Man held for allegedly selling drugs to former baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara


A Gunma Prefecture man has been arrested for allegedly selling stimulant drugs to former pro baseball player Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who was arrested on suspicion of possession of stimulant drugs earlier this month, police said.

Kazuyuki Kobayashi, 44, of Midori, Gunma Prefecture, is suspected of selling 0.2 gram of illegal stimulant drugs to Kiyohara for ¥40,000 in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, shortly before 9 p.m. Jan. 31.

Kobayashi denies the allegation.

The police suspect he sold drugs to Kiyohara on a number of occasions.

They said the two met often, but always in out-of-the-way places because Kiyohara is a well-known figure.

The police alleged Kiyohara met Kobayashi in Gunma and Tochigi prefectures several times in the past to buy drugs and checked into hotels in Tokyo on his way back every time, even though he lives in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Investigators had been tracking the drug route through communications records the former baseball star left on his seized mobile phones.

Kobayashi was arrested in Okinawa at around 5:30 p.m. Monday. He had disappeared after Kiyohara’s arrest Feb. 2. He denies committing any wrongdoing, saying, “I know nothing,” according to investigators.

Kiyohara, 48, has admitted to drug possession but had remained mum on how he obtained them, investigators said. He reportedly told the police he used the drugs by injecting or inhaling them.