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Police Arrest Barcelona SC Star For Connection With Band Of Hitmen

Barcelona SC midfielder Gabriel Cortez was having a fantastic season in the Ecuadorian Serie A. Until this Friday, he was the league's top scorer with seven goals in nine games.

But Cortez's record is now coming to a halt after the local police arrested him in connection with a criminal band called Los Tiguerones, which is accused of drug trafficking and murder. 

Ecuador's Minister of Interior, Patricio Carrillo, confirmed the detention of the soccer player, telling the public some of the charges that Cortez is facing — it doesn't look good. 

"Gabriel Cortez was not only a member of the organization," he said, "but he also ordered and received information about hitmen operations."

Cortez was one of 18 people arrested – three of them active police members – during a law enforcement operation called Gran Impacto 10, in which the police raided 29 properties and seized phones, surveillance cameras, cars, guns and one kilogram of cocaine. 

Once the news became public, Barcelona SC published a press release in which the club didn't mention the player and didn't condemn his actions. Instead, the institution said that its employee's “private activities” are not the club's responsibility. At any rate, Barcelona SC will respect the investigation and wait for a resolution before deciding on Cortez's future in the squad. 

"I'm in shock," added Carlos Alfaro Moreno, Barcelona SC's president on DirectTV.

Cortez's lawyers denied the accusation. 

"He is not the boss in a criminal organization," said Antonio Durán, one of his defenders. "He received two phone calls, where he doesn't give any order and where you can't establish he has committed a crime."

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