Skip to content

Former Le Mans, Indy 500 racers at center of drug trafficking probe

Nov 26, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

ap790610188 AP

Former race car drivers and brothers Don and Bill Whittington – who won the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans with a third driver and competed five times each in the Indianapolis 500 – are now under investigation by the DEA, which suspects them of providing Florida-based airplanes to South American drug traffickers.

The offices of the brothers’ aircraft leasing business, World Jet, were raided by DEA agents yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida according to the Associated Press.

Relaying information from a DEA search warrant affidavit, the AP report states that the Whittington brothers (pictured, with the late Paul Newman at Le Mans in 1979) are also suspected of laundering money from the illegal plane-leasing deals through a resort and ranch in Colorado.

Bill’s two daughters, Nerissa and Keely Whittington, are listed as the operators of the resort – the Springs Resort and Spa in Pagosa Springs, Colorado – while Nerissa also controls the nearby Three Meadows Ranch through a company called Fawn Gulch, LLC.

The DEA’s affidavit indicates the agency’s belief that World Jet money has gone into both properties. More details from that particular document can be found in this story from the Pagosa Springs (Colo.) Sun.

Both the resort and Fawn Gulch list the same Florida corporate address as World Jet. However, it should be noted that the Whittington daughters have yet to be charged in the case.

Don and Bill Whittington went to prison in 1987 after pleading guilty to participating in a large marijuana-smuggling ring. The latter brother was forced to give up cars, boats, planes, property and a sum of $7 million to the U.S. government.

Latest Posts
  1. Beretta scores World Challenge pole at Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Photo: PWC Photo: PWC

    Beretta’s Ferrari to start up front for Round 5 of season.

  2. Newgarden puts CFH into Fast Six for first time; seeks elusive Long Beach result

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    JosefLBgrid Getty Images

    Newgarden qualifies sixth for Long Beach race, best outside IndyCar’s established “power trio.”

  3. Penske qualifying dominance continues in Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:05 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    With 1-2-5 in qualifying at Long Beach, Team Penske’s hot streak on Saturdays continues to open 2015.

  4. Taylor brothers, BMW take Long Beach TUDOR Championship wins

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:49 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Polesitting entries bring it home Saturday at Long Beach for the TUDOR Championship.

  5. Dixon takes first step to erasing Long Beach kryptonite with P3 in qualifying

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    DixonLBquals Getty Images

    Scott Dixon hopes for success at Long Beach, a track he considers a “thorn in the side.”

  6. Hunter-Reay upholds Honda’s honor, qualifies fourth at Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    RHRp4 Getty Images

    Ryan Hunter-Reay begins rebound from NOLA wreck by qualifying fourth in Long Beach.

  7. Townsend Bell confirmed in DRR/Kingdom Racing entry for Indy 500

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:44 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR AP

    NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell returns to the Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold/Kingdom Racing.

  8. Castroneves secures pole in IndyCar qualifying at Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT

    HelioPoe Getty Images

    Helio Castroneves brings Team Penske its third consecutive pole to start the season.

  9. WATCH: IndyCar qualifying from Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:52 PM EDT

    Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais

    IndyCar qualifying about to go on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

  10. Jack Harvey wins last second pole for Indy Lights race in Long Beach

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    Photo: Indy Lights Photo: Indy Lights

    Jack Harvey will start from the pole for Sunday’s Indy Lights race in Long Beach.

  11. GP2: Vandoorne fights back to claim Bahrain feature race win

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    _G7C7421

    American driver Alexander Rossi performs admirably to finish third, having lost the lead of the race with two laps remaining.

  12. Alonso: Reaching Q2 a nice surprise for McLaren

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Jenson Button was less fortunate in qualifying, though, as a problem on his car sidelined him without setting a lap time.

  13. Carlos Sainz Jr shines as top rookie in Bahrain qualifying

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Despite expecting to struggle in Bahrain, Sainz will start the race from ninth place on Sunday.

  14. Grosjean disappointed with P10 in Bahrain GP qualifying

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Grosjean 184 Getty Images

    Grosjean believes he could have qualified higher up the grid, but is pleased to have maintained his 100% Q3 record in 2015.

  15. Simon Pagenaud fastest in IndyCar’s final Long Beach practice

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    Simon Pagenaud Simon Pagenaud

    Simon Pagenaud led IndyCar’s final practice session in Long Beach.

  16. Daniil Kvyat puzzled by Q1 elimination in Bahrain

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    Daniel Ricciardo fares far better in the sister Red Bull, qualifying seventh in Bahrain.

  17. Webber hits out at tire-focused single seater series

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    Former Red Bull driver believes that the focus should not be on tire management, but instead on driver ability and pace.

  18. Rosberg disappointed to qualify behind Vettel in Bahrain

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Rosberg misses out on the front row for the second time in three races, exposing Mercedes to the threat from Ferrari in the race.

  19. IndyCar: Another flip at the Coyne: Conor Daly to fill in for Rocky Moran Jr.

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    Photo: Chris Owens/IndyCar Photo: Chris Owens/IndyCar

    Conor Daly gets a last-minute IndyCar shot with Dale Coyne Racing.

  20. Vettel confident Ferrari can attack Mercedes from P2

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Four-time world champion qualified second for the Bahrain Grand Prix, splitting the Mercedes drivers at the front of the grid.