 10 times in six years. State officers also seized Pike’s 24-foot boat pending his prosecution. Possible outcomes include:
- Jail time up to 5 years, plus a $3,000 fine are possible for worthless checks and felony theft.
- Up to 15 years in jail and a $50,000 fine are penalties for credit card fraud.
- Not abiding by hunting guide law can bring 120 days in jail and a $950 fine.
- A third offense violating charter fishing regulations can result in 180 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.