Two former Major League Baseball stars were arrested in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday in what officials called “the largest operation against organized crime” in the country.
Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo were among the 18 people arrested as part of a drug-trafficking and money-laundering investigation conducted with the help of U.S. authorities, Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said in a press conference. Officials said the two former pro athletes are linked to a drug-trafficking network led by Cesear Emilio “El Abusador” Peralta, who is still being sought by authorities.
Rodriguez did not detail the alleged roles Dotel and Castillo played in the illicit scheme, but stated that under Peralta’s two-decade reign the organization has generated “insecurity and crime” that destroyed “social peace, life, and health for our people for many years.”
Castillo, 43, and Dotel, 45, both were born and raised in the Dominican Republic and played 14 seasons in the MLB.
As a relief pitcher, Dotel was part of the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. During his lengthy career, he played for 13 different teams, including both the New York Yankees and Mets.
Castillo was a three-time All-Star second baseman who won the World Series in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. That same year, he was part of one of the most infamous moments in baseball history when he hit the foul ball intercepted by Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman, derailing the Cubs’ shot at a World Series appearance.