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Wing-eating champion Bill Simmons, jailed on drug charges, turns advocate for nonviolent offenders

This booking photo provided Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by the New Jersey State Police shows William T. Simmons, 50, of Woodbury Heights, N.J. Simmons, the five-time Philadelphia wing-eating champion known as "El Wingador" is under arrest in New Jersey on a charge of cocaine distribution. AP Photo/New Jersey State Police

Bill Simmons, aka 'El Wingador' for his champion eating exploits, in booking photo on drug charges, June 19, 2012.
AP Photo/New Jersey State Police
(CBS) WOODBURY HEIGHTS, NJ - Two weeks ago, competitive chicken-wing eater Bill "El Wingador" Simmons was arrested for allegedly distributing drugs. He was released Monday on $100,000 bail, and says while in jail, he's become an advocate for nonviolent offenders, reported NJ.com.

Simmons, 50, known for winning five Philadelphia  Wing Bowl chicken-wing eating titles, was arrested after police say they found a total of $8,000 worth of cocaine in two of his homes, and $4,000 cash, according to NJ.com. He was charged with first degree cocaine distribution, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

He issued a statement following his release, apologizing to his family, friends and fans.

"This isn't me. This isn't my style. I messed up big time and I give my sincerest apologies to anyone I have hurt by my actions," Simmons said.

During Simmons' ten days in jail, he saw firsthand the impact "hard time for nonviolent offenders has on these young kids facing long sentences, giving them no chance at rehabilitation or of ever leading normal, productive lives," he explained in his statement.

Simmons also said how it really struck him "that there are thousands of kids in jails all around the country serving really stiff sentences for nonviolent offenses and no one seems to care."

He told NJ.com that "everybody should spend a week in jail. It really touched me being in there. It humbled me."

'El Wingador' is free just in time to compete in a July 4 eating contest, if he so chooses.

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  • Crimesider Staff

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