Former Major League Baseball player Esteban Loaiza has been charged with drug trafficking after police said they found 44 pounds of suspected cocaine at a dwelling he leased near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department valued the drugsat $ 500,000. Loaiza, 46, was tasked with treat wealth and trafficking and was jailed under $200,000 bail.
Police said Loaiza, a onetime All-Star pitcher who had a 14 -year MLB career, was stopped for a traffic infraction on Friday. He had already been on law enforcement’s radar because he’d been attended driving a vehicle “believed to be involved in the smuggling of narcotics, ” the sheriff’s district said.
Deputies researching Loaiza’s car knew a “sophisticated” compartment for secreting contraband and find a search warrant for the home in Imperial Beach, California, that Loaiza had been hiring since early February.
Investigators say they discovered packets of “white powder” weighing 20 kilograms, or about 44 pounds. The sheriff’s department described matters of substance as suspected cocaine, though it’s still being tested and could include other drugs.
Loaiza’s agent, John Boggs, told the San Francisco Chronicle that “hes not” been in contact with his purchaser lately and was “shocked” by the arrest.
“I am shocked and upset by the story and had no manifestation he would ever be in this type of statu, ” Boggs said. “I don’t know how he would get himself become involved, so it’s difficult to even comment on it.”
Loaiza was born in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from Imperial Beach. From 1995 until his retirement in 2008, he frisked for squads that included the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
He was the starting pitcher in the 2003 All-Star Game and, in agreement with the New York Daily News, was the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in MLB history.
As CBS Sports observed, Loaiza made an appearance earlier this month at a White Sox fan occasion in Chicago.