Former Red Sox first baseman and DH Hanley Ramirez had his name connected to a federal and state drug investigation, but reportedly only tangentially and is not being investigated nor linked to any wrongdoing.
We first got word of a situation involving Ramirez via a cryptic late Friday afternoon tweet from Michelle McPhee of ABC News.
McPhee then expanded on her tweet in a conversation on Boston sports radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, offering a few more details about the situation.
“Obviously, I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man at 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 him in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
She also relayed that the suspect was found with “435 grams of fentanyl and crack cocaine” and that “there is a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts.”
McPhee said that to her understanding the suspect in the car is connected to that ring, but that particular suspect was not Hanley Ramirez.
On Sunday the Boston Globe reported that Ramirez was not under federal investigation nor has he been linked to any drug ring, and explained why Ramirez’s name came up in the investigation in the first place:
An attorney, who represents the man arrested with the drugs and spoke on the condition that his client not be named because of concerns about his safety, said his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used his name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.”
The Red Sox DFA’d Ramirez in late May and officially released him on June 1st. He hasn’t been connected with any other teams for a possible free agent signing since then.
Boston explained his release at the time as a decision made based on his ill fit as a bench player, and in a statement on Friday the Red Sox denied any knowledge of this investigation.
Red Sox media relations director Kevin Gregg says the club was unaware of any investigation of Hanley Ramirez until a reporter reached out to them this afternoon.— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) June 22, 2018
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted a statement from Ramirez’s agent Adam Katz, which said, “Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation.”
On Sunday, Katz added, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “The reporting on Hanley’s involvement in this matter was reckless and irresponsible. It’s unfortunate that one careless, inaccurate story can generate such widespread negative and damaging coverage. Hanley is pleased to be absolved from wrongdoing and having any involvement in this matter.”