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Ex-slugger Kazuhiro Kiyohara met drug dealer three years ago: investigators

Kyodo

Former baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs, came to know his drug dealer at least three years ago, investigative sources alleged.

On Tuesday, police arrested Kazuyuki Kobayashi, 45, on suspicion of selling 0.2 gram of illegal stimulant drugs to Kiyohara for ¥40,000 in a convenience store parking lot in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, shortly before 9 p.m. Jan. 31. Kobayashi has denied the allegation.

According to the sources, Kiyohara was introduced to Kobayashi three years ago through a male acquaintance in his 40s. Since then, Kiyohara allegedly visited Kobayashi’s home in Midori, Gunma Prefecture, several times. On one occasion, Kiyohara gave him an autographed baseball bat, the sources said.

Since his arrest Feb. 2, Kiyohara had remained mum on who he bought the stimulant from, probably for fear of the seller’s links to yakuza, investigators said earlier.