A California man recently was sentenced in the 11th District Court to a gross misdemeanor and booked into the Mineral County Detention Center for the felony killing of a big game animal.
Alan Berryessa of Cedarville, Calif. was sentenced to pay a forfeiture of $5,000 to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), forfeit any property seized during the investigation and be placed on probation, not to exceed three years after NDOW officers discovered that Berryessa had been applying for resident Nevada big games tags “consistently from 1989 to 2015”. He also had claimed that he was a Nevada resident since April 1988, had been using an addresses which belonged to another person to claim residency and had harvested animals within Nevada.
Berryessa had used four different Reno addresses from 1989 to 2015. Since 2000, he had drawn nine big game tags. In 2013, he drew a Desert Bighorn Sheep tag and the following year, drew a California Bighorn Sheep tag.
A records check by NDOW showed that Berryessa held a valid Nevada driver’s license but had no vehicle registered within the state. The billing address for the credit card used to purchase the tags, was linked to a Cedarville, Calif. address.
During an interview with Berryessa, he stated that he had lived in Reno for a couple of years and had “maintained possession of his Nevada driver’s license ever since.” He also stated that he had never applied for or received any resident hunting privileges from California or any other state. He admitted to not owning any property in Nevada but had sold three ranch properties in Nevada 8-10 years ago.
The address provided to NDOW for the tags was that of his wife’s parents.
He then told NDOW officers that he had shot a California Bighorn ram in Dyke Canyon in Humboldt County and a Desert Bighorn ram in Paint Rock Canyon in Mineral County.
Berryessa was asked if he qualified as a Nevada resident and his response was, “I probably don’t. I don’t probably for the living part of it. I’m not going to deny, only did it because it is the only place I have ever used.”
He also admitted to harvesting an antelope buck in Washoe County. Officers discovered after their return to Nevada that Berryessa had harvested the antelope buck in 2001 from Unit 013 in Washoe County. During their meeting in California, NDOW officers seized the two sheep mounts. The antelope mount and the rifle used to harvest the animal was not harvested, but Berryessa was advised not to get rid of either of them.
On Feb. 27, Berryessa pled guilty upon the plea agreement and was booked into the Mineral County Detention Center for 501.376.3 felony killing of big game animal. He was released by authority of the judge.
In a statement from Mineral County District Attorney Sean Rowe, he states: “Mr. Berryessa broke the law by fraudulently obtaining an in-state hunting license though he actually resided in California. The game he took with that fraudulent license were taken from the people of this state. I appreciate the Department of Wildlife’s extensive and thorough investigation and their constant assistance through the prosecution of this case in Churchill, Humboldt and Mineral Counties.”