'El Wingador' arrested on drug charges in New Jersey

William Simmons aka El Wingador

June 19, 2012 9:19:20 PM PDT
A man known as 'El Wingador' after multiple championships at the chicken wing eating contest "Wing Bowl" has been arrested on drug charges.

William Simmons, 50, of Woodbury Heights, was arrested on Friday night, according to the New Jersey State Police.

Police say Simmons was pulled over while driving his 2010 Kia Soul and a search of the vehicle uncovered approximately $8,000 worth of powdered cocaine and $4,000 in cash.

The Kia he was driving was decorated with a wrap that said "El Wingador," police said. The car was seized pending forfeiture.

After his arrest, police say they executed search warrants on two homes in Woodbury Heights related to Simmons.

State Police didn't find anything in the one home on Ivy Drive which Simmons shares with his wife, but they say they did find cocaine at the other, a friend's house where Simmons' been staying.

The arrest was part of a month long investigation.

Simmons was charged with 1st degree distribution of drugs and placed in Gloucester County jail in default of $100,000 full cash bail.

"It is regrettable that Mr. Simmons' notoriety has taken a negative turn.? However, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office works closely with other law enforcement agencies to stop the significant distribution of controlled dangerous substances that is reflected in the charges against him," said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton in a statement.

Simmons is a five-time winner of Wing Bowl.

Competitive eating is big business with cash prizes up to tens of thousands of dollars for the champs and the El Wingador's victories brought some notoriety to the area which is why the news about Simmons' arrest is so disappointing to his neighbors.

"I can't believe it. Just to look at the guy and know him, it was shocking," Tim Simone of Glassboro said.

Simmons, who won his last title in 2005, has tried to capitalize on his professional eating skills.

He pushed a line of wing sauces and promoted healthier eating through well known Gloucester County company Rastelli Foods.

A spokeswoman for the company said Simmons hadn't worked with the business in some time and they were very saddened to hear about his situation.

Simmons was also trying to open up a wing business of his own.