A friend’s ill-advised decision reportedly landed Hanley Ramirez in hot water, but it turns out an important part of the report breaking the news was a sham.
On Friday it was reported that the ex-Boston Red Sox slugger was being “eyed” in a federal and state investigation, which later connected him to a drug ring based out of Lawrence, Mass.
Turns out, however, Ramirez was not under investigation.
The original news was reported by ABC’s Michele McPhee on Friday, but was refuted Sunday by The Boston Globe.
McPhee noted that a man busted with fentanyl during a traffic stop decided to FaceTime Ramirez in front of police, which was, in fact true. However, Ramirez cooperated with police and it became clear he was unaware of what was happening.
Here are the details from The Globe:
The man claimed that the box contained books, and that Ramirez?s mother ?had shipped the box to him in New York to hand-deliver to his friend (Ramirez) in Boston,? according to the affidavit.
In an attempt to back up his story, the man called Ramirez via FaceTime on his cell phone, then handed it to the trooper. The trooper asked Ramirez if he was aware that his friend was en route to visit him and was delivering a box from his mother. Ramirez said he ?was not aware,? according to the affidavit. The trooper asked if he could open the box and Ramirez agreed.
The box contained a gift bag, with two kilograms of fentanyl inside, the affidavit says.
The man was arrested on drug trafficking charges and ?immediately began stating that his friend (Ramirez) was not involved at all, and that the box wasn?t for him,? the affidavit says.
The man?s attorney, who asked that he not be named because of concerns it would help identify his client, said ?his use of Mr. Ramirez?s name was an ill-thought-out attempt to evade further police scrutiny.?
From the onset, both the Red Sox, Boston manager Alex Cora and Ramirez’s agent all said they had no clue about the investigation.
The Red Sox designated Ramirez for assignment on May 25, and he became a free agent on June 1. He remains unsigned.