Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019

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Former M.L.B. Players Are Linked to Dominican Crime Ring

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested the former major-league pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited the ex-infielder Luis Castillo for their alleged links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said Tuesday.

Jean Alain Rodríguez, the Dominican attorney general, said police were also pursuing the suspected leader of the ring, César Emilio Peralta, also known as “César the Abuser.” Mr. Castillo — who is 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,” Mr. Rodríguez said at a news conference, calling it “the most important drug trafficking structure in the region.”

He said Mr. Peralta had 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.”

Mr. Rodríguez said the United States government and police agencies had participated in the investigation.

Dominican officials said 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, Mr. 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?”he wrote.

Mr. 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 Mr. Dotel, who set a record for playing on more M.L.B. 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, Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros and Mets.

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