Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

Ex-MLB Players Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo Cleared Of Drug Ring Allegations

Photo caption:

Photo by Tatiana Fernandez AP

Octavio Dotel leaves a courtroom Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, one day before the former major league pitcher was released on bail. On Thursday, a judge cleared him and former MLB player Luis Castillo of allegations that they had supported a drug trafficking ring.

Just over a week after Luis Castillo and Octavio Dotel headlined a list of suspects named in the Dominican Republic's recent drug trafficking bust, a local judge has cleared the retired MLB players of money laundering charges. Judge José Alejandro Vargas decided Thursday that the prosecution had failed to show enough evidence to implicate Castillo or Dotel.

Dotel was released on bail Thursday after nine days in detention. He still stands accused of possessing illegal weapons at the time he was arrested, a charge that was not directly connected to the drug bust. As he left the court hearing in Santo Domingo, the former pitcher flashed a quick smile for nearby members of the media.

In announcing the bust last week, the country's attorney general, Jean Alain Rodríguez, linked the two former major leaguers to an alleged drug kingpin named César Emilio Peralta, also known as "César the abuser." 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.

The U.S. Treasury Department also moved to designate Peralta, his associates and several related entities, including several nightclubs, as "significant foreign narcotics traffickers." Dotel and Castillo were not on Treasury's list, however.

Dotel's attorney, Manuel Sierra, told ESPN Deportes that authorities owe his client a public apology — and that he expects nothing to come of the weapons charge. "We have the documentation that proves that it is not illegal," Sierra said, "and we will present it to the court in a timely manner."

"Octavio will finally sleep in his own bed after the nightmare of the last few days," he added.

Dotel played 14 years for 13 teams during his time in MLB. Castillo, an infielder, won three Gold Gloves, made three All-Star Games and took home the 2003 World Series with the then-Florida Marlins.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.