The ring, allegedly run by César Emilio Peralta, was described as "one of the most important drug trafficking structures" in the region

By Rachel DeSantis
August 21, 2019 12:06 PM
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Octavio Dotel & Luis Castillo
Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport/ Getty; Doug Benc/Getty

A pair of retired Major League Baseball players have been accused of being part of a massive drug-trafficking ring in their native Dominican Republic.

Octavio Dotel, 45, and Luis Castillo, 43, both World Series champions who played for more than a decade in the majors, were allegedly linked to what Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alaín Rodriguez called “one of the most important drug trafficking structures” in the region, which authorities allege was run by César Emilio Peralta.

While the athletes’ alleged roles in the ring remain unclear, only Dotel has so far been arrested, according to multiple reports.

Authorities allege Peralta’s network stretched throughout the Caribbean, United States and the Dominican Republic, though Rodriguez said in a statement his members used the D.R. as a “bridge” to bring drugs into the U.S.

Peralta, who is known as “César El Abusador” is currently a fugitive, say authorities.

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“[He] created 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 two sports figures of the Dominican Republic,” Rodriguez alleged in a statement on Tuesday, referring to Dotel and Castillo.

Rodriguez said a team of more than 700 people helped arrest three of the empire’s main alleged drug traffickers, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, among other agencies.

Dotel and Castillo were among 18 people said to have been linked to the crimes.

Castillo’s lawyer, however, has denied his client’s involvement, telling the New York Post in a statement that he lives full-time in Florida and has not recently visited the Dominican Republic.

“Mr. Castillo has not been arrested or involved in any drug ring, cartel, drug trafficking, money laundering, or other criminal conspiracy,” lawyer Alan Wilmot said.

The athlete also shared a photo of Rodriguez’s press conference to Instagram, with the caption, “Only God knows the truth.”

The second baseman retired from baseball in 2010 after spending 15 seasons in the major leagues.

Castillo played for the Florida Marlins, with whom he won a World Series in 2003, the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets during his career, and was a three-time All-Star.

Dotel, meanwhile, played for more than a dozen teams during his 15-season career, including the Mets, the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he won a World Series in 2011. The pitcher retired in 2013.

It was not immediately clear if he has retained a lawyer to comment on his behalf.