Tech billionaire arrested in Las Vegas hotel on suspicion of drug trafficking

Tech billionaire arrested in Las Vegas hotel on suspicion of drug trafficking
Broadcom co-founder and former CEO Henry Nicholas III has been arrested in Las Vegas along with a woman after police found two cases of hard drugs in his suite at the Encore hotel.

Las Vegas Metropolitan police reportedly detained the tech billionaire at 10:40 pm on Tuesday. Also arrested was Ashley Fargo who, according some media reports, is the ex-wife of a Wells Fargo banking heir. The police arrived at the request of hotel security.

Nicholas couldn’t get into his room and, after security assisted him, they discovered Fargo laying on the bed unconscious with a semi-deflated balloon in her mouth, reports the tabloid news website TMZ, citing law enforcement sources. Apart from the woman, police found two suitcases that reportedly needed to be inspected under hotel rules.

The inspection revealed that one of the cases was full of marijuana, while another contained various narcotic substances, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy. Some of the pills were reportedly stamped with Winnie the Pooh.

This is not the first time the billionaire had a run-in with the law. Ten years ago, Nicholas faced felony securities fraud and drug distribution charges, which were later dropped.

Nicholas and Fargo have been released from custody, according to the police. The former was released on his own recognizance, according to David Chesnoff, the billionaire’s attorney, who said his law firm is investigating the circumstances of the arrest.

Chesnoff is one of Las Vegas’ best-known defense lawyers, having represented celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Bruno Mars and Motley Crue singer Vince Neil.

Henry Nicholas III founded Broadcom with his doctoral advisor Henry Samueli in the spare bedroom of Nicholas' Redondo Beach condominium in 1991. They each invested $5,000 of their own money to get the business off the ground. They took the company public on the NASDAQ exchange in 1998. He left the firm in 2003. Broadcom was later sold for $37 billion. Forbes estimates Nicholas’s net worth at $3.6 billion.

Broadcom Inc. is a designer, developer and global supplier of products based on analog and digital semiconductor technologies within four primary markets: wired infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise storage, and industrial & others.

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