SUN HERALD ARCHIVES: Ex-champ busted (Jan. 7, 2005)

The couple whose computer business allegedly wasburglarized by Hector Luis "Macho" Camacho Sr. said they weredisappointed when they learned the three-time world boxing champ is thesuspect.

Camacho, arrested Thursday in Biloxi, was a customer of ZDI ComputerCenter at Old Courthouse Corner in Gulfport and had worked on boxingpromotions at an adjoining business, said Solomon and Samantha Wheeler,ZDI owners.

Authorities arrested Camacho on a burglary charge and also filed a drugpossession charge after Biloxi police allegedly found Ecstasy, a clubdrug, in his hotel room.

The Wheelers said seven laptop computers were taken in the Dec. 2break-in along with some cash. The false ceiling in their shop at 204Courthouse Road also was damaged.

"It was a bit of a shock but mostly disgusting," said Samantha Wheeler."We had met him. We sold him parts. He bought a laptop from us."

Gulfport Police Chief Steve Barnes said some of the stolen property hasbeen recovered.

Biloxi police said they found Camacho, 42, in a hotel room Thursdaymorning at Imperial Palace. They took him to the Gulfport PoliceDepartment for filing of the burglary charge and returned him to Biloxi,where police filed the drug charge.

Officers found 10 Ecstasy pills in the hotel room, said Biloxi PoliceCapt. Rick Kirk.

Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain set Comacho's bond at $75,000 forthe drug charge. Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray set a $50,000 bond forthe burglary charge, police said.

Camacho had not been booked at the Harrison County jail as of 8 p.m.Thursday.

Authorities listed Camacho's home address as Chateau de la Mer ResortInn, condominiums at U.S. 90 and Cowan Road in Gulfport. Camacho hasbeen training in South Mississippi since last year, when he won a proboxing match at Beau Rivage casino in July.

He first achieved international acclaim as a featherweight and later asa welterweight. His son, Hector Jr., also is a professional boxer.

Samantha Wheeler, 22, said she opened her store Dec. 2 while herhusband was on a service call and thought he had left the shop in disarray.

"Stuff was strewn everywhere," she said.

"Then she noticed holes in the ceiling," said Solomon Wheeler, 26."Whoever did this had to have held himself up on the rafters to movethrough the building. It looks like the burglar fell right through theceiling."

The couple said they found a key while cleaning up and police laterfound it fit a car parked on the lot in front of the building.