Octavia Dotel speaking to the press
Former major league baseball player Octavio Dotel protested his innocence in an impassioned address to the media as he was led from a court room in the Dominican Republic on Thursday morning amid accusations money laundering.
Dotel, a Dominican native who played 15 seasons in the majors, was arrested Tuesday in a take-down billed as the ‘largest operation against organized crime’ to ever occur in the Caribbean island.
‘It is on my record. I am f****** innocent. I earn my money cleanly. I have earned my damn money cleanly,’ the 43-year-old is heard stating in a video posted to Instagram, referencing to his $40 million dollar fortune as he walked through a sea of reporters.
‘I have earned it cleanly. We are not crazy.’
Dotel was set to return to court with three other defendants next Monday.
Dotel, who played for 13 teams across his career, and former big leaguer, Luis Castillo, are among 18 people accused of belonging to a powerful gang that used approximately 20 luxury apartments, 10 restaurants and 15 nightclubs where women trafficked from Colombia and Venezuela worked under fugitive drug kingpin César Emilio Peralta.
Investigators believe a significant portion of the crimes related to narcotics took place inside the Santa Domingo nightlife venues owned by Peralta and named as VIP Room, Flow Gallery Lounge, Aqua Club, and La Kuora, all of which remain closed.
Castillo, who spent 14 years playing for the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins and Minnesota Twins and who earned $56.8 million, is currently in the United States with is family, according to his lawyer Darren Heitner.
‘We do not truly know what the allegations are,’ Heitner told DailyMail.com on Thursday.
‘We have attempted to reach [Dominican authorities] by phone, email and social media. Nobody in the U.S. government has reached out to us.’
According to a story published Thursday afternoon by Dominican newspaper Listin Diario, Castillo is planning on traveling to the island soon to meet with authorities.