This week Roy Jones Jr.,hometown boy and boxing phenom, submitted paperwork to put his name in for the mayor of Pensacola. Those of us who know “the know”, have no doubt that Roy will be the next mayor. I also saw that David Stafford, Elections Supervisor of Escambia County claims Roy is ineligible as a candidate for mayor because the city charter requires the mayor to be a registered voter and have lived in the city for a year prior. Clearly, Mr. Stafford has not gotten the memo of who Roy’s affiliated with—Fred Levin.
Mr. Levin is Pensacola royalty. He is a well connected attorney that seems to be set upon the highest of ivory towers. A favorable word from Mr. Levin equals a free ride. I have personally seen him with Ron Samuels during his cocaine days. David, his brother was also a presence and he was a “mentor” to Emmitt Smith. Fred was the manager and financial backer for Roy. Although the business alliance has fallen to the wayside, the Levin name is carte blanche in Pensacola and Roy Jones is the prodigal son.
Funny thing about Fred Levin, when the Pensacola corruption scandal involving his buddies, W.D. Childers and Willie Junior, he publicly ridiculed those involved. It seemed Fred had cut the kite strings to his long lived friendships with Childers and Junior. Then looking at what happened to the two “chums”–one went to jail and one dead. Junior planned on telling everything he knew and died in a bizarre set of circumstances. I, personally, was shocked to hear Levin disparaging his besties and especially before everything hit the fan. Fred jumped off the sinking ship that Childers and Junior seemed to be captaining. Hmmmmmm….the “good ole boy” system gone bad.
Ron Samuels was a Toyota dealer in Pensacola. He was around for a few years. When I lived there, I used to see him when I worked at Village Inn. He wasn’t the picture of success. He was a big man with longer unkempt hair. When I say big, I mean all the way around. He was 6’4″ and probably 300 lbs. He wore polo shirts and shorts. He looked sweaty all the time. He was not the image of a business man, but this was Pensacola. Area professionals are business casual and less jacket and tie, but even saying that, Ron was still below par.
He was always with other important people like the Levin or Stamitoles clan. Ron was not very personable at least to most. He was a jackass with an overblown sense of self-importance. So it wasn’t at all surprising to hear that he was arrested trafficking cocaine in Mexico. Then to hear he hired men to kill his ex-wife Heather, the mother of his children, it was a bit surreal but with all the other connections and degrees of separation in Pensacola, I suppose it would have been more awkward if hadn’t been mixed up with drugs and hit men, being a car dealer in Pensacola. Hell, maybe that’s a prerequisite.
It’s funny in thinking about it. My dad worked in dealerships in Birmingham, in the 1950’s & 60’s. He talked about a time when he got a call from Sammy Cantavespre. He owned a restaurant in Birmingham. He was the local mob boss and eventually expanded to opening “Sammy’s Gentleman’s Club”, a strip bar. The call from Sammy was to let my dad know Sammy’s daughter was going to be by to pick up a car. She came in, picked a red sports car and drove off. Another associate of my dad’s asked him why no paperwork was drawn up and why did this girl get to just pick a car and drive off. My dad’s answer was “She is Sammy’s daughter”. There was no one that was going to challenge this and later that day a crony of his came in paid for the red sports car in hundred dollar bills.
The point of the story is that in this area of the South, the dealership world is latent with illegal activity. It is the nature of the beast.