Ex-baseball players Dotel, Castillo linked to DR drug ring

In this 2008 photo courtesy of the Dominican Republic police department shows César Emilio Peralta, also known as “César the Abuser,” after his arrest on drug charges in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 that police are actively pursuing Peralta, the alleged leader of a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, after others were arrested for alleged links to his network, including professional athletes and baseball players. (Dominican Republic police department via AP)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former MLB pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited 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." Castillo - not the current Cincinnati Reds' pitcher - has not yet been arrested.

"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."

Rodríguez said the U.S. government and police agencies participated in the investigation.

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. Right-hander Edwin Jackson broke Dotel's mark earlier this season by playing for his 14th franchise.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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