Birds fly above signage displayed outside of Broadcom Ltd. headquarters in Irvine, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)  

Ex-Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas Charged With Drug Trafficking

(Bloomberg) -- Former Broadcom Inc. chief executive officer Henry Nicholas was charged with drug trafficking by Las Vegas prosecutors.

Nicholas and a female companion were arrested last summer at the Wynn Encore after police found a wide assortment of narcotics, including heroin and cocaine, in their villa. A criminal complaint was filed Wednesday, accusing them of five counts of drug trafficking and two counts of drug possession.

Ex-Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas Charged With Drug Trafficking

Police were called to the Encore last August when Nicholas’ companion was found unconscious in their suite with a semi-deflated balloon lodged in her mouth, according to the arrest report. Nicholas told hotel security that a canister found in the room contained nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. A search of the suite turned up heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and mushrooms, according to the report.

“The charges are only allegations and not facts,” said David Chesnoff, an attorney for Nicholas. “The actual facts are that Dr. Nicholas is a philanthropist, an advocate for victims’ 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, who co-founded Broadcom in 1991, faced federal narcotics charges in California in 2008, when prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had spiked the drinks of customers with ecstasy. Those charges were dismissed two years later after a simultaneous stock-backdating case against him collapsed because the judge found the U.S. Attorney’s office had engaged in misconduct.

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