Del Carlo files for brothel license in Storey County

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Robert Del Carlo, former Storey County sheriff who ended his career in 1998 after 28 years, has filed an application for a brothel license in Storey County.

Del Carlo applied Tuesday for a license for the Old Bridge Ranch in northern Storey County. A pending federal court case will be critical in determining whether Del Carlo actually uses the license, according to Sheriff Pat Whitten.

The application indicates the brothel, now owned by David Burgess, will be changing ownership. The business was also once owned by fugitive brothel baron Joe Conforte, who fled to Brazil in 1991 as the Internal Revenue Service was closing in on him for tax evasion.

Del Carlo could not be reached for comment. The manager of the Old Bridge Ranch would not comment except to say the brothel is open for business as usual.

It will be the third application under Storey County's new brothel ordinance, completed in the fall of 2000.

In addition to requiring a detailed investigation, the 14-page ordinance addresses issues from the powers of the licensing board to health examinations.

The ordinance was rewritten in the wake of a Nevada Supreme Court ruling that said the county violated Burgess' right to free association when it yanked his brothel, liquor and boarding house licenses for the Ranch.

Storey officials objected to Burgess' alleged motorcycle ties, ironically one of the first issues Del Carlo dealt with as sheriff.

A long-time Virginia City resident, Del Carlo attended local schools and owned a restaurant in the Delta Saloon for five years, before he ran for sheriff in 1970.

During his first months in office, the town's businessmen were unhappy with the previous sheriff because motorcycle gangs would take over Virginia City's main street, scaring off the tourists and hurting business during holidays.

When Burgess was initiated as a Hell's Angel, it was a concern for Del Carlo and Storey officials, who challenged Burgess' entitlement to operate a brothel while affiliated with an organization with a known criminal history.


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