Detroit’s “Felix the Cat” Released From Prison, One-Time Drug Chief Free At 78

April 29, 2020 — Former Detroit drug kingpin Felix (The Cat) Walls walked out of prison over the weekend, tasting freedom for the first time in 26 years. He’s expected to live with family members in Milwaukee.

The 78-year old Walls was granted relief from his life sentence via the Trump administration’s First Step Act legislation allowing for resentencing opportunities for non-violent offenders. He was known on the streets of Motown as a business- savvy boss, respected for the fact that he finessed his way through multiple bloody eras of the city’s drug trade by being an underworld statesman. When Felix the Cat came on the scene in the 1970s, it was all about heroin, by the 1980s, everything changed to cocaine.

In August 1994, Walls was convicted at trial in federal court for his role in leading a cocaine-trafficking conspiracy. He had the conviction tossed on appeal and was found guilty at a retrial where he went “pro per,” deciding to represent himself as his own attorney.

Walls’ partner in the coke game was Feodies (Yellow Man) Shipp, the Motor City’s so-called “Gangster of Love,” famous for talking loud, romancing powerful women and running a collection of open-air flea markets in the area catering to a mix of legitimate trinket salesmen and drug pushers peddling their wares in exchange for a house fee. Shipp wound up dead – his throat cut – in the summer of 1992, while in federal protection inside a suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan.

According to federal records, Shipp and Walls were receiving financing in their drug ring from an associate of the Detroit mafia connected to the notorious Giacalone crew. FBI surveillance logs note meetings between Walls and mob capo Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone.

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