Charges against former wildlife commissioner, son upheld
FALLON – District Judge Robert E. Estes denied a request to dismiss charges filed against a former wildlife commissioner and his son, who both admitted to hunting violations last month.
Bradley and Dario Quilici will be sentenced Jan. 11 and each faces one year in jail and a $2,000 fine for providing false information to obtain a big game tag.
Neither defendant showed up in court Tuesday for a hearing, nor did Reno attorney Ken McKenna, who represents the Quilicis. A secretary in McKenna’s office said the lawyer was in Las Vegas on business and wasn’t aware of the hearing scheduled in Fallon.
Bradley Quilici, 52, served on the Nevada Wildlife Commission between December 1999 and April this year when he resigned. The nine-member board is responsible for setting and overseeing hunting policies and establishing regulations for hunters.
Dario Quilici, 24, obtained resident hunting and fishing licenses in Nevada between 2002 and 2004 while he attended school in Utah. He reportedly used his father’s Lovelock address as his own when applying for the licenses. The younger Quilici also obtained a Utah fishing license and driver’s license during the same time period, and paid resident tuition at college.
The motion to dismiss filed by McKenna argued the charges against his clients violated their Constitutional rights because of a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The ruling determined that hunting is commerce and must be made equally available to out-of-state and in-state hunters.
A guide service sued Arizona wildlife officials claiming it is discriminatory to place limits on non-resident tags. A federal court ruled in favor of Arizona, but the ruling was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Nevada has also been drawn into the dispute. Three New Mexico outfitters filed suit against Nevada claiming the state’s current system to allocate hunting tags discriminates against non-residents. Nevada is one of nine western states affected by the Ninth Circuit Court ruling.
McKenna was hoping to convince Judge Estes the Arizona case applied to the Quilici case. Judge Estes denied the motion to dismiss without comment.
As part of a plea bargain agreement, the Quilicis agreed to give up a trophy elk killed in Lincoln County and an antelope harvested in 2003. The elk was in the process of being prepared for mounting.
Charges in Lincoln and Pershing counties were dismissed when the Quilicis agreed to plead guilty to the Churchill County crime. Lottery drawings are done in Fallon.
The father and son must also turn over any weapons used in the hunts, pay a $2,500 civil penalty to the Nevada Department of Wildlife and refrain from hunting in the United States for three years. Bradley Quilici also relinquished a bull elk tag he drew this year.
Contact reporter Marlene Garcia at email@example.com