Lyon man sentenced to 6 months |

Lyon man sentenced to 6 months

by Linda Hiller

A Lyon County district court judge gave a stiff sentence to a confessed mule deer poacher on two counts of killing a game animal out of season, a gross misdemeanor.

Alberto Guillen, 22, was sentenced to six months in the Lyon County jail on the first count.

On the second count, he was given a suspended sentence of one year and probation not to exceed three years.

He was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine on each count by Lyon County District Court Judge David Huff in Yerington on Wednesday.

“In the 12 years I’ve working here, it’s the stiffest fine I’ve seen – I’ve seen a 10- to 30-day sentence, but not six months,” said Nevada Division of Wildlife Game Warden Reid Varble, who was involved in the case from the beginning.

“The judge said he thought these were senseless killings and that since the defendant thought (the mule deer) were worthless animals, he hoped the sentence would send a message to others.”

The first of the illegal killings was discovered on Labor Day, Sept. 4, by a bow hunter in north Smith Valley. The information came to NDOW game wardens through Operation Game Thief, Varble said.

The intact buck mule deer carcass had been shot twice and was not butchered for meat, Varble said.

A second intact dead mule deer was later discovered near a Smith Valley feedlot, where Guillen was eventually tracked through tire tracks found near the dead deer that matched the tread of his 1986 Mazda truck. He pleaded guilty to both charges later in September, Varble said.

“His only excuse was that he didn’t like the deer because they jump in front of his headlights at night and scare him,” Varble said. “The reason he didn’t take the meat is because he doesn’t like to eat it.”

Deer season for rifle hunting (tag required) was open from Nov. 4 to Dec. 3. Killing deer out of season is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. Additional civil fines can run from $500 to $5,000, Varble said.

“We expected maybe a $250 fine and then he’d walk away, but they handcuffed him and whisked him away,” Varble said.

“The division of wildlife really appreciated the judge’s decision on this matter. It was a senseless slaughter, and he’s paying a high price, but we do hope it sends a message that the people of Nevada value their wildlife and won’t tolerate illegal killing.”

To report any suspicious shooting or dead wildlife, call Operation Game Thief, (800) 992-3030. You will remain anonymous.

“It was the call to Operation Game Thief that really got this case going in September,” Varble said. “We had offered a $1,000 reward, but the gentleman who reported the crime wasn’t interested in collecting it.”