Alleged mastermind behind Ortiz shooting wanted by US authorities

Gomez has been indicted on US drug offenses

By Steve Almasy, CNN
Copyright 2019 CNN

A security camera in the Dominican Republic captured the moment David Ortiz was shot.

(CNN) - The mastermind behind the attack that saw former baseball star David Ortiz seriously wounded orchestrated the shooting from the United States, where he is wanted by US authorities, the attorney general of the Dominican Republic said Wednesday.

Victor Hugo Gomez, who spent time in a Dominican prison on drug offenses, has ties to the long-established Mexican gang known as the Gulf Cartel, Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez said.

The attorney general said Gomez arranged the hit, intended for Ortiz's friend Sixto David Fernandez, from the United States. He is wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rodríguez said.

Gomez was being investigated as part of US Attorney's Office's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation called "Operation Wrecking Ball" as recently as March, Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, director of the Dominican Republic National Police, said.

A US indictment that was unsealed in March lists a Victor Hugo Gomez as a defendant, wanted on two counts of drug possession, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin and one count of conspiracy to conduct financial transactions with money earned unlawfully.

The US Justice Department says the Gulf Cartel operates in northeast Mexico, smuggling cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States across the Texas border.

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 pistol 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. Ortiz is hospitalized in Boston, and his condition was upgraded to good Tuesday.

CNN's Rebekah Riess, Andrea Diaz and Angela Barajas contributed to this report.

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