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.
To fully understand the business, political, criminal climate of Pensacola at the time of the death of Byrd and Melanie Billings, you must understand all the players in the “good ole boy” system.
April 30, 2002
W.D. Childers, Willie Junior, Mike Bass and Terry Smith, all Escambia County Commissioners, were indicted on political corruption charges including bribery, coercion, and racketeering. This was the soccer complex scandal. The commissioners offered to buy the defunct complex and Stalnaker dealership from Joe Elliott and his wife for an exorbitant amount of money, far exceeding the value of the property. These commissioners were paid to vote for the deal. What comes out in the wash with casualties is the laundering of money from “unnamed” sources. Stalnaker Mazda, an auto dealership in Pensacola is one of the many tied to organized crime. W.D. Childers is convicted and jailed ending a 30 year political career that included a seat on the Florida Senate for 8 years.
Willie Junior, a character in the Pensacola landscape owned a funeral home. He became the first black commissioner since Reconstruction in 1977. He was a presence in the history of the city. In 1986, he made news for having a drive-thru mortuary. People could drive by to see their beloved in a window. He was flashy and lived far beyond his means. Junior slept around and gave at least one mistress a job until the affair ended when he promptly fired her. Historically innovative and eccentric to boot, he was convicted like Childers. In Willie style of drama, he conveniently disappeared before he was sentenced. For a month, no one knew what happened to Willie. It was speculated he fled or was in hiding in the city. He was still causing news in his own way until December 9, 2004, Willie’s body was found under an ex employee’s house. He had 2 Heineken beers and a empty bottle of pills. The autopsy said cause of death was due to anti-freeze poisoning that had been in the beer. To everyone this was just too bizarre to be a suicide. Willie Junior had style. He was a legend in his own mind. Would he go get a haircut on November 9th and crawl underneath a rundown house like a dog to die? If anybody has seen the movie “Next Friday”, Willie Junior reminds me of Pinky from that movie. He was that kind of man. Crawling under a house? Not dramatic enough for Willie. Just doesn’t make sense.
Until you look at Willie, he issued a 6 paragraph public statement saying W.D. Childers’s greediness got him into this and he was going to “blow the lid of further corruptions” by W.D. Childers, Mike Bass, Terry Smith and others. Not a smart thing to say publicly. He agreed to be a “star witness” in further investigations. Then Willie is found dead under a house. This is the Pensacola that gave birth to Ron Samuels’s cocaine dealing and hiring of hit men, as well as the Billings Murders. Screwing with the money train of the Pensacola auto business is deadly. This is all linked my friends.
It boggles the mind that this case could be so engrossing and yet depicted as so simple. Pensacola is corrupt. It is rotten to the core. This murder is less than 3 degrees of separation from any one there. But I have to say I was surprised at some of the people in the mix. Doctors, lawyers. The connection of the Billings to Sheriff David Morgan is a “humdinger”. He is associated to Arety who is a “colleague” of Billings. We can trace that influence to the spat with County Administrator, George Touart, then you get links to W.D. Childers & Willie Junior. Everyone remembers Willie Junior, right? Committing suicide under a house? THIS IS ALL SO BIZARRE!
I half expect Capone descendants to come out of the woodwork! The murders of the Billings’ is just needle in the pine. It is small event in a larger picture. The two major cartels were battling over territory that inevitably resulted in only one standing. Then we have the guns. The guns are the guns linked to an Homeland Security investigation…..which investigation might that be???? Oh, the one where we allowed “gunwalking” We let suspicious people buy guns with paper bags of cash. So we could “track” those guns. But those guns showed up in the murder of DEA agents.
Let’s look at the timelime:
- July, 2009-Billings’ murder. Hugh Wiggins is caught with an arsenal of guns. He receives an immunity deal that covers multiple federal, state and local crimes.
- August, 2009-the official “gunwalking” begins under Project Gunrunner; guns were tagged & recorded to follow up on where they “turn up”.
- September, 2009- June, 2010- Three major DEA operations make huge arrests involving guns and narcotics coming from Mexico.
- Early 2010- Los Zetas officially severs ties with the Gulf Cartel. By most accounts, the Gulf Cartel ceases to remain an organization.
Is it possible that Hugh Wiggins’ dropped a dime on someone in July that resulted in the events mentioned above? Absolutely.
Where does that leave Escambia County? We have 2 murder victims. It has made national news. Sheriff Morgan states repeatedly in the press that Patrick Gonzalez Jr. is the mastermind and the murderer. He says it to newspapers, national news syndicates, local news. Everywhere you look you see David Morgan’s face less than 10 days after the murder claiming this has all been wrapped up in a nice little “home invasion robbery”. What happens when an FBI evidence report puts Hugh Wiggins’ DNA with Byrd Billings blood on a pair of gloves? The report is tossed aside.