LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A California billionaire accused of drug trafficking in Las Vegas has taken a plea deal to avoid prison.
Henry T. Nicholas III and his friend Ashley Fargo have agreed to make a $1 million donation to a local drug treatment if their convictions are dismissed after 1 year.
The pair must also complete community service and drug counseling as part of the deal.
Nicholas and Fargo were arrested after a large amount of drugs were found in their hotel room at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Nicholas had called security to help him get inside the room after he locked himself out. Once inside, they found an unresponsive Fargo.
Nicholas is also a backer of Marsy's Law, which seeks to change state constitutions across the country in the name of victims' rights.
The law was named after his sister who was murdered. He has spent at least $25 million in the fight to get the law passed, according to the Marshall Project.
The pair was not in court today but are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 28 to enter their pleas. Their lawyers, David Chesnoff, Richard A. Schonfeld and David T. Brown, provided the following statement:
We are pleased to reach an equitable resolution of this matter. By no stretch of the imagination would anyone consider Dr. Nicholas or Ms. Fargo to be traffickers distributing drugs into the community. This positive agreement allows them to help people grappling with addiction by providing substantial financial support to programs in Clark County for treatment and rehabilitation, which have been shown to be an effective tool for combating addiction. Dr. Nicholas and Ms. Fargo are committed to fulfilling their obligations under the agreement and moving forward. Dr. Nicholas will continue to focus on his work championing victims' rights.
The Clark County District Attorney's office says they will not be commenting on the case until after the defendants enter their pleas.
13 Action News spoke to well-known Las Vegas trial lawyer and former judge Dayvid Figler, who believes that the pair got a "sweetheart deal." Figler and others are calling for an investigation into the deal that is being offered to Nicholas and Fargo. Figler and others believe that if deals are going to be made, they should be offered to anyone who has the ability to pay.
Today, I hope the Clark County Public Defender and @NACJDefenders join me in calling for Clark County DA Conviction Integrity Unit to review all drug trafficking cases resulting in prison time to see if there are facts similar to billionaire Henry Nicholas' case. Free them all.— Dayvid Figler (@OyVegas) July 31, 2019
13 Action News also spoke to a local recovery center that is actually happy about the deal. Vogue Recovery Center believes that more deals like these would be beneficial to people who are trying to avoid drugs. Dr. Jim Jobin says the $1 million could help as many as 500 people.