August 21, 2019 / 2:24 AM / 2 months ago

Dominican's largest drug trafficking gang dismantled after raids, says prosecutor

Members of the National Army guard as National Directorate of Drug Control (DNC) and Public Ministry raid one of the properties of Cesar Emilio Peralta accused of running a wide network of drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic and the U.S., in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - The Dominican Republic’s top prosecutor said on Tuesday that the Caribbean nation’s largest drug trafficking gang has been dismantled, a group that allegedly used two former professional baseball players to launder assets.

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Octavio Dotel was arrested earlier on Tuesday, while Luis Castillo, also a former player, was named by authorities as being part of the gang.

More than 40 raids were carried out across the country in connection with the case, according to Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez.

Rodriguez told reporters at a news conference that the case marks the largest anti-narcotics operation in the recent history of the Dominican Republic.

He said the gang allegedly run by nightclub owner Cesar Emilio Peralta controlled one of the region’s biggest drug trafficking operations, transporting illicit drugs including cocaine from South America to both the United States and Europe.

Reuters could not immediately locate Dotel, Castillo or Peralta, or their lawyers, for comment.

Reporting by Ezequiel Abiu Lopez; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Michael Perry

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