Alleged mastermind in David Ortiz shooting is arrested in Dominican Republic

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The alleged mastermind in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Friday, police there said.

The suspect was identified as Victor Hugo Gomez, according to an alert published on the official Twitter account of the Dominican National Police.

No other details were available but the post said additional information would be released later Friday.

Prosecutors have said Gomez allegedly paid for a hit on a man sitting with Ortiz the night of the shooting and that Ortiz was not the target.

The intended target, prosecutors said, was Sixto David Fernandez, who was at the same table with the former Boston Red Sox slugger. Fernandez and Gomez are cousins.

Authorities say they believe Gomez ordered the killing because he suspected Fernandez turned him in to Dominican investigators back in 2011.

Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez said Gomez, who has alleged ties to Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, is wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Agency and allegedly arranged the hit from the United States.

Gomez had spent time in a Dominican prison on drug offenses, prosecutors said.

Gomez was a target of a US Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation called “Operation Wrecking Ball,” a drug trafficking sting, as recently as March, according to Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, director of the Dominican Republic National Police.

A total of 12 suspects are in custody in what was originally believed to be a plot against one of the Dominican Republic’s best known personalities. Two other suspects are still on the loose.

Ortiz was on a crowded bar patio in Santo Domingo the night of June 9 when a gunman walked in, pulled out a Browning Hi-Power 9mm and shot him once in the lower back.

The bullet passed through Ortiz, perforating his intestines and internal organs and hit his friend, TV talk show host Jhoel Lopez, in the leg.

The accused gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, fled the scene on foot. His alleged getaway driver, Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, stalled out his motorcycle as he attempted to flee. An enraged crowd pummeled him before turning him over to police.

Ortiz is recovering in Boston. He is out of intensive care at Massachusetts General Hospital, and in good condition, his wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement issued via the Red Sox last week.

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