Hanley Ramirez reportedly eyed in federal and state investigation for possible ties to 'substantial' drug ring

Former Red Sox first baseman and current free agent Hanley Ramirez might be in serious hot water with the authorities, as the 34-year-old is “being eyed in connection with an ongoing federal and state investigation,” according to an ominous tweet from ABC News investigative journalist Michele McPhee.

McPhee, who helped break the Aaron Hernandez story, did not provide many more details on the investigation, but did go further into why Ramirez is involved with the investigation during a radio interview.

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Hanley Ramirez through his MLB career
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Hanley Ramirez through his MLB career
Florida Marlins Hanley Ramirez gestures prior to his first at-bat against the New York Mets during Grapefruit League baseball action in Port St. Lucie March 11, 2007. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez slides into third base during the third inning of their National League MLB baseball game against the New York Mets in Miami, Florida, September 23, 2007. REUTERS/Marc Serota (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins Dan Uggla (L) is congratulated by teammate Hanley Ramirez after hitting a two-run homer in first inning National League baseball action against the New York Mets in Miami, Florida April 1, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez reacts from the dugout after hitting a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Miami, Florida June 29, 2008. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
Major League Baseball All-Star Manny Ramirez (L) of the American League Boston Red Sox chats with National League All-Star Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins during practice for Major League Baseball's All-Star game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 14, 2008. The All-Star game will be played July 15. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez throws out New York Mets batter Carlos Delgado after diving to stop the ball to end the fifth inning of their MLB National League baseball game in New York September 27, 2008. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES
Robinson Cano (L) jokes with teammate Hanley Ramirez of the Dominican Republic during exhibition game against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Florida March 3, 2009. The Dominican Republic is preparing for the first round of the World Baseball Classic next week. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez grins as he looks to first base after he threw out New York Mets batter Ronny Paulino for the final out of their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York July 18, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
National League All-Star Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins hits a home run in the first round during Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Anaheim, California July 12, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
National League All-Star Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins hits a home run in the first round during Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Anaheim, California July 12, 2010. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (top) attempts to turn a double play over Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (bottom) during the third inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Washington, September 20, 2012. Werth was out, but Nationals batter Bryce Harper (not pictured) was safe at first on the play. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez tosses the ball to second baseman Mark Ellis to force out San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt and complete a double play by throwing out Giants' Xavier Nady at first during the second inning of a MLB National League baseball game in Los Angeles October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez celebrates after scoring the winning run on a hit by teammate Elian Herrera in the bottom of the ninth inning of their MLB National League baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (R) turns an inning-ending double play over Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) during the sixth inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Washington, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Oct 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) hits an RBI double against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of game two of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) reacts after the St. Louis Cardinals won in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game 3-1 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) runs home after hitting a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citizens bank Park. The Red Sox won 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell (53) speaks with left fielder Hanley Ramirez (13) after he fouled a ball off his knee during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) signs autographs prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates his solo home run in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images (TAGS: Sport Baseball MLB) *** Local Caption *** 2016-04-07T010821Z_580524265_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-BOSTON-RED-SOX-AT-CLEVELAND-INDIANS.JPG
May 27, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates with teammate Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Jays won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) shares a laugh with Hockey Hall of Famer and Boston Bruins Legend Bobby Orr in the dugout prior to the Red Soxs' game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (52) dump powerade on first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images (TAGS: Sport Baseball MLB) *** Local Caption *** 2016-08-31T205822Z_998035029_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-TAMPA-BAY-RAYS-AT-BOSTON-RED-SOX.JPG
Apr 16, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) grimaces at an inside pitch during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (13) hits an RBI single during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
May 10, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (13) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
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Hanley Ramirez and a ‘substantial’ drug ring

During an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub, McPhee reported the authorities’ interest in Ramirez stems from a contact of Ramirez being stopped by police with a “significant amount of drugs” in the car.

Here’s the key part of the interview, transcribed by CBS Boston.

“There has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”

McPhee reported that the suspect who was pulled over — a person who was not Ramirez — was found with “435 grams of fentanyl as well as a large amount of crack cocaine.”

“There is a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts,” McPhee said. “And I think the suspect had ties to that ring.”

Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last month after hitting a below-average .254/.313/.395 to begin the season and has since remained unsigned. While that might have not been too odd on the surface considering Ramirez is now primarily a first baseman who has posted just one above-average season according to OPS+ in the last four seasons, it sure makes a lot more sense now.

Red Sox, MLB’s reactions to Hanley Ramirez report

Neither the Red Sox nor Major League Baseball’s office had comment on the report according to NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, though a Red Sox spokesman noted they were not made aware of the report until a reporter reached out. Ramirez himself denied the allegations, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

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