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Officer, 3 others in Coushatta police unit accused of hunting deer illegally at night

Officer put on leave; police chief says use of the patrol vehicle was unauthorized
(Source: File photo/Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries)
(Source: File photo/Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:14 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 at 8:17 PM CST
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RED RIVER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — A Coushatta police officer and three other people allegedly were caught illegally hunting deer at night from one of the Police Department’s patrol units.

And one of the three people who were in the vehicle with the officer Sunday night apparently is a felon.

Police Chief Kevin Stafford told KSLA News 12 on Tuesday, Dec. 7 that the officer’s use of the patrol unit was unauthorized.

Also, the police chief said the officer has been placed on leave and will be suspended until an investigation is complete. In a news release from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries named the officer as Javarrea Pouncy, 28, of Gloster.

It was about 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5 when game wardens who were working on the west side of Red River in Red River Parish heard gunshots coming from the opposite side of the river, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told KSLA News 12.

Cpl. Justin Greer and others went to where they heard the gunfire. They parked their truck, turned off the lights and immediately heard gunshots 100-150 yards from their location. They also could hear people talking and coming through the woods toward them.

Other wildlife agents — Sgt. Jared McIver, Senior Agent Dalton Harrington, Cpl. Mike Cook, Lt. Kenny Balkom and Sgt. Wesley Duck — were called in to assist. Red River Parish sheriff’s Deputy John Egan Griffith also showed up when he heard the gunfire.

The other men cited are Cederick J. Thomas, 36, of Vivian; Anthony B. Caldwell, 31, of Coushatta; Adam J. Caldwell, 30, of Natchitoches,

While the game wardens were waiting for backup to arrive, they saw headlights down a narrow road and could tell that whoever was in the vehicle — later identified as the Coushatta police patrol unit — reportedly was spotlighting deer, which is illegal.

Now agents had two cases on their hands. The men involved would later deny that the two are related.

Meantime, two agents detained some men who came out of the woods and onto railroad tracks.

And when Greer and Duck stopped the police unit, its driver attempted to turn around on the one-lane road but stopped when a game warden turned on the blue lights on his truck.

LDWF reports that there were four people in the patrol unit, including the police officer. They also found dried blood and deer hair in the vehicle from what looked to be a previous incident.

Stafford and other Coushatta police officers arrived on the scene, the state agency reports.

Agents learned that 31-year-old Anthony Banoid Caldwell is a felon and, therefore, is prohibited from having a gun. They arrested him on the firearms charge and he was booked into Red River Parish Detention Center around 2-2:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6.

Authorities seized four guns, including one with night vision, when they cited the four people who emerged onto the railroad tracks. KSLA News 12 was told that all four were cited. The citations include one for allegedly having marijuana, one for having no hunting license and two for hunting at night.

The four also lacked permission to be on the property. Now the landowner wants to press charges for trespassing.

As for the people who were in the police unit, all four were cited for trespassing, hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting deer during illegal hours.

Citations also were issued to one of the three passengers for not having a basic hunting license; there also was a citation for not having a big game license.

KSLA News 12 was told that wildlife agents seized a spike, an eight-point deer and a total of a dozen guns.

FROM LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES

  • Hunting deer during illegal hours brings up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.
  • Hunting from a moving vehicle carries up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.
  • Hunting without recreational basic hunting and big game hunting licenses brings up to a $50 fine.
  • A convicted felon possessing a firearm brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and five to 20 years of jail.
  • Trespassing carries up to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program. To do the latter, text “LADWF” and your tip to 847411 or download the LADWF Tips iPhone or Android app.

All tips sent through tip411 are anonymous. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so the agency cannot identify the sender.

Louisiana Operation Game Thief is a nonprofit wildlife Crime Stoppers program that provides cash rewards for information that leads to the arrest of violators of the state’s fish and wildlife regulations. Click here to learn more.

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