back to article Broadcom billionaire Henry Nicholas and pal on drugs rap cough up $1m to avoid the clink

Broadcom billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III and a pal will avoid a stretch behind bars after cops seized a huge stash of narcotics from their Las Vegas hotel suite. Nicholas, 60, and his companion Ashley Fargo, were arrested and charged with drugs trafficking in August 2018. Officers had been called to the Encore hotel by its …

  1. JLV Silver badge
    Pint

    It’s good to be white. And rich.

    I lean heavily towards its-their-own-damn-business for possession. You can snort up Fentanyl for all I care, but you should go to jail for a loooong time when dealing it. Fines for mere possession? That’s a debate a society can have, but a criminal record isn’t a, IMHO, useful outcome.

    But just contrast this outcome with Joe Random Poor Black Dude being caught with a dime bag of shitty weed. And without level-20 lawyers and $1M to donate...

    Good for Nicolas to be let go for something that really only affects himself. Just wish sanity would extend to more cases.

    Beer, cuz.

    1. Vometia Munro

      Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

      I was wondering that. The easy though hopefully wrong conclusion is that he avoided gaol by having a spare mil lying around but I would like to think that the same offer would be made to someone of less means by being, well, means-tested. But part of me thinks that's a rather naïve assumption.

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

      Who is that woman standing for President in California who admits to taking marijuana in college but refused to release low-level drug offenders from prison?

      You can't even blame the Republicans for this mindset because she's (supposedly) a Democrat.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

        Would that be Priti "Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out" Patel's distant cousin?

      2. Sloppy Crapmonster

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

        Whatabout, whatabout, what-what-whatabout whatabout ouoww-out!

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It’s good to be white. And rich...not in Cal

      Sorry to burst your self righteous rant but in the post Prop 47/57 world not only would your "Poor Black Dude " not get arrested / charged but the same dud can keep on stealing up to $1000 a time without anything happening either. Come to San Francisco and watch it in action. Streets full of junkies who no longer have to be in rehab programs as part of their probation, because they are almost all petty criminals, and stores being brazenly shoplifted several times a day. The Walgreens on Potrero Ave by SF General Hospital is a good place to see this happen. Every day.

      Your opinion is obviously based on what you see in the media and not on what actually happens in the real world.

      As for the rich dude. Just a typical street junkie with a couple of billion. So usually a sociopath and often a psychopath. Call that an opinion based on decades of almost daily observation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich...not in Cal

        Please do not bring facts into this. The readers here will not stand for anything that may challenge their preconceived ideas about the US, particularly those who have never been there. You have 9 down votes, more will come. The regulars in here are very cross. The only thing worse than fake news are counter-fake news.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Walgreens robbed every day

        Around here if a shop gets robbed every month they either go bankrupt or increase security until some other shop is an easier target. If I am generous I will assume you are exaggerating (or the shop manager it committing insurance fraud). Almost everyone else will assume you are lying. 4 videos of robberies in the same shop with dates within 7 days or it does not happen every day.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: Walgreens robbed every day

          Look up the documentary "Seattle is Dying". SF was worse three years ago than Seattle was, and the same set of policies are in place, so I assume the situation is worse. (News reports tend to support this.)

          In-*******-sane.

      3. ma1010 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich...not in Cal

        Sadly, he's right about petty theft. I work at a court in California, so I know he's right because I see it every day. In California, a theft of less than $950 is petty theft, a misdemeanor. If you're caught, they do not take you to jail. What happens is you get is a notice to appear, essentially a traffic ticket. If you don't appear, they may issue a warrant, but if a cop happens to run into you and finds the warrant, all they do is write you another ticket with a new court date and let you go, canceling the warrant. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum.

        Nothing ever happens on these misdemeanor cases most of the time. I've seen defendants with 50+ warrants, and nothing was getting done about picking them up and bringing them before a judge. The main exception is if they eventually catch one of these fine folks for a felony. In that event, as part of the plea deal on the felony charge, the district attorney will generally ask the court to dismiss all the misdemeanor cases "in the interest of justice." That is how it works in California.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

      We lock up people who have sexually explicit pictures of children as pedophiles, without further evidence of any actual contact with (or abuse of) minors, on the basis that possessing pictures is supporting abuse. I've no problem with that (providing any investigation shows that there was intent by the accused to download). It's a societal flaw we need to address, even though we may never eliminate it.

      On that basis, that stash may only have affected him directly but, in buying it, he was financing the drug market and, therefore, supporting dealers. Being rich, it's quite possible he paid a higher price as well.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

      It’s good to be white. And rich.

      What's colour got to do with it ? Money talks no matter what colour you are, no virtue signalling required, only hard cash.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

        I'd give you an upvote for 'Money talks', which is obviously true.

        And a downvote for 'What's colour got to do with it?' - just ask a black person in the USA who has had dealings with the police (i.e. almost all of them).

        Trouble is, the El Reg voting system doesn't allow me to give you one vote each way :-(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

          We are not talking about any black person; the overall statistics is not good. What we are discussing, are the rich black persons. Such as Bill Cosby.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: It’s good to be white. And rich.

        What's colour got to do with it ? Money talks no matter what colour you are, no virtue signalling required, only hard cash.

        But if you are white you get the chance to say "Don't shoot! I'm rich".

        If you are black, it's "Don't shoot! I'm aaarrrggghhhh"

  2. Empire of the Pussycat

    i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

    "Good for Nicolas to be let go for something that really only affects himself."

    it's not just himself, he's knowingly supporting the production, distribution, misery and mayhem that the trade in illegal drugs brings

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

      Thats entirely true and I agree with you.

      Mexico’s agony at the hands of the drug lords’ an example of where my position’s full of shit.

      Not being sarcastic. The harder the drugs, the more society has a vested interest to criminalize dealers. Who are supported by “innocent” users.

      Whatever else the arguments are, you have a valid point.

      (is being nice to people who disagree with you on the net a superpower?)

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

        And in any case my point was very much intended to be more about how the outcome would have been very different for a poor black man than it was about decriminalization or legalization per se. Same offence, of a level of harm we can agree to disagree on. But likely hard jail time for certain socioeconomic demographics.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

        (is being nice to people who disagree with you on the net a superpower?)

        It seems like that, these days.

        Though don't try that on youtube comments - they'll look at you like you're someone weird!

        1. VikiAi Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

          I once put a smiley :-) on the end of a YT comment to make sure it wouldn't be taken as more than friendly toungue-in-cheek remark and the reader came back all "WHY DID YOU PUT A SMILEY ON THE END OF YOUR COMMENT!?"

          Kids today!

    2. Vometia Munro

      Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

      Yes and no: the problem really comes down to tptb's obsession with prohibition which is often more of a moral matter than a solution to an actual problem. As usual, lots of collateral damage, both organised crime and petty crime shoot up (argh, that was unintentional, sorry), people are unnecessarily criminalised, people who actually need drugs for legit medical reasons either can't have them at all or have to endure stupidly restrictive policies.

      I understand the concern that "but they're dangerous!" even apart from the likelihood of illicit supplies being adulterated, but an enormous number of prescription drugs that aren't restricted are dangerous-er. Again, it seems to be a result of that moral fear that someone, somewhere may be getting some sort of illicit enjoyment, and the costs of waging a War On Drugs don't apparently don't matter when they're being borne by someone else, especially when that someone else is another country.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

        the Sackler family’s also exempt from any kinda rational argument

        Sackler delenda est

        my motto with these fuckers. :-)

      2. David M

        Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

        If you're interested in the history and effectiveness of drug policy, this talk by Professor David Nutt is interesting and well-argued. Professor Nutt was the government advisor who was famously sacked for trying to inject (sorry) some sanity into the drug debate.

      3. VikiAi Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

        Like alcohol and tobacco. (and I am well aware that plenty of people can enjoy those without harming others. But then again, the same can be said of plenty of not-so-legal greater and lesser mind-altering substances too! )

    3. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: i'd throw him in jail and let joe random go free

      Not only is he "knowingly supporting the production, distribution, misery and mayhem that the trade in illegal drugs brings" he is also ....

      providing business for lawyers.

      Ever notice that if crime was drastically reduced, nay eliminated, there'd be a huge drop in the number of lawyers required and their revenue?

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Crime do "pays".

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's funny when you think about how society has changed over the years, previously you wouldn't get to hear about how some billionaire walked free. It would just happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If only we could now progress onto properly sentencing the bastards!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's only for us commoners. Power, wealth and to some extent fame give you a get out of jail free card.

      2. devTrail

        If only we could now progress onto properly sentencing the bastards!

        Where do you see the progress? It seems you didn't get the meaning. I'll try and rephrase it to make it more clear:

        Before they kept silent, now they can boast about it.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    So it's their room, but they don't own the drugs?

    So they were just left there by the last resident which housekeeping totally failed to tidy up.

    Hmmm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So it's their room, but they don't own the drugs?

      Clearly they were just unlucky to accidentally end up with someone else's luggage being delivered to their room.

      And the balloon of laughing gas was, umm, a novelty balloon they found in the room that, ummm, accidently popped very close to Mrs Fargo causing her to pass out. I'm surprised she isn't suing the hotel for providing faulty balloons that are clearly dangerous...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money Talks

    It's likely that aside from the 1 Mill for publicly disclosed blah blah blah, some under the table money was paid to someone to facilitate avoiding prison. Money talks. That's just a fact. The question is, why did his Staff, call the police? Because he was locked out of his hotel room? Wouldn't that call go to the front desk, who would know who he is, and provide white glove service to get him back into his room? Wouldn't there have been a quieter way to deal with the passed out girl in his room? Wouldn't there have been a quiet way to move those suit cases out of the hotel room, assuming they were his, but if they weren't, doesn't the whole thing look like a setup? Questions....

    1. Psmo Bronze badge

      Re: Money Talks

      I think one particular hotel is going to find a drop in their rich bastard clientele.

      They won't like a tell-tale.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why do drugs = crime?

    Simply because the price for drugs is massively inflated by the prohibition and because perps blaim their actions upon their drug use.

    Prohibition has never been effective in reducing use, it has only ever made it profitable for criminals to provide the supply, making for more crime than before prohibition.

    If you got rid of the prohibition then the crime associated with drugs would reduce massively, leaving just the problem of dealing with the addicts at a much lower cost to society. You could always go the traditional route and put them to work building pyramids or railways for their hit if the non-addicts complain of the cost of supply.

    1. devTrail

      Re: why do drugs = crime?

      I don't share your optimistic view. The other purpose of prohibition is to keep the market in the hands of those with links to the power and prevent any competition. Unfortunately in a world where we see unfair competition and monopolistic giants popping out everywhere the need for prohibition is dwindling. Getting rid of prohibition won't make such a big change.

    2. Valeyard

      Re: why do drugs = crime?

      Simply because the price for drugs is massively inflated by the prohibition

      you've never had to live in middlesbrough. Cheapest drugs in the land, absolute shithole with zombies everywhere asking for 20p or just being content with flogging your stolen TV for a fiver because they can get a decent hit of heroin for a quid

      i love your romanticised view of drugs but try living where it actually affects people who don't choose to do drugs

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not ...

    ... toss him in jail AND make him donate big bucks to the drug rehab program. That he's walking away with some community service is just Exhibit N+1 in a case regarding white -- especially rich and white -- privilege in the U.S.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Why not ...

      I'd rather see all the other people banged up for the committing the same offense (while not rich) let out to do the same amount of community service and then freed.

      But then where would the directors of the industrial-incarceration-complex get all their taxpayer dollars from?

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Is that really his picture?

    Looks like the guy in the original Die Hard with a bit of a fondness for the Colombian Marching Powder.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Newspeak

    "...meaning they will not admit any wrongdoing though will acknowledge there is enough evidence to convict them."

    George Orwell vindicated again... (I've always thought "1984" is about language as much as about surveillance.)

    Or does this interesting statement mean they accept the possibility of being convicted although innocent?

    In other, words, expressing your mistrust in the legal system gets you off the hook of said system?

    Only in America... (or perhaps not only).

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Revenue over justice

    Fine him, let him go, and hope we can do this again soon.

  12. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Trouble is...

    What they were charged with is not all that they should have been charged with. They dosed peoples drinks with MDMA.

    A "friend" dosed my Guinness with LSD for a laugh. I liked Guinness and I liked LSD. I also liked knowing what state I was in and who I could trust. I'm going to beat that guy up any year now.

  13. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    What happens to a billionaire in Vegas stays in Vegas.

  14. Ima Ballsy
    Coat

    I had to ....

    Google who the heck Ashley Fargo was.

    Turns out she looks like Steven Tyler in drag ...

    https://heavy.com/news/2018/08/ashley-fargo/

    I'll just get my coat ...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "They unlocked Nicholas’ door for him and found a woman unconscious

      and cases of what looked to be contraband."

      Is anyone reminded of the film "Law Abiding Citizen" ?

      If only his mobile went off and an unknown voice said "Coke on the table, b**ch on the floor You'd better start running before they call the cops"

      Well it's what it made me think of.

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