Police arrested former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza after allegedly finding an estimated $500,000 worth of suspected cocaine at a home he was leasing in Southern California. This Wednesday, Loaiza will be in court to face felony drug charges.
The second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in Major League Baseball history was arrested Friday with 20 kilos of heroin or cocaine, according to San Diego police records.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said in a press release Monday morning that Loaiza was arrested as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. "I don't know how he would get himself involved in this, so it's hard to even comment on it".
A traffic stop was conducted, and during the search, investigators found a compartment in the vehicle used to hide contraband, the release stated.
The two-time All-Star who played for eight major league teams in 14 seasons, earning more than $40 million over his baseball career, was arrested Friday in Imperial Beach.
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Pitcher Esteban Loaiza #28 of the Texas Rangers poses for a studio portrait on Photo Day during Spring Training at the Charlotte Stadium in Port Charlotte, Florida. When they searched the vehicle, the sheriff's deputies found "a sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to hide contraband", according to the sheriff's department.
Loaiza, 46, was charged with possessing and transporting narcotics for sale, according to sheriff's records, which indicate he had more than 20 kilos - which translates to more than 44 pounds. He finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2003.
Loaiza was married to singer Jenni Rivera from 2010 to 2012, before she died in a plane crash in Mexico. The couple were in the process of a divorce at the time of Rivera's death.