Luis Castillo, 43, a Gold Glove-winning infielder who played for the New York Mets and Florida Marlins, and Octavio Dotel, 45, who pitched for the Mets and was part of the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals squad in 2011, were among 18 individuals linked to an alleged drug operation.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 20, 2019
Officials were quick to point out that the Luis Castillo charged was not the Cincinnati Reds pitcher by the same name.
Castillo’s attorney said the charges against his client are a mistake.
“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 in a statement, according to the New York Post.
“At this point, we want clarity,” attorney Darren Heitner said, according to The Athletic. Wilmot is an attorney with the same firm as Heitner, who serves as the lead attorney for Castillo.
“We’d love to know what the next step is,” Heitner said.
“We demand information, and ultimately, an apology, because Luis Castillo has not been involved in any drug trafficking whatsoever.”
There is no truth to the allegation that Luis Castillo has been arrested. He is with his family in the U.S. Luis & his family ask that all media outlets writing on the ‘story’ retract their false statements of fact, including reference to an Instagram account that he doesn’t own.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) August 20, 2019
Castillo is at his Plantation, Florida, home, with his family, and was not arrested, CNN reported.
Jean Alain Rodriguez, the attorney general for the Dominican Republic, told CNN the former players are accused of playing roles in a massive drug ring that is allegedly run by Cesar Peralta.
Rodriguez said the operation is “one of the most important drug trafficking structures in the Caribbean” and connected drugs from South America with buyers in Europe and the U.S.
The operation is the “largest operation in the history” of the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez said, according to “Good Morning America.”
He said their part in the scheme was to help launder money. The exact charges against the two former players were not released.
“To enter and launder the illicit money obtained from drug trafficking, Cesar the Abuser also created a complicated corporate framework that disguised the origin of his fortune, using numerous individuals in his family and social circle to hide his assets, including two sports figures from the Dominican Republic,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designed some of Peralta’s aides as traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.
“Cesar Emilio Peralta and his criminal organization have used violence and corruption in the Dominican Republic to traffic tons of cocaine and opioids into the United States and Europe,” Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said.
Dotel played for 13 teams during his 15-year career in the majors. In 2011, he pitched two-thirds of an inning as the Cardinals won Game 7 to win the World Series.
Castillo, who was on the 2003 Marlins team that won the World Series, spent 15 years in the majors.
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