BOSTON (CBS) — “The day before he got arrested, the police were chasing him and trying to kill him,” said a relative of Victor Hugo Gomez, the alleged mastermind behind the shooting the injured David Ortiz.
Speaking to WBZ-TV on the condition of anonymity, a member of Gomez’s family said the father of seven is the victim of a set-up.
“He’s a very kind loving person so it’s very hard to see him be framed like this.”
Dominican authorities said the suspected drug trafficker offered to pay $30,000 to have his cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, killed for ratting him out to police. The night of the shooting, Big Papi was sitting near the intended target.
A day before his arrest, Gomez recorded a video proclaiming his innocence. In it, he said he would never hurt anyone, let alone his family, and that he feared for his life.
“Sixto David has already said he has no enemies and I am not his enemy. I want to make clear I had nothing to do with this,” said Gomez in the cell phone recording.
He also had a video made of his arrest to prove he was captured alive and didn’t resist.
The 43-year-old fugitive, who has ties to the U.S, was named in a recent federal indictment as one of 56 suspects linked to a drug ring in South Texas.
“He hadn’t turned himself in because he has no money for a lawyer, just like he doesn’t have money to send that hit for his cousin Sixto David Fernandez,” said the relative.
Fourteen people are now under arrest and linked to a botched murder-for-hire plot that wounded Red Sox legend David Ortiz. Now, as Gomez faces a year of pre-trial detention; his family is pleading authorities dig deeper.
“We feel that he’s an easy target because of his situation in the United States. There’s a person above it, he’s just, that’s the easiest person they could accuse. For the person we feel is behind this, this is not the first time he has done something like this before,” said the relative.
Gomez was one of three suspects captured last week. All 14 suspects will spend a year in prison as prosecutors build a case.
Police say they are still looking for others who may be implicated.