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"Macho' mad at reputed drug dealer

Junior welterweight champion Hector "Macho" Camacho spent $8,000 in cash given to his sister by the reputed head of a $120-million a year heroin ring, the New York Daily News reported Saturday. "I knew where the money came from, and I took it to teach him a lesson," Camacho told the News from his home in Puerto Rico.

Ricardo Melendez is being tried in a drug racketeering case in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn for allegedly running the heroin ring between 1985 and 1989. Camacho's sister, Racquel, testified Thursday that she dated Melendez two years ago.

Camacho, who was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about his knowledge of Melendez's drug dealings, denied any involvement with drugs.

"I'm the Macho Man, and I never sold or did drugs," he said. "I'm 100 percent legitimate."

Racquel Camacho testified that Melendez gave her money to buy an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz car that he registered in her name.

Under cross-examination from defense attorneys, Racquel Camacho said the mobile phone in the car was listed under her brother's name. The phone bill was mailed to the Manhattan apartment of Camacho's mother.

She also discussed in court Camacho's close relationship with Eduardo "Panama" Hamilton, a co-defendant in the case who authorities say was Melendez's bodyguard. Hamilton did the same work for her brother and helped him train for several championship fights, Racquel Camacho said. She also testified her brother spent the $8,000 Melendez had given her at a 1988 Christmas eve party.

Camacho told the News he knew Melendez was dating his sister. He said he went to the Christmas party and became angry when Melendez made fun of his clothes.

Camacho said he did not give Melendez or his sister permission to register the car phone under his name.

"She told me that she needed a phone in her apartment and wanted to bill it to my account," he said. "When I found out what this guy had done, I got very angry."

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