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Two ex-MLB players accused in Dominican Republic drug-trafficking investigation

New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo rests his head against the dugout rail.
New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo during a game against the Colorado Rockies in 2008. Castillo and another former major leaguer, pitcher Octavio Dotel, have been accused of involvement in a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring.
(Associated Press)

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former major league pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited ex-MLB infielder Luis Castillo for links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said Tuesday.

Dominican Atty. Gen. Jean Alain Rodriguez said police are also actively pursuing the leader of the ring, Cesar Emilio Peralta, also known as “Cesar the Abuser.” Castillo, who played for the Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets -- not the current Cincinnati Reds pitcher -- has not been arrested.

“Eighteen other people are linked to this network, including athletes and baseball players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo,” Rodriguez 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.”

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

Over the last 10 games, the Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton has shown signs of putting a monthlong slump behind him.

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.

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Castillo was a three-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was a member of the 2003 Marlins team that won the World Series. Castillo made $56.8 million during a 15-year career that ended in 2011, according to Baseball-Reference.

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. Dotel earned $41.1 million during a 15-year career that ended in 2013.


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