What to Know
- DR authorities arrested ex-MLB pitcher Octavio Dotel and are searching for ex-infielder Luis Castillo for alleged link to drug ring
- Dominican AG Jean Alain Rodríguez said police are actively pursuing alleged ring leader, César Emilio Peralta, known as "César the Abuser"
- Dotel and Castillo played for a number of teams during their careers, including the New York Mets and Yankees
Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former MLB pitcher Octavio Dotel and are searching for ex-infielder Luis Castillo for their alleged links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said Tuesday.
Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said police are also actively pursuing the alleged leader of the ring, César Emilio Peralta, also known as "César the Abuser."
"Eighteen other people are linked to this network, including athletes and baseball players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo," Rodríguez said in a news conference, calling it "the most important drug trafficking structure in the region."
He said Peralta created a complicated system of companies to hide the origins of his assets, using members of his family and social circles, "including two sports figures in the Dominican Republic."
At a press conference, held at noon on Tuesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez said that U.S. government and police agencies, including the DEA, the FBI and the Department of Justice, participated in the operation, so those accused and under arrest could be extradited.
Dominican officials say a 1,050-kilogram shipment of drugs heading from South America to Puerto Rico was one of several seizures attributed to this ring.
On his Instagram account, Castillo denied any ties to drugs.
"The truth is my country no longer works, my God, do you think that after making millions of dollars in Baseball I am going to dirty my hands with drugs?" the former player wrote.
Castillo was a three-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series.
There was no immediate comment from Dotel, who set a record for playing on more MLB teams than any other player. The teams were: the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros and New York Mets.
NBC 4 New York's sister station, Telemundo 47, reports that a video published by several Dominican media outlets shows Dotel handcuffed and being escorted by officers of the National Drug Control Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas).