Michele McPhee on K&C defends her reporting on Hanley Ramirez: Boston Globe 'backs up exactly what I said'

Alex Reimer
June 25, 2018 - 8:48 am

ABC News’ Michele McPhee broke the story Friday that Hanley Ramirez was “being eyed” as part of a federal and state investigation. Over the weekend, in various interviews on WEEI, McPhee said the investigation centers around an alleged fentanyl distribution ring operating out of Lawrence. 

According to McPhee, a suspected fentanyl dealer was pulled over for a traffic stop, and allowed cops to search his vehicle, except for a box. The alleged dealer said the box belonged to Ramirez, and FaceTimed him for police. Ramirez denied owning the box, which contained fentanyl, McPhee says. 

On Sunday, the Boston Globe published a story titled, “Hanley Ramirez not under federal investigation; friend dropped his name hoping to avoid arrest.” In it, reporters Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen quote the suspected dealer’s defense attorney, who says his client only name-dropped Ramirez in an effort to avoid trouble. 

In an interview Monday with “Kirk & Callahan,” McPhee says the Globe story corroborates everything she’s reported on the record. 

“I never, ever indicated Hanley Ramirez was under federal investigation,” McPhee said. “My tweet is very clear. He is connected to an ongoing investigation, and the Globe’s reporting also backs that up. You have a suspected fentanyl dealer who’s part of a sweeping investigation. He gets pulled over, and in my experience in talking to narcotics officers, they will tell you the first thing defendants usually say is the right thing. So the Globe says he drops the name of Hanley Ramirez, which is exactly what I heard. The Globe says there’s a box that the driver, the accused dealer, says belongs to Hanley Ramirez. That’s exactly what I said. The Globe says he FaceTimed Hanley Ramirez, which is exactly what I said. I do believe there is much more to this investigation. But I stand by exactly what I said. If you FaceTime an accused drug dealer, I think that’s an indication you are connected to an ongoing investigation. And I don’t think an unnamed defense attorney can clear anybody. If we had a quote from a U.S. attorney or the state attorney general, that would be completely different.”

After the Globe story was published, Ramirez’s agent issued a statement chastising the media for connecting his client to the case. Ramirez also tweeted his thanks to those who “resisted spreading the reckless, misleading reports.” 

Despite the brushback, McPhee says she stands by her reporting. “I would point to the Globe story, and I think their reporting –– while the headline is misleading –– backs up exactly what I said,” she told K&C. 

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