Tech billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III was arrested on drug trafficking charges this week at a Las Vegas Strip casino-resort — alongside the ex-wife of an heir to the Wells Fargo fortune, according to new reports.
Nicholas III, 58, was busted Tuesday on suspicion of trafficking heroin, cocaine, meth and ecstasy, Las Vegas police officer Larry Hadfield told CBS News.
When Nicholas couldn’t get into his room at the Encore, security assisted him and found Ashley Fargo — the ex-wife of Brian Fargo, an heir to the Wells Fargo fortune — passed out with a semi-deflated balloon in her mouth, TMZ reported. Paramedics were able to revive her.
Security found canisters of nitrous oxide in the room — and a further search by cops also turned up the drugs inside a case.
Fargo was also arrested and faces the same charges as Nicholas, CBS reported.
Court records obtained by the outlet show that both have been released on their own recognizance, and a court hearing is scheduled for September.
Nicholas’ attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press his team is conducting its own investigation and will “deal with the facts in court.”
It wasn’t clear if Fargo had an attorney.
Alex Kazarian, an attorney and legal analyst, told CBS Los Angeles that is seems Nicholas may not have intended to traffic drugs — but that may not make a difference.
“It sounds like his biggest crime is being an addict,” Kazarian told the outlet. “He’s a billionaire. He’s not a person that’s trying to make money off of drugs. He’s a person that’s trying to make friends off of drugs. Unfortunately, the way the laws are written, if you’re giving away drugs or if you’re selling drugs, you’re trafficking.”
Nicholas founded chipmaker Broadcom Corp. in 1991, and resigned as its president at CEO 12 years later.
This week’s incident wasn’t his first brush with the law — in 2008, he was indicted on narcotics and securities fraud charges. The charges in both cases had been dismissed over the next couple years, CBS reported.
Also a crime victims advocate, Nicholas has supported measures such as Marsy’s Law — named after his sister, Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, who was stalked and killed by an ex-boyfriend in 1983, when she was a college student.
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