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Ortiz suspect charged in NJ over drugs, firearms

NEWARK, N.J. -- One of the suspects in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz was charged Thursday with drug and firearm possession in New Jersey.

Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz was indicted on cocaine and heroin possession charges and also a charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark announced.

Ferreira-Cruz, 25, who was arrested last week, is among at least 11 people who have been arrested in the shooting so far, ranging from the alleged gunman to a series of drivers and relatively minor accomplices. Thursday's charges are unrelated to the shooting.

He also faces state charges in New Jersey in connection with two armed robberies in 2017.

No attorney information is listed for the Reading, Pennsylvania, man.

Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on June 9. The former Boston Red Sox star is in Boston recovering from surgery. On Tuesday, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital upgraded the 10-time All-Star's condition from "guarded" to "good."

The Dominican Republic's attorney general and national police director said Wednesday that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico's Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

The cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, was seated with Ortiz when a gunman approached and fired a single shot at Ortiz, the officials said.

Gomez, the alleged mastermind, is believed to be in the United States and is being sought by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series championships and was a 10-time All Star. He has a home outside Boston that he shared with his wife and three children before putting it up for sale.

The 43-year-old Ortiz's father and sister live in Santo Domingo.