Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirms that Hunter Guimbellot, 22, an FPSO correctional officer, along with WPD officer Chester Coleman, 34, and Josh Martin, 31, shot a doe illegally with a rifle from the patrol vehicle. They then transported the dead animal in the trunk of a WPD patrol vehicle to the Northeast Louisiana Ambulance Service to be cleaned.
Cobbs says this took place around 8 p.m. on the night of December 30 at the Winnsboro Industrial Park.
Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries contacted him about the incident.
A lieutenant with LDWF says the investigation started after a tip was called in to the one of their agents.
Coleman, who was on duty at the time, was cited by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries this week for taking a deer during illegal hours using artificial light, hunting from a moving vehicle, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, and hunting without basic and big game licenses. He was also arrested for malfeasance in office and booked into the Franklin Parish Jail.
Officer Martin and Deputy Guimbellot were not on duty, but also ticketed by the LDWF. Thomas said charges were made by the LDWF, who worked the entire case.
Agents seized the .308 rifle and the deer. Agents involved in the case are Lt. Scott Watson and Senior Agent Johnny Wilson.
Although this case is unique, Scott Mathews -- a lieutenant in the Wildlife and Fisheries law enforcement division -- says illegal killing of deer is something they see daily.
"During hunting season, our agents are out and not only do we see the law abiding citizens, but we also encounter the non-law abiding citizens," he said.
He says seasons are set by the legislature to avoid overharvesting a natural resource. Hunters need a small or big game license and tags to hunt deer and other animals -- that helps enforcement agencies keep track of how many animals are harvested and where.
"Those tags are very important," Mathews said.
Lt. Mathews says the fines can be steep, and illegal taking of deer is one of their largest fines.
Malfeasance in office is a felony and brings up to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines. Taking deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail. Hunting without basic and big game licenses carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense. Violating deer tagging regulations brings a $100 to $300 fine and up to 60 days in jail.