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Ex-slugger Kiyohara indicted and served fresh arrest warrant

Kyodo

Former baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara on Tuesday was indicted for drug possession and served with a fresh arrest warrant for alleged drug use.

The new warrant alleges that the 48-year-old Kiyohara used stimulant drugs from mid-January up until he was taken into custody. It was served just as his initial detention period was set to expire, allowing for his continued incarceration, a usual police tactic.

Kiyohara, who played for the Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants, was detained in a police raid at his Tokyo condo Feb. 2 on suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs.

During questioning by investigators, he reportedly admitted to injecting and smoking drugs as well as possessing them. According to the police, he has tested positive for drug use, confirming his confession.

Prior to making the arrest, the police secretly searched places where Kiyohara had spent time, including his home and hotel rooms he used since last summer, where they detected traces of drugs on several occasions.

The police also arrested Kazuyuki Kobayashi, 45, on suspicion of selling 0.2 grams of stimulant drugs to Kiyohara for ¥40,000 in a convenience store parking lot in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, on Jan. 31.

Kobayashi, who was taken into custody Feb. 16, denies any wrongdoing.

The police allege he met with Kiyohara in Gunma and Tochigi prefectures on multiple occasions. They said this suggests Kiyohara may have repeatedly bought drugs from him.

Kiyohara, who retired from baseball in 2008, ranks fifth in Nippon Pro Baseball history with 525 career home runs and sixth in RBIs with 1,530.

His arrest has sparked criticism and concern over the influence the case may have on young people. Others, though, have called for giving him a second chance to turn his life around.

  • Charlie Sommers

    I am of the opinion that the police of every country in the world would do us all a great service if they spent their time going after criminals who pose a risk to others rather than drug abusers who, by their own choice, pose risks primarily to themselves.

  • Chris Clancy

    …and in other developed nations of the world such cases are either dismissed or no longer come to court, saving hordes of time & taxpayer money.

  • Chris Clancy

    …and in other developed nations of the world such cases are either dismissed or no longer come to court, saving hordes of time & taxpayer money.

  • J.P. Bunny

    How much time, money, and manpower has been spent on this huge 40,000 yen drug transaction? Rip-off bars can operate in the open, but one person doing something iffy in the privacy of his own home brings down the full force of the law.