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Hanley Ramirez not under federal investigation; friend dropped his name hoping to avoid arrest

Hanley Ramirez
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2017, file photo, Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez takes off his batting helmet after grounding out with bases loaded during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox have designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment to make room for Dustin Pedroia on the 25-man roster as he returns from the disabled list. –Charles Krupa / AP File Photo

A friend of former Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez dropped his name in an effort to avoid arrest while transporting fentanyl from New York to Massachusetts in April, then immediately admitted the player had no connection to the drugs, according to documents filed in US District Court in Boston.

Ramirez is not under federal investigation and has not been linked to any drug ring, according to several people with direct knowledge of the case. The 34-year-old has been a free agent since the Red Sox released him on June 1.

An attorney, who represents the man arrested with the drugs and spoke on the condition that his client not be named because of concerns about his safety, said his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used his name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.’’

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