Despite rumors spurred by an ABC News report Friday, MLB free agent Hanley Ramirez is not under state and federal investigation for a possible connection to a drug ring, according to a Boston Globe report.
Instead, a (probably now former) friend of Ramirez’s name-dropped him in an attempt to avoid arrest after being caught transporting fentanyl from New York to Massachusetts in April.
According to the report, the unnamed friend was stopped by State Police in Massachusetts in April after someone tipped-off the DEA that he would have the drugs. When he was pulled over with the drugs in his car, the man told the cops “that he was traveling to Boston to see a friend who is a professional baseball player.” According to his attorney, the MLB player friend in reference was Ramirez.
The man allowed the cops to search his vehicle, and when they found a brown cardboard box, he declined to let them search its contents, saying that it was from Ramirez’s mom, to be hand-delivered from Ramirez.
Caught in the act
The man then called Ramirez on FaceTime in an attempt to have him corroborate the story. The officer asked Ramirez if he knew that the man was coming with a gift from his mother, to which Ramirez replied he “was not aware.” Ramirez allowed the cop to open the box, which contained two pounds of fentanyl in a gift bag.
The driver was immediately arrested, and then began to take back his story that Ramirez was involved.
“His use of Mr. Ramirez’s name was an ill-thought-out attempt to evade further police scrutiny,” the lawyer said.
Ramirez’s agent, Adam Katz, declined the Globe comment early on Sunday. However, he later released the following statement:
It’s time for Ramirez, who was released by the Red Sox June 1st, to focus on getting back in the game, and perhaps finding some new friends.