Newport Beach Marijuana Smuggler Arrested After Laughable Sailboat Blunders

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Drug dealer rule violations: Don't leave wallet. Don't leave phone. Don't leave 90 bales of pot.
Accused international marijuana smuggler Nickolas Leivas came close to successfully landing at the harbor in Newport Beach last June, but he's now in the custody of U.S. marshals and facing federal narcotics transportation charges because of his own stupidity.

A U.S. Coast Guard crew spotted Leivas and another man in a 30-foot sail boat, attempted to stop the craft and then pursued it until the alleged traffickers fled on foot onto streets near Balboa Island.

Though the suspects managed to evade detection by the Newport Beach Police Department, Leivas made mistakes that eventually led to his arrest.

He didn't just leave his cell phone, a black Verizon Motorola Droid, in he boat. He also abandoned 90 bales of marijuana as well as his wallet, according to a Department of Homeland Security report reviewed by the Weekly.

Leivas, who was born in 1982, was denied bail by a U.S. magistrate judge and will face future hearings to determine his guilt or innocent inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

Prosecutors have indicated a desire to confiscate the $20,000 sailboat as federal property forfeited because of its use in narcotics trafficking.

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18usc241 topcommenter

Very efficient for the "supply" to sail straight into the "demand". Eliminates the distribution hassle. I bet you anything that in Newport Beach now, the white stuff is stored next to the sugar and flour in the kitchen cupboard. No worries with the current DA at the helm.

JGlanton topcommenter

Hmmm, that marijuana smuggler looks vaguely familiar.

What's the rest of the story?  Where, and why, did the Coast Guard become suspicious of the sailboat?  Was it in the harbor? Did they follow it from offshore? Was there a slow chase? Did they beach their sailboat and run off, or did they dock it? Was it day or night?

Balboa is so crowded, day and night. I wonder what their plan was to offload 90 bales without being noticed.

Who was his co-smuggler? I'd be questioning his only pal Ryan from Facebook to see who his sailing buddy is.

Where is the usual BS overinflated "street value" of the haul from the govt? Maybe they should switch to "dispensary value, home delivery". That'll really inflate their news bites and haul-award ceremonies. Going by recent CG reports, this haul should be worth $5.4M. Dudes should have just started a legal co-op.

JGlanton topcommenter

I looked up my local dispensary online and they sell for $300/oz, so this haul would be $10M if it was quality Cal OG. 


@JGlanton  quality cali og does not come in bails stuffed in trash!!!!

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