Advocacy groups in North Carolina and around the country may be familiar with Henry T. Nicholas III and his efforts to pass legislation protecting crime victims. Nicholas was inspired to action by a 1983 case involving a California student who was murdered by her stalker, but the 59-year-old technology billionaire now finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Nicholas was taken into custody on Aug. 7 by police in Las Vegas on drug possession and trafficking charges.
According to reports, Nicholas called hotel security after trying unsuccessfully to enter his room. When security officers gained admission to the room, they are said to have discovered an unconscious woman lying on the floor with a semi-inflated balloon hanging from her lips. Security personnel are said to have called police after Nicholas admitted that the balloon contained nitrous oxide.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to the scene conducted a thorough search and allegedly discovered undisclosed quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and heroin in two black cases. Officers then took both Nicholas and his female companion, who had since been revived by paramedics, into custody. Both were subsequently released on their own recognizance according to reports.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have drug charges dismissed when faced with facts like these. The U.S. Supreme Court takes the Fourth Amendment seriously and has ruled that its protections apply in a hotel room just as they would in a private residence. The court has also ruled that hotel employees and landlords are not able to give police permission to conduct searches.
Source: TMZ, “Broadcom Founder Billionaire Busted in Las Vegas … For Room Stocked with Drugs”, Aug. 9, 2018
Source: CBS News, “Tech billionaire Henry Nicholas facing drug trafficking counts in Vegas”, Associated Press, Aug. 10, 2018