Billionaire backer of Marsy’s Law cuts deal on drug trafficking charges

tough on crime
Henry Nicholas, flanked by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former California Gov. Pete Wilson, at a 2004 event opposing to amend the state's "three strikes" law to require increased sentences only when current conviction is for specified violent or serious felony. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
tough on crime
Henry Nicholas, flanked by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former California Gov. Pete Wilson, at a 2004 event opposing to amend the state’s “three strikes” law to require increased sentences only when current conviction is for specified violent or serious felony. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A week shy of the anniversary of their arrest in Las Vegas on drug trafficking charges, billionaire Henry Nicholas and his companion, Ashley Fargo, have reached an agreement with prosecutors that allow the two to avoid prison.

Nicholas and Fargo were arrested last August in a Las Vegas hotel room where police found nearly 96 grams of methamphetamine, 4.24 grams of heroin, 15.13 grams of cocaine, and 17.1 grams of psilocin, a psychedelic, according to the complaint.

The agreement calls for Nicholas and Fargo to enter an Alford plea, which means they will make no admission of guilt.  The court will withhold adjudication.

The two are required under the agreement to perform 250 hours of community service, and two sessions of drug counseling a month for the next year.  They are also each required to contribute $500,000 to a drug counseling program in Clark County.

“By no stretch of the imagination would anyone consider Dr. Nicholas or Ms. Fargo to be traffickers distributing drugs into the community,” their attorneys David Chesnoff and David Brown said in a statement. “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,” their attorneys said in a statement.

Last week, attorneys for the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on evidence that other parties had access to the bags containing the prohibited substances.  A source close to the case says the motion may have influenced the negotiations.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not respond to requests for comment.

Failure to complete the terms of the agreement will result in a conviction of guilty of possession, an offense requiring mandatory probation.

The two are scheduled for an August 9 appearance in District Court, where the plea agreement must be confirmed.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

1 COMMENT

  1. When faced with the wrath of an unjust system he will learn that even the slightest mercy would be appreciated. But do away with the reprieve of our provisions of due process and the constitutional presumption of innocence then he’ll wonder who pulled his beloved USofA out from under his feet…

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