fb-pixel Skip to main content

Dominican officials arrest 14th man in David Ortiz shooting

Authorities in the Dominican Republic arrested a 14th man Saturday in connection with the shooting of David Ortiz in a bar earlier this month, according to authorities.

Police arrested Junior Cesar La Hoz Vargas for allegedly renting the apartment where Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez, the alleged mastermind behind the plot, hid from law enforcement until his arrest Friday.

Authorities on Friday also arrested Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, who was found by Dominican armed forces off the coast of the Dominican province of Samaná as he attempted to flee in a boat to Puerto Rico, officials say.

Rodriguez Mota arrived at the Dial Bar and Lounge hours before the shooting, authorities say, and allegedly took the dimly lit photo that confused the suspects, leading to the shooting of the retired Red Sox All-Star as he sat on the bar’s patio June 9.


Authorities claim Gomez Vasquez placed the hit on his cousin, Sixto David Fernández, who he believes betrayed him to authorities, leading to his arrest in 2011.

Fernández was sitting across from Ortiz at the time of the shooting.

Gomez Vasquez, in a seven-minute video made before his arrest, denied any involvement with the attempted killing. In the video, which was obtained by the Globe and widely shared on Dominican media, Gomez Vasquez said he “would never do something like that.”

A judge Saturday pushed back the initial court appearances for Gomez Vasquez and Rodriguez Mota. Prosecutors had asked that the men’s cases be ruled “complex” and that the men be held behind bars for up to a year while authorities conclude their investigations.

At least 11 suspects are being held similarly for up to a year on charges in connection with their roles in the sprawling conspiracy.

One fugitive whom authorities identified as Luis Alfredo Rivas Clase, also known as “The Surgeon,” remains at large.


All three suspects are expected to make their first court appearances Sunday.

Ortiz, 43, was moved out of intensive care last week at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he continues to recover.

Aimee Ortiz can be reached at aimee.ortiz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @aimee_ortiz.