Marlins' Leo Nunez won't face charges
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Miami Marlins reliever Leo Nunez was arrested Thursday in his native Dominican Republic but then quickly released, with authorities saying he will not face charges stemming from an investigation into his use of false documents to sign a professional baseball contract.
The pitcher, whose real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, was arrested outside the U.S. Consulate in Santo Domingo, where he had been trying to get a new visa under his real name so he could return to the United States. He was booked at police headquarters and then released. A police official, Col. Maximo Baez Aybar, said that Oviedo was arrested on a charge of using a false identity on official documents.
The district attorney's office, however, later said in a statement that the police arrest warrant was out of date and that authorities did not intend to prosecute Oviedo because he had been cooperating with the investigation.
Oviedo had played professional baseball as Nunez since 2000. He returned to the Dominican Republic in September after the Marlins placed him on Major League Baseball's restricted list.
Later, officials in the Dominican Republic confirmed his real name and that he is 29, a year older than listed in the Marlins' media guide.
Authorities have arrested Hector Pena Diaz, who is accused of falsifying Nunez's documents. Pena could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Nunez had 36 saves and a 4.06 ERA in 68 games this season.
Miami signed former Padres closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million free-agent contract this week to be its new closer. But the Marlins said they are working to help Nunez, who is still on baseball's restricted list, get his work papers. Nunez is arbitration eligible.
Nunez turned professional in 2000 after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was traded to Kansas City in late 2004 and made his major league debut with the Royals the next season. The Marlins traded for him after the 2008 season.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press