ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A Patterson man has been arrested for alleged wildlife violations in St. Mary Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Harris DeHart, 45, was arrested for aggravated cruelty to animals, contributing to a delinquency of a juvenile, illegally taking non-game quadrupeds, and failing to have a personal flotation on someone under 17 years old while underway in a vessel, LDWF said.

LDWF said that agents were notified on Feb. 6 about a video posted by DeHart showing him gaffing a nutria, cutting the tail off and then releasing the nutria injured and still alive.

Further investigation revealed multiple other videos showing DeHart conducting this activity and also teaching a juvenile how to remove the tail from the nutria and keep it alive, LDWF said.

According to LDWF, Louisiana law states that nongame fur-bearing quadrupeds may be taken with a .22 caliber rifle or shotgun less than 10 gauge using steel or non-toxic shot. The use of spears, pitchforks, bows and arrows, gigs, other weapons, or any like devices in hunting and taking nongame quadruped is prohibited.

LDWF said that aggravated cruelty to animals brings a $5,000 to $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail. Contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Taking non-game quadrupeds illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail and failing to have a PFD on a person under 17 while underway in a vessel carries a fine of up to $50.

Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.