Reports: Judge Clears Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo In Drug, Money-Laundering Case

Ryan Chatelain
August 30, 2019 - 8:51 am
Octavio Dotel, left, and Luis Castillo

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Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo are largely off the hook after a judge in the Dominican Republic ruled Thursday that there is not enough evidence to link the former Mets to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, according to multiple reports.

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Dotel, who was arrested last week, was set free following a court hearing. Castillo was cited but not detained in a case involving what Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez called "the most important drug trafficking structure in the region."

In all, 31 people were linked last week by Rodriguez to reputed drug kingpin Cesar Emilio Peralta, also known as "Cesar the Abuser," who remains at large. Prosecutors alleged that Dotel and Castillo used the fortunes they earned playing baseball to help launder money for Peralta. 

But Judge Jose Alejandro Vargas reportedly determined that prosecutors did not show sufficient proof that the former baseball stars committed those crimes.

Talking to ESPN Deportes, Dotel's lawyer, Manuel Sierra, demanded authorities publicly apologize to Dotel.

Dotel, 45, still faces a charge for illegal possession of a firearm, must pay $20,000 of bail and cannot leave the country. Sierra added that he can provide documentation proving the gun, seized from Dotel's car during last week's raid, is not illegal.

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"We are happy for the judge's decision," Dotel's wife, Massiel, told ESPN Deportes in Spanish. "Tomorrow, Octavio will finally sleep in his bed after this nightmare of the last days."

Castillo's attorneys insisted before Thursday's hearing that his client is innocent.

Dotel began his career with the Mets in 1999 and then went on to pitch for a then-record 13 major leagues teams, including the Yankees in 2006. The flame-throwing reliever won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. 

A second baseman, Castillo, now 43, spent the final four years of his 15-year career with the Mets from 2007-10. He also played for the Marlins and Twins. With Florida, Castillo won a World Series in 2003 and was selected to three All-Star Games.