District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez on Thursday sentenced Alva Nicholas to nine months imprisonment and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced.
Gomez also ordered the 57-year-old Nicholas to pay a $100 special assessment.
Nicholas pleaded guilty on Nov. 4 to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. According to the plea agreement filed with the court, Nicholas was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations agents at the Cyril E. King Airport after his arrival on an American Airlines flight. Agents conducting a screening of bags arriving at the airport detected "an anomaly" inside a suitcase bearing Nicholas’s name and flight tag.
After further inspection, agents found 3.4 kilograms of marijuana wrapped in plastic inside his suitcase. The bag was then repackaged and placed on the conveyor belt. Nicholas was taken into custody after he collected the suitcase from the conveyor belt.
He had previously been convicted of heroin smuggling and sentenced to 10 years’ incarceration.
The case was the result of a joint investigation by HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to Sharpe. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Delia Smith.