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New Jersey wing-eating champ arrested on drug charges

The New Jersey man is affectionately called "El Wingador"; a reference to his many championships won in chicken-wing-eating contests. Now the 50-year-old man who lives about two hours south of Englewood in Woodbury Heights, is facing drug trafficking charges.

He was pulled over in his Kia Soul last Friday by New Jersey State Police. Law enforcement officials said a search of the car turned up powdered cocaine said to be worth $8,000, as well as $4,000 in cash.

The 2010 vehicle was decorated with a vinyl wrap emblazoned with the words "El Wingador," police said. The car was seized by officers, and officials said it could be forfeited in the case.

After the arrest, police obtained search warrants for the man's home and a friend's house, where he has reportedly been staying.

The search of his house, shared with his wife, reportedly turned up nothing illegal. The search of the friend's house led to the discovery of an undisclosed amount of cocaine, police said.

The man has been charged with first-degree distribution of drugs. His arrest came at the end of a month-long investigation.

He was being held in the Gloucester County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bail.

"It is regrettable that (his) notoriety has taken a negative turn," the county prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The man is the five-time winner of Wing Bowl, a competitive eating event. Wing Bowl has been held annually before the Super Bowl and reportedly draws up to 20,000 people to the Philadelphia contest.

The suspect last won the contest in 2005.

He has in recent years endorsed a line of chicken wing sauces and was said to be working to try to open a wing business at the time of his arrest.

Source: ABC News, "'El Wingador' arrested on drug charges in New Jersey," June 19, 2012

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