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Billionaire faces drug trafficking charges

The head of a prominent tech company and a former heir to the Wells Fargo fortune are facing serious charges after allegedly being caught with drugs. New York residents may be familiar with Henry T. Nicholas III, who is the owner and CEO of Broadcom Corporation. Together with Ashley Fargo, ex-wife of Brian Fargo of Wells Fargo fame, the billionaire faces drug trafficking charges. Nicholas has retained criminal defense representation, though it is unclear if Fargo has done the same. 

According to records obtained by state police in Nevada, Nicholas was unable to enter his hotel room on Aug. 7, so local security assisted him in accessing the room. They say they found Fargo inside, unconscious with a partially deflated balloon in her mouth. While paramedics worked to revive her, security conducted a sweep of the room. Allegedly, they turned up canisters of nitrous oxide, prompting a call to local police. 

Police on the scene say they found a case full of drugs, including heroin, meth, ecstasy and cocaine. The amounts they say they found were sufficient to charge both Nicholas and Fargo with drug trafficking. Both individuals were arrested, but they have since been released on their own recognizance. They are both expected in court in September. 

Nicholas' attorney has made the valid point that his client is an addict, a fact that will not be lost on the court. Some New York residents are keenly aware of the insidious nature of drug addiction, which his attorney says has led him to make errors in judgment. What the court calls drug trafficking, he says, is actually an attempt to make friends by giving away narcotics. It may be possible for the attorneys representing both parties to seek a plea bargain with prosecutors if the accused individuals agree to court-mandated rehabilitation to assist in their recovery from the disease of drug addiction. 

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Robert D. DiDio
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