St. Thomas Man Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Distribution Charges
CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A 57-year-old St. Thomas man pleased guilty in federal court to marijuana distribution charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Alva Nicholas pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court on St. Thomas to one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.
According to court records, on August 21, 2015, Nicholas was arrested by agents of the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas after his arrival on an American Airlines flight. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors screening bags arriving at the airport detected an anomaly inside a suitcase bearing Nicholas’ name and flight tag.
After further inspection, agents found 3.4 kilograms of marijuana wrapped in plastic inside Nicholas’ suitcase. The bag was repackaged and placed on the conveyor belt. Nicholas was taken into custody after he collected the suitcase from the conveyor belt. Nicholas was previously convicted of heroin smuggling and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Nicholas faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000.00. His sentencing is scheduled for March 10, 2016.
The case is the result of a joint investigation by HSI and CBP. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Delia Smith.