Former baseball player Eugenio Vélez, who played five years in the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, was arrested and charged with arms trafficking in his native Dominican Republic, the authorities of the Caribbean country reported on Tuesday.
“Vélez was brought before the courts. He faces charges of illegal possession and arms trafficking, after being arrested selling a rifle and a pistol,” Colonel Frank Durá Mejía, spokesman for the National Police of the Dominican Republic, told ESPN Digital.
In a statement, the National Police reported that last Wednesday, the Central Intelligence Directorate (DINTEL) and the SWAT Unit, together with members of the Public Ministry of Santo Domingo Este, placed two men under arrest, one of them a former player of Major League Baseball. Leagues, after seizing a rifle and a pistol that they were carrying illegally.
“Those arrested are the baseball player Eugenio Vélez Vancomper and Algenis Vélez de la Rosa, whose apprehension occurred in the parking lot of a supermarket located in the municipality of Boca Chica, Santo Domingo province,” the statement reads.
“Among what was occupied is a 5.56 mm caliber rifle, M15, with two chargers and 34 capsules; a Mercedes Benz brand vehicle, in the name of Eugenio Vélez, and two cell phones,” he added.
In a search of the Vélez residence at dawn on Thursday, the police seized a second pistol and two chargers.
“The evidence and the detainees were sent to the Santo Domingo East Prosecutor’s Office for the corresponding legal purposes,” the Dominican police said.
Vélez, 37, played with the Giants from 2007 to 2010 and with the Dodgers in 2011, totaling 259 games in the major leagues. A utility and two-handed hitter, Vélez had 160 hits in 663 at-bats (.241) with 53 extra-base hits and 31 stolen bases and earned just over a million dollars in the big tent.
After playing in the minor leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays, between 2012 and 2015, the quizqueyan player played in the Mexican league until 2018. He played in two games with Aguilas Cibaeñas in the last season of the Dominican winter league.