Ex-Mets Dotel, Castillo Linked To Dominican Drug Ring

Associated Press
August 21, 2019 - 8:14 am
Octavio Dotel, left, and Luis Castillo

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former Mets pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited ex-Mets infielder Luis Castillo for their alleged links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said Tuesday.

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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. The New York Daily News reported that local police are searching for him.

"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.

Alan Wilmot, a member of Castillo's legal team, denied any connection of Castillo to the alleged wrongdoing. "Mr. Castillo maintains his innocence," Wilmot said.

There was no immediate comment from Dotel, 45, who played for a then-record 13 teams in his 15-year career. He spent his rookie season with the Mets in 1999 and and also pitched in 14 games for the Yankees in 2006. Dotel's longest stretch with one team came with the Houston Astros from 2000-04, and he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' World Series-winning team in 2011. He last played in the majors in 2013.

A second baseman, Castillo 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.

Note (Aug. 26, 2019): In a story Aug. 20 about an alleged drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring in the Dominican Republic, The Associated Press wrongly quoted a comment on an Instagram account purported to belong to former Miami Marlins infielder Luis Castillo. Castillo's lawyers say the Instagram page was not Castillo's. 

WFAN.com contributed to this report.