Billionaire arrested at Las Vegas Strip hotel faces drug trafficking charges

Updated February 13, 2019 - 8:20 pm

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed drug trafficking charges against tech billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III, who was arrested at a Strip hotel last summer.

Nicholas, who bankrolled a victims’ rights law that voters approved in November, and Ashley Fargo were arrested after security at the Encore called police in August to report contraband in the room. Fargo was once married to Wells Fargo heir Brian Fargo.

Security officials at the Strip hotel discovered various narcotics and recreational drugs inside of Nicholas’ guest room after unlocking and entering the room, according to court documents.

The complaint charges Nicholas and Fargo with five counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. The two possessed nearly 96 grams of methamphetamine, 4.24 grams of heroin, 15.13 grams of cocaine, and 17.1 grams of the psychedelic psilocin, according to the complaint.

Nicholas, 60, and Fargo, 37, remain free without bail.

Attorney addresses charges

Nicholas’ attorney, David Chesnoff, responded to the charges in a statement emailed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“The charges are only allegations and not facts. The actual facts are that Dr. Nicholas is a philanthropist, an advocate for victim’s rights, a scientist and co-founder of a global company. He is not a drug trafficker. Dr. Nicholas and Ms. Fargo deny the charges. We plan to file a motion to dismiss the entire matter on a number of grounds, including lack of evidence.”

Nicholas is the co-founder of Broadcom Corp. Avago Technologies reached a deal to acquire Irvine, California-based Broadcom in May 2015 in a transaction valued at $37 billion. In 2016, the acquisition was finalized, and the combined company was renamed Broadcom Limited.

According to Forbes, Nicholas, who co-founded Broadcom with Henry Samueli in 1991, has a net worth of $3.1 billion.

At the time of the arrests, police reported that security footage spotted the two carrying black cases through the hotel.

Security entered the room out of concern for Fargo because she wouldn’t answer the door, a police report stated.

Fargo was unresponsive in a bed and had a semi-deflated balloon in her mouth, the report said. Paramedics arrived, and Fargo soon regained consciousness.

That’s when security officers spotted the cases and found marijuana and other drugs inside, the report said.

Nicholas told investigators he and Fargo had partied at Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club in Las Vegas beforehand.

Fargo told detectives she was asleep the whole time and knew nothing of the drugs.

Resort records indicate Fargo was the “primary guest” for the room and had arrived on Aug. 1.

Previous case

In a 2008 federal indictment, Nicholas was accused of possessing and conspiring to distribute drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine.

The charges against him were dropped in 2010, court records show.

A spokeswoman for Marsy’s Law for All, which has been passed in 11 states, released this statement after news of the charges was reported on Wednesday.

“Dr. Nicholas started the Marsy’s Law movement over a decade ago and continues to lead our organization going forward,” the statement reads. “We have complete faith that the justice system will return the proper result in his matter but equal faith that the strength of our deep leadership team and the importance of our mission can enable us to overcome any anticipated adversity.”

The group’s victims rights advocate, Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, also issued a written statement.

“The charges against Dr. Nicholas will not stop our efforts to ensure that all crime victims are afforded equal constitutional rights,” the statement reads.

Nicholas and Fargo are due in Las Vegas Justice Court next month.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

Crime Videos
Domestic disturbance call ends in suicide
A man died by suicide after police tried negotiating with him outside of his ex-girlfriend’s home on March 13. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by Las Vegas police
A 20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by a Las Vegas officer on Saturday night is also accused of burglarizing a Boys & Girls Club minutes before the shooting.
Metro briefing on OIS near downtown Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Kelly McMahill briefs the media on a officer-involved shooting near Ninth Street and Bonanza Road on March 19, 2019. Mike Shoro/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Man robs restaurant with large kitchen knife
On March 16, 2019, at approximately 6:00 PM, an armed robbery occurred at a local restaurant located near East Charleston and Eastern. The suspect entered the business with a large knife, demanding money from the registers. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Addresses Ois At Bellagio (Full Press Conference)
Las Vegas Metro police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 15, 2019, at the Bellagio.
Metro Addresses OIS At Bellagio
Las Vegas police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 15, 2019, at the Bellagio. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents facing murder charges held without bail
Lakeia Walker and Ricky Beasley, the parents of missing 3-year-old Zaela Walker, appeared briefly in North Las Vegas Court on camera from the Clark County Detention Center as they made their first appearance in court.
Metro briefing on OIS at Bellagio
Metro Capt. Nichole Splinter briefs the media on an officer-involved shooting in front of the Bellagio on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DUI Blitz
Metropolitan Police Department Traffic Sergeant David Stoddard discusses a law enforcement “DUI blitz” on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in the Las Vegas Valley. About 100 Metro and Nevada Highway Patrol officers searched the valley for impaired drivers between 5 p.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Commercial Robbery On 3000 Block Of North Las Vegas Blvd - VIDEO
On February 19th, 2019, at approximately 10:23 am, a robbery occurred to a business located on the 3000 block of North Las Vegas Boulevard. The pictured suspect entered the business, approached the counter and pointed a firearm at the victim demanding money. The victim complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported.
Alexis Plunkett denied bail
Alexis Plunkett, the jailed Las Vegas defense lawyer enmeshed in a pair of felony cases, will remain behind bars while awaiting trial, a judge decided Thursday. (Mat Luschek /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Bounty Hunter Chases Down Porch Pirate
A would-be thief tried to steal a package from the home of Alex Mazzola. Mazzola, a former bounty hunter, chased after the suspect.
Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday.
Atkinson pleads guilty to wire fraud charges
U.S. Attorney’s Office announces plea deal for charges against former Nevada Senate majority leader Kelvin Atkinson during a press conference on Monday, March 11, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday, less than a week after resigning from his post. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lt. Isaac Henn talks about the use of body-worn cameras in the Henderson Police Department
Lt. Isaac Henn talks about the implementation of body-worn cameras in the Henderson Police Department. (Bizuayehu tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Body Camera Footage Custody Death (FULL)
Las Vegas police showed one clip of body camera footage Wednesday to the family of a man who died in their custody three days earlier. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metro police brief public on recent custody death
Las Vegas police showed a clip of body camera footage Wednesday to the family of a man who died in their custody three days earlier. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Police investigating possible homicide
Metro police are investigating a possible homicide near mile marker 14 on route 147. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metro Police Press Conference On Chinatown Thefts
Las Vegas Metro Police Dept. held a press conference Wednesday to discuss crime in the Chinatown area.
Police Update on Barricade Situation on Emerson Avenue
Las Vegas Metro Police Lieutenant Michelle Tavarez provides an update on the barricade situation at Emerson Avenue.
DEA Launches New Program To Combat Opioid Epidemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching a new effort in Nevada to combat the opioid epidemic.
North Las Vegas Blvd Robbery 1
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man suspected of robbing a business at gunpoint on the morning of Feb. 19, 2019 in the northeast valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
North Las Vegas Blvd Robbery 2
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man suspected of robbing a business at gunpoint on the morning of Feb. 19, 2019 in the northeast valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
North Las Vegas robbery at a business
Robbery of a business in the 1600 block of North Main Street in North Las Vegas. If you know the suspects or have seen them before please contact the North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
Burglary at Made In Argentina restaurant
Pablo Rodriguez, owner of the Made in Argentina restaurant on Valley View Boulevard, describes the scene of the burglary that took place at his business on Sunday morning. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle hit on US 95 in Las Vegas
Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Adam Whitmarsh was on a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 95, north of Ann Road, about 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb 16, 2019, when a Honda CRV struck the back of the patrol car, causing the car to crash into the stopped vehicle. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
NYE Homicide suspects (1 of 2)
Las Vegas police are asking for help locating three men suspected in a deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve inside a southwest valley home. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
NYE Homicide suspects (2 of 2)
Las Vegas police are asking for help locating three men suspected in a deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve inside a southwest valley home. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police look for masked armed robbery suspect
Las Vegas police are looking for a masked man suspected of an armed robbery Feb. 14 in the west valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police officer found guilty of sexually abusing a child
Las Vegas police officer Bret Theil was found guilty Wednesday of 28 counts, including sexual assault, lewdness with a child, child abuse and kidnapping.
Police, friends gather to bring attention to Celia Luna-Delgado's homicide case
Las Vegas police and loved ones of Celia Luna-Delgado, a homicide victim, gathered in an attempt to bring attention to the case. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Police Update on Fremont Street Shooting
Lt. Ray Spencer gives an update regarding a homicide investigation that occurred in front of a bus stop near Fremont Street and Casino Center, involving a security officer and another male.
LVMPD Looking For Blue Bucket Bandit - VIDEO
On December 31, 2018 detectives with the LVMPD Northwest Area Command Patrol Investigations Section received a report of the theft of a surveillance camera from the front porch of a residence located in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Rampart Boulevard. The victim in this case became aware of other residents in the neighborhood who had been the victim of similar crimes.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing