Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Hanley Ramirez not connected to drug distribution ring, per report

Alex Reimer
June 24, 2018 - 10:06 pm

Hanley Ramirez isn’t under federal investigation after all, reports the Boston Globe’s Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen. He just has a bad friend.

State police stopped and searched a man’s car in western Massachusetts in April following a tip to the Drug Enforcement Administration that he would be delivering two grams of cocaine to the commonwealth, according to an affidavit. The man consented to a search of his vehicle, but didn’t allow law enforcement officials to open a brown cardboard box found in the back. He said the box contained books and belonged to Ramirez’s mother, and he was delivering it to Ramirez. 

In an effort to corroborate his story, the man FaceTimed Ramirez, the affidavit says. Ramirez denied he was aware of the box, and allowed police to search it. The box reportedly contained two kilograms of fentanyl. The man was arrested on fentanyl trafficking charges.

Afterwards, the man’s attorney said his client dropped Ramirez’s name to avoid arrest. The Red Sox say they weren’t aware of the situation when they designated Ramirez for assignment May 25.

 “We moved Hanley off the roster for baseball reasons,” team president Sam Kennedy told Kirk Minihane Friday.

The Red Sox designated Ramirez for assignment May 25. He was hitting .254/.313/.395 with six home runs in 195 plate appearances. They officially released him June 1. 

On Friday, ABC News’ Michele McPhee reported Ramirez was “being eyed” as part of an ongoing state and federal investigation.

In a statement, Ramirez’s agent chastised the media for connecting his client to the case. “The reporting on Hanley’s involvement in this matter was reckless and irresponsible,” Andy Katz wrote, per the Globe. “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.”

Ramirez, who remains unsigned, also commented on the reported Sunday. “I have been home enjoying my family,” he wrote. “Not being on a team has been my choice. Grateful to those of you who resisted spreading the reckless, misleading reports.” 

This post has been updated

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