Two Plaquemine brothers were sentenced to probation and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor offenses for guiding alligator hunters to areas not covered by their state tags.
In return for their guilty pleas, several felony charges were dismissed against Clint P. Martinez, 44, and Michael A. Martinez, 48.
Their indictment alleged that four alligators killed in the out-of-territory hunts were sold for more than $45,000.
The illegal hunts took place in 2005 and 2006, according to the indictment.
Two alligators, measuring 10 feet and 12 feet, were killed and tagged for an area near Plaquemine, Justice Department prosecutor Shennie Patel told U.S. District Judge James J. Brady.
The tags’ territory, however, was “100 miles away from where they actually killed the alligators,” Patel added.
A second hunt bagged a 12-foot alligator out of its tagged territory, and a third 12-footer was taken in an area for which no state tags were issued, Patel said.
Michael A. Martinez, 48, a licensed alligator helper, was represented in plea negotiations by Baton Rouge attorney Michael S. Walsh.
Clint P. Martinez, 44, a licensed alligator hunter, was represented by Plaquemine attorneys F. Barry Marionneaux and F. Charles Marionneaux.
Patel and Justice Department prosecutor H. Claire Whitney dropped all felony charges after the brothers pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors.
Brady placed each of the Martinez brothers on three years of unsupervised probation and fined each of them $5,000.
The judge also prohibited both men from hunting anything, anywhere in the world, for the first year of their probation.
Brady added that neither man can participate in alligator hunts during his second and third years of probation.
Each of the Martinez brothers also is required to serve 200 hours of community service while on probation, the judge ruled.
And each must publish a prosecutor-approved newspaper statement “apologizing for your illegal conduct,” Brady added.