A former Nevada Wildlife Commissioner and his son now face felony charges in Lincoln County alleging unlawful killing or possession of an elk without a valid tag.
Arrest warrants were issued Monday in Pioche Justice Court for Bradley D. Quilici and his son Dario Quilici.
This is the third county to file charges against the men. In Churchill County, Bradley Quilici is accused of 12 counts of making a false statement to obtain a license, tag or permit. His son faces 16 counts of the same offense.
Deputy District Attorney Brandi Jensen alleges Dario Quilici, 23, used his father's Lovelock address to apply for hunting and fishing licenses six times in 2002, six times in 2003 and four times this year while he actually lived in Cedar City, Utah.
He reportedly used those Nevada licenses to apply for tags for seven hunts last year. He drew an archery antelope tag and a rare bull elk tag, harvesting both animals, Jensen claims.
Pershing County authorities arrested the men on charges of killing or possessing a pronghorn antelope without a valid tag.
In court documents filed in Pioche, Game Warden John Swisher states he received information March 1 that Dario Quilici received a Nevada resident hunting license and big game tags while attending college in Utah and paying in-state tuition.
On March 26, Swisher alleges, Bradley Quilici gave false information to a licensing agent to obtain a resident hunting license for his son. Bradley Quilici was a member of the Nevada Wildlife Commission at the time. He served between December 1999 and May 5 when he resigned.
"Brad signed Dario's name on the license, and later the same day submitted six applications for big game tags over the Internet in his son's name," Swisher states.
Both Quilicis are accused of transporting a bull elk that was killed in Lincoln County.
Reno attorney Ken McKenna is representing the Quilicis. He said Tuesday Dario Quilici never gave up his Nevada residency while he attended college in Utah. He said Dario Quilici has voted in Nevada in every election, receives his mail at his father's Lovelock home and banks with Nevada State Bank.
"Should he be punished for going to college out of state?" McKenna asked. "It's outrageous to charge this honorable gentleman and his son now with a felony .... We're fighting the charges all the way."
McKenna claims Jensen offered a plea bargain involving the Churchill County charges and gave him 48 hours to respond or the Lincoln County felony would be filed.
"She had a 48-hour gun to our heads to accept a plea bargain with the threat of felony charges being filed. It's ridiculous to ask me to make a reasonable decision in 48 hours."
He also alleges the whole case is political because Bradley Quilici served as a wildlife commissioner when the investigation began.
Jensen denied placing an unreasonable time limit on a plea bargain offer. She said the offer was made June 4, and the Pioche charges weren't filed until Monday, which far exceeds 48 hours. Regarding any political agenda, Jensen said she never heard of Brad or Dario Quilici until she filed charges against them.
"We're prosecuting this case the same way we prosecute other cases. It's being treated the same as any other case," said Jensen.
McKenna admitted that Dario Quilici obtained a resident fishing license in Utah while attending school.
"He took a resident fishing license in Utah and should have paid the extra 10 bucks (for a non-resident license). We'll suffer the consequences. If we have to pay a fine we'll pay it," the lawyer said.
"He is a born and bred native Nevadan. It's disrespectful to accuse him of not being a Nevadan."
Contact Marlene Garcia at email@example.com