Bullet in bag gets Dominican pitcher arrested in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Dominican pitcher Maximo Nelson, once on the books of the New York Yankees, has been arrested by Japanese police after a live bullet was found in his bag at an airport in Okinawa.

Nelson, who had been in the southern prefecture for spring training with the Chunichi Dragons, was taken into in custody on Friday on suspicion of breaching the Asian country's laws on gun and sword control, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The 27-year-old was signed by the Yankees in 2000 and was a highly-rated prospect before being named by the New York Times as one of dozens of Dominican Republic natives caught up in a marriage scheme to fraudulently win U.S. visas for women.

All of the minor league players involved were banned from getting visas for entry to the U.S. and Nelson subsequently played in the Israeli league before moving to Japan in 2008.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Beijing; Editing by John O'Brien)