DEA probing ex-racers over drug aircraft

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MIAMI (AP) Federal drug agents are investigating a Florida aircraft leasing business operated by two former champion race drivers that is suspected of providing airplanes to South American drug traffickers.

Court documents and interviews show that agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies raided the Fort Lauderdale offices Monday of World Jet Inc. The company is controlled by brothers Don and Bill Whittington, who teamed up with a third driver to win the France's 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1979.

Later, both pleaded guilty to having roles in a $73 million marijuana smuggling ring.

Court records show the Whittingtons are now suspected of illegally leasing aircraft from Florida to cocaine cartels and laundering drug-related profits through a hot springs resort hotel and a ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

No charges have been filed in this case.

To view the search warrant in its entirety, click on the document to the right.

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