'El Wingador' charged with dealing cocaine

Posted: June 21, 2012

Bill "El Wingador" Simmons, five-time champion of the Wing Bowl, sports-talk radio station WIP's annual competitive wing-eating bacchanalia, was being held in the Gloucester County Jail on Tuesday afternoon after his arrest Friday on drug-distribution charges.

After a monthlong investigation by the county Prosecutor's Office and New Jersey state police, the 50-year-old Woodbury Heights resident was arrested in Harrison Township.

State police stopped and searched Simmons and his 2010 Kia Soul, a vehicle emblazoned with his celebrity moniker. Officials said the search yielded $8,000 worth of powdered cocaine and $4,000 in cash.

Investigators also searched two residences in Woodbury Heights linked to Simmons. A small "personal use" amount of cocaine alleged to belong to him was found in a residence not owned by Simmons, a spokesperson for the state police said.

Simmons was unable to post $100,000 cash bail, authorities said. It was not immediately clear whether he had secured a lawyer.

His "El Wingador" persona had grown since he began competing in 1999 at the Wing Bowl: He has licensed wings under his brand name, appeared in KFC commercials, and sells a home-recipe barbecue sauce.

"You aren't going to get rich on sauce," Simmons told The Inquirer in a March interview, "but this is my special recipe, with no oil and no butter, and [with] pureed vegetables. It's great, as you may imagine, on wings."

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound former truck driver left the competition after winning in 2005. He returned in 2011, taking second and third place respectively in the last two bowls.

Contact Angelo Fichera at 856-779-3814, afichera@philly.com or on Twitter @AJFichera.

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