Ex-MLB players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo arrested in connection with Caribbean drug ring

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The World Series champs, arrested in the Dominican Republic, were allegedly tied to “one of the most important drug trafficking structures in the Caribbean.”

Former World Series champions Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo were arrested Tuesday for alleged ties with “one of the most important drug trafficking structures in the Caribbean region,” according to the Dominican Republic’s attorney general.

Castillo and Dotel, both originally from the Dominican Republic, were arrested along with 16 others in an operation to shut down a drug ring run by César Emilio Peralta, according to a press release from Attorney General of the Dominican Republic Jean Alain Rodríguez.

Members of the ring allegedly used the Dominican Republic as a bridge for the transit and illicit entry of drugs to the United States from South America. Peralta, also known as César El Abusador, allegedly created a mafia-like organization.

“To enter and launder the illicit money obtained from drug trafficking, César El Abusador also 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 2 sports figures of the Dominican Republic that we will present to you,” the press release stated.

Tuesday’s operation included more than 700 people from multiple agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorat.

Authorities also arrested a handful of allegedly high-ranking members of the ring, Baltazar Mesa, José Jesús Tapia Pérez, and Sergio Gómez Díaz. The attorney general’s office said that these men are facing possible extradition to the United States.

The attorney general’s office did not specify what charges Dotel and Castillo might face. It’s unclear whether they will face trial in the Dominican Republic or the United States.

Castillo enjoyed a 15-year MLB career, playing for the then-Florida Marlins, New York Mets and Minnesota Twins. His 2003 Marlins team won the World Series.

But he might be best known for one play — when he dropped a popup in a Mets-Yankees game in 2009. His error, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, cost the Mets a win and gave the Yankees a most improbable victory.

Dotel’s 15-year MLB career included stints with 12 different teams, though he and Castillo were never teammates. His best years were a four and a half-season stint with the Houston Astros between 2000 and 2004.

Dotel appeared in two World Series, in 2012 for the Detroit Tigers and 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched two-thirds of an inning in Game 7 of the 2011 Fall Classic for the winning Cards.

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