Will Wright, one of the most outlandish characters in "Six Degrees of Paris Hilton" -- long-form journalist Mark Ebner's 2009 expose on the nasty, druggy innards of young Hollywood -- is finally seeing the spotlight he craved.
"He's always wanted to be a drug kingpin," Ebner tells the LA Weekly. "Guess what? He got his wish."
Mike Vanags, a recently retired officer from the La Brea Police Department who once investigated Wright for a high-profile burglary in Yorba Linda, says: "He's stuck now -- and it's about time."
Wright popped up in multiple corners of Ebner's eye-popping Paris Hilton
gossip piece investigation as an attention-whoring, pathologically lying "man about town" who duped all kinds of moguls and celebrities into revering him as a glorified drug lord with connections out his ears. An excerpt:
"At one time Paris was Will's Best Friend Forever, but then she started saying, 'All he ever told me was the he wanted to fuck me up the ass,'" says Scott Bloom, who knew both in his capacity as a film producer and one-time nightclub promoter, and who still remembers Paris as a skinny kid on roller skates when she first showed up at his clubs. "She took an about-face on him," he adds, in a curious turn of phrase. "The worst day of Will Wright's life is the day people are indifferent to him."
But over the last five years, Wright may have become what he always aspired to be: The "prime architect" of a $4 million cocaine ring, in which the goods were imported into SoCal via Mexican cartels, then smuggled into Long Island, New York, on car carriers.
"He's a spiderweb -- you start with the burglary and you go out from there," says retired cop Vanags. But "nobody's able to prove things on him. He basically uses other people to do his work."
However, Vanags says he was contacted by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in 2007, after Wright's name came up in a tapped conversation, re: a suspected cross-country cocaine ring.
"I don't know the conclusion of their case, but I know it's been concluded," says Vanags. "The only thing I can think of is he helped them out." [Ed note: Aka, snitched on a bigger fish to the feds.] Since then, though, "he apparently jumped right back into that business."
Four men have been arrested in Long Island for their alleged participation in the ring, but West Hollywood resident Wright is still on the run, with a warrant out for his arrest.
Via West Hollywood Patch:
The investigation began with Suffolk [County] narcotic undercover work that then led to attaining court authorized wiretaps that captured significant information about the operation, said [District Attorney Thomas Spota]. The arrests were made July 19 and kept confidential in order for police to uncover further suspects and operation details.
Spota said the drug transportation method illustrates the "ingenious" methods that drug dealers use in illegal operations.
"Anyway you can imagine to smuggle drugs these guys already know it and have tried it," he said.
The network of sources Ebner has accrued in his years on the dirty nightlife scene tell him Wright has been "spotted in Hollywood as recently as last week -- dining with [alleged ecstasy dealer Eyal "Alex" Maimon] at Sunset Plaza, and less than a week ago coming out of Citizen Smith, a low-life nightclub on Cahuenga."
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Ebner says that while "Wright enjoyed the high life and some of the spoils for a brief wind of time in his short 33-year life, he's looking at a life sentence" once state and federal charges are combined.
"I'm a writer, not a cop," he adds. "But I can put this together because I'm talking to the cops." Though Ebner's smash hit of a celebrity expose has been having trouble landing a screen deal, he now says, smugly: "Will Wright is doing the job for me: He's writing my epilogue."
Updates to come.