Monday, August 27, 2012

A Heckuva Way To Lose Your Firearm Rights

As most people know, being convicted of a felony - violent or non-violent - will cause a person to lose their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. Moreover, restoration of these rights is damn near impossible nowadays thanks to people like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who continually blocks funding for relief from disability reviews at BATFE. Thus, you just shake your head when you read about seven people charged with a third-degree felony for cheating in a fishing tournament.

From the Lone Star Outdoor News:
Some unladylike behavior in the Ladies Kingfish Tournament held in South Padre Island has left seven people facing felony accusations for cheating during the competition.

Willacy County Game Warden Oscar Castaneda was checking boats at the ramp with fellow warden Jason Duke when the suspicions first began.

“We’d had conversations with people in the area that they had possibly been cheating in different tournaments, and we both recognized the boat,” he said. “(Game Warden Jason Duke) went over for a water safety inspection, and they started unloading fish they were going to take to the weigh-in.”

The wardens noticed that some of the fish, including the trout, had red bellies, which Castaneda said raised a red flag that the fish had been kept in a basket instead of being recently caught. The wardens called ahead to the tournament directors to advise that the fish be studied carefully for legitimacy.

“About 45 minutes later we’re still checking boats, and we get a call from another game warden that said the team showed up with a flounder,” he said. “We said, ‘man, there’s no way they caught a flounder between here and there’ — she had as much as told me there wasn’t a flounder anywhere in the boat.”

An individual then came forward and told wardens that he had seen a flounder handed off in Arroyo City to Jose Cavazos, father of fishing guide Jose “Meme” Cavazos, whose boat was being used by the women for the tournament.

“For the Calcutta, you’re required to have that flounder,” Castaneda said. “The Calcutta pays out a ton, and with that fish they were tied for first and ended up second.”

The women won over $5,000 for second place.

“It’s just wrong on so many levels,” he said. “It’s the first saltwater fraud charges ever filed in the state.”

The decision to cheat has brought the defendants third-degree felony charges.

“The charge is fraud in a fishing tournament, section 66.023 of the Parks and Wildlife penal code,” said Cameron County Justice of the Peace Bennie Ochoa III.


  1. I once had a guy looking to get his carry permit that was a convicted felon due to paying a few of his employees cash, straight time, in lieu of on the books, and time and a half. A felon is a felon. Gun owners & gun owner wanna be need to keep their noses real clean.

    1. Tax fraud is still fraud, and if you don't expect the government to come down very hard on it....

  2. While this sounds a bit silly, if you strip it down to essentials, fraud to the tune of mid-4 figures is something we've traditionally considered to be felonious behavior.

    Maybe we should inflation adjust, but in 1990 dollars it's still $2,850, 1980 it's $1,800, you have to go back to 1970 when it's only $845 before it sounds like it maybe be in the range of a misdemeanor. You have to go back before 1948 before it's below $500.

    That covers proportionally; otherwise it certainly passes my duck test for a crime, e.g. there's mens rea, Latin for "guilty mind", essentially meaning the offenders knew they were doing something wrong.

  3. Just to be clear - I'm not upset with them being charged with a felony for fraud. I just find cheating in a fishing tournament where the prize is only $5,000 to be absurd.

    I'm just not competitive about my fishing except with myself. I've caught some nice fish over the years but catching a 6 inch brook trout can be just as fun as a 41 inch Northern pike (on a flyrod). I've done both and both were fun.

  4. I'm upset with there being a special fraud crime for fishing tournaments. Isn't the regular fraud statute good enough?

  5. It's possible that the way the fraud statute was originally written, cheating in a fishing tournament wasn;t actually covered. Frequently, tehse "one-off" laws are legislated as badly matched caulk to cover what some legislator is loudly decrying as a "loophole". Sometimes, they are even correct. . .

  6. The pernicious rapacity that some people call "Government" does not now,nor has ever had the lawful power to disenfranchise anyone because no such power has ever been Constitutionally delegated.Schumer and his ilk are in direct violation of 18 USC 241 & 242 as well as their Constitutional oath of office by doing so and belong in a federal prison.