David Ortiz was targeted by Dominican drug lord in 2019 shooting, private investigators find

Former Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Boston, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Private investigators hired by retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz say the Hall of Famer was targeted by a drug kingpin when he was shot in the Dominican Republic in 2019, a news report said Saturday.

Former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis and ex-CIA official Ric Prado said Cesar “The Abuser” Peralta put a price on Ortiz’s head because he was jealous of the baseball superstar’s fame on the island, The findings by Davis and Prado contradict the official investigation by Dominican authorities, who said the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

“I accept what Ed and Ric are telling me, but how come no one in the Dominican justice system has told me this is how it went down?” Ortiz told the Globe.

Peralta was operating freely in the Dominican Republic when Ortiz was shot at a bar in Santo Domingo on June 9, 2019. He was arrested in Cartagena, Colombia in December 2019, and is now in a federal prison in Puerto Rico awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to import drugs.

Peralta’s lawyer told the Globe his client had nothing to do with the shooting, claiming: “As bad as Cesar Peralta is, it’s not even close to being in the ballpark to say he had something to do with this.”

Authorities allege Peralta ran a cocaine and heroin smuggling ring through the Dominican Republic to the U.S. and other nations. Two months after the Ortiz shooting, several of his associates, including two ex-MLB players, were arrested in the island nation.

Peralta claimed that he and Ortiz were close friends, the Globe reported. Ortiz said they only had a casual relationship.