Ex-MLB Players Luis Castillo, Octavio Dotel Cleared in Dominican Drug Ring Case

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2019

Dominican former Major League Baseball player Octavio Dotel, who was arrested on suspicion of being linked to a powerful drug trafficking network, is surrounded by the press as he is escorted upon his arrival at a courthouse for a hearing in Santo Domingo, on August 26, 2019. - Dotel was arrested last week shortly before attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez announced the dismantling of the country's largest drug gang, led by Cesar Emilio Peralta, who is fugitive. Dotel's defense has denied any ties to the gang. (Photo by Erika SANTELICES / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images)

Former MLB players Luis Castillo and Octavio Dotel were cleared  by a judge in the Dominican Republic of money laundering charges in a drug trafficking case, according to Colin Dwyer of NPR.

According to that report, Dotel served nine days in detention before being released on bail. He also faces a weapons charge unrelated to the drug trafficking case. Castillo was never detained, according to Andre Fernandez of The Athletic.

Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez had attempted to link Castillo and Dotel to "an alleged drug kingpin named Cesar Emilio Peralta, also known as 'Cesar the Abuser,'" per Dwyer. "Peralta and his alleged network of drug runners and money launderers were the focus of the Dominican investigation—one that was supported by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S."

A local judge decided Thursday, however, that the prosecution couldn't sufficiently establish that link.

"The arrest order has been removed," Castillo's attorney, Darren Heitner, said in an emailed statement, per Fernandez. "Mr. Castillo and his family have suffered from the wrongfully stated allegations and we hope that this puts a quick end to a story that should have never been reported."

Fernandez also reported 18 suspects were named in the drug trafficking case. Dominican officials, the FBI and the DEA raided "15 nightclubs, 10 restaurants, three strip malls and more than 20 apartment buildings where women allegedly trafficked from Colombia and Venezuela worked under Peralta."

Castillo, 43, spent 15 years as a major leaguer, finishing his career hitting .290 with 28 homers, 443 RBI and 370 steals. He was a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover and won the 2003 World Series with the Florida Marlins.

Dotel, 45, was a 2011 World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his 15-year career, he went 59-50 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 109 saves and 1,143 strikeouts in 951 innings.