The Porsche fans that followed motorsports in the 70s and 80s will surely be aware of the Whittington Brothers. Don and Bill Whittington, on the race track, were best known for their exploits in a number of 935 turbo terrors in IMSA GT racing on this side of the Atlantic, as well as the famous overall victory in 1979 at Le Mans with Klaus Ludwig on the other side of the Atlantic. The brothers also competed at the Indianapolis 500 a total of 10 times between them, finishing as high as 6th. Their talent, as well as their level of investment in motorsport, was high.
Off the track, however, the pair are more well known for their legal troubles, and it appears those haven't slowed down as they've aged. In 1987, Don was sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax evasion, and a related case saw Bill guilty of marijuana smuggling and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, serving only 3 years. Now, according to a story in the Durango Herald, it seems that now the brothers are embroiled in a separate investigation involving drug smuggling, money laundering, and the flying of unregistered aircraft. Nobody has been charged with any crimes as of yet.
As with most of these types of investigations, several businesses are in play. The Whittingtons, as a family, are heads of several companies, all with the same registration address of 1020 NW 62nd Street in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The address is a hangar at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. This is important, because this is also the address of the headquarters of World Jet, which is the subject of a separate DEA investigation.
The primary organizations involved in this investigation are World Jet of Florida and the Springs Resort & Spa in Pagosa Springs, CO. Federal authorities are investigating the Resort for possibly laundering drug money through the famous hot springs. While World Jet, separately, offers jets to carry South American drug shipments, among other alleged illegal activities, according to federal agents. The owners of the hot spring resort, Nerissa and Keely Whittington (daughters of Bill), deny any allegations.
Agents had Don Whittington under surveillance when he flew into Pagosa Springs on April 19, according to the affidavit. The pilot of that flight was Gregory Dean Smith, who the DEA says is a World Jet contract employee and a “pilot of interest” in investigations of Latin American drug smuggling.
Since 2009, World Jet has had a Hawker 700 seized by Venezuelan authorities, a $187,000 fine levied by the US DEA, a Piper PA-31 taken by Colombian police and $645,000 seized by the DEA. Recently, some suspicious money transfers have been tracked between World Jet and the Springs Resort & Spa.
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[Source: The Durango Herald]