Topline: Two former major league baseball players, Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo, were arrested in the Dominican Republic Tuesday as authorities closed in on a notorious drug trafficking ring in what prosecutors say is the largest operation targeting organized crime in the history of the Dominican Republic.
- Authorities arrested 18 people, including Dotel and Castillo, allegedly linked to a vast criminal network that used the Dominican Republic to smuggle drugs from South America to the U.S.
- The leader of the drug ring, César Emilio Peralta, also known as “César El Abusador,” is still being pursued by Dominican police.
- It is unclear what charges the former MLB players face, but authorities said in a press release that Peralta used Dotel and Castillo to launder money with a “complicated corporate framework to disguise the origin of his fortune, also using numerous individuals belonging to his family and social circle to hide his assets, including 2 sports figures of the Dominican Republic.”
Both Dotel and Castillo were born in the Dominican Republic.
Dotel played in the MLB from 1999-2013 and went to two World Series in 2011 and 2012 for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers respectively. In total, he played for 13 different teams, including a season on the New York Yankees in 2006.
Castillo played from 1996-2010, winning the 2003 World Series with the Florida Marlins. He later played for the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets.
Tangent: The arrests come almost two months after another former MLB star, David Ortiz, was shot in the Dominican Republic in a shooting orchestrated by a man allegedly connected to a drug cartel. Ortiz was not the intended target of the shooting.