Ex-wildlife commissioner pleads no-contest
FALLON – A former Nevada wildlife commissioner and his son pleaded no contest to hunting license violations Tuesday and agreed to forfeit hunting privileges nationwide for three years.
Former Commissioner Bradley Quilici and his son, Dario Quilici, both of Lovelock, also agreed as part of the plea agreement to pay either a combined $4,000 in civil penalties or turn over weapons used in two illegal hunts last year.
They entered their pleas to a single gross misdemeanor each of providing false information to illegally obtain a Nevada resident hunting and fishing license for Dario Quilici last year, while he was living in Utah and obtained a resident fishing license there.
The Quilicis’ lawyer, Ken McKenna of Reno, told the judge it was “in their best interest to plead no contest and put this matter behind them.”
Outside the courtroom, he said the Quilicis maintain they did nothing wrong and were not admitting guilt. “They just really wanted to end this,” he said.
“I don’t think they intentionally broke the law,” he said, adding that the Quilicis didn’t want to risk a possible felony conviction, especially for the son in Lincoln County where Dario shot his bull elk last year.
Under the agreement, Dario Quilici is to pay $2,500 and Bradley Quilici $1,500 to the Nevada Department of Wildlife or forfeit the weapons used to illegally harvest an antelope and trophy bull elk last year.
Both are banned from hunting nationwide for three years beginning Oct. 1. The timing means the elder Quilici will forfeit a buck tag he received this year in Nevada’s big game tag lottery, along with a coveted Nevada bull elk tag – considered by hunters to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Additionally, the antelope and elk mounts harvested by Dario Quilici were to be forfeited.
In exchange for their pleas, Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Brandi Jensen agreed to drop more than a dozen other criminal charges – including two felonies – that were filed against the pair in Churchill, Pershing and Lincoln counties.
The two still could face up to a year in jail and $2,000 in criminal fines when sentenced Nov. 2 by District Judge Robert Estes because the judge is not bound by the plea agreement.
But Jensen said the agreement is a “resolution that we’re happy with” and that she probably won’t seek jail time at the sentencing.
Laws in Nevada and elsewhere make it a crime to claim residency in more than one state to obtain a resident hunting or fishing license.
Wildlife investigators alleged the Quilicis provided false information to illegally obtain resident Nevada hunting licenses for Dario Quilici in 2002-2004. At the time, he was attending Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, where he paid in-state tuition. He also had drivers’ licenses from both states.
Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Bradley Quilici as a representative to the nine-member board that sets wildlife policy in November 1999.
Two months later it was learned that Quilici had been cited by a game warden in 1982 for trapping violations. He was found guilty of five misdemeanor violations and ordered to pay $100 apiece in fines.
Quilici resigned from the commission May 5 as the latest investigation unfolded.