Billionaire and girlfriend ‘with balloon in mouth’ arrested after hotel find
A billionaire Broadcom co-founder has been arrested in Vegas after police allegedly found drugs-stashed bags in his hotel room – alongside his unresponsive girlfriend.
Tech businessman Henry T Nicholas III was taken into custody after officers reportedly discovered marijuana and what looked like narcotics in the cases.
His girlfriend, Ashley Fargo, 37, was also discovered in the room – unresponsive and with a semi-deflated balloon in her mouth, law enforcement sources told TMZ.
She was revived by paramedics who attended the scene in the Nevada, US, city.
After being questioned by security about the balloon, as well as canisters found inside the room, Nicholas, 59, reportedly admitted they contained nitrous oxide.
This is commonly known as laughing gas.
He and Fargo were arrested and booked on suspicion of trafficking heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy, a police spokesman said.
Some of the drugs were stamped with Winnie the Pooh, the gossip site claims.
Nicholas, who co-founded Broadcom Corp in 1991, had reportedly struggled to get into his room at the Encore hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday.
He was assisted by security personnel, who then discovered the two suspicious-looking cases and Fargo, according to TMZ, citing the unidentified sources.
The personnel called police and reported contraband in the room, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said.
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Responding officers are alleged to have found drugs inside the cases, which reportedly looked like the sort of luggage used to transport weapons.
Nicholas and Fargo – the ex-wife of US banking heir Brian Fargo – were then arrested.
In his police mugshot, Nicholas can be seen with his eyes mostly closed.
The businessman has a net worth of $3.1bn (£2.4bn), according to Forbes.
Jail records show he and his girlfriend have been released from custody.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his lawyer, David Chesnoff, said on Thursday: “We’re gathering the facts and we will address the facts in court."
Tuesday night is not the first time Nicholas has had a run-in with the law.
A decade ago, he faced accusations of possessing and conspiring to distribute drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine.
According to federal court records, he was alleged to have caused “marijuana smoke and fumes to enter the cockpit" of a private flight.
The pilot flying the aircraft was said to have had to put on an oxygen mask – however, the charges against Nicholas were dropped in 2010.
Nicholas stepped down from Broadcom in 2003.
He has reportedly used his wealth to support the rights of crime victims.
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