Esteban Loaiza Pleads Not Guilty After Being Arrested on Felony Drug Charges


Former MLB pitcher and one-time Washington National Esteban Loaiza is in a San Diego detention center after being arrested last Friday with 44 lbs. of cocaine.

With AP Photos.Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza is heading to court accused of drug dealing involving 44 pounds of suspected cocaine.

His bail, initially set at $200,000, was reportedly increased to $250,000 on Wednesday because he was deemed a flight risk.

Prosecutors charged Loaiza, 46, with possession and transportation for sale of more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cocaine, a cocaine base or heroin, and using a false compartment to smuggle drugs.

Officials tell News 8, detectives were doing surveillance in regards to a drug investigation when they pulled him over for a traffic violation.

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Sheriff's deputies seized the cocaine Friday at an Imperial Beach home Loaiza leased.

It was not immediately known if Loaiza has hired a lawyer.

The 46-year-old is the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in Major League Baseball history, trailing only Fernando Valenzuela's 173 wins.

Karkenny said Loaiza had crossed the U.S. -Mexico border at a port of entry earlier in the day.

While searching the vehicle, authorities allegedly found a sophisticated compartment used to hide contraband.

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Loaiza, who last pitched in the majors in 2008, made over $40 million in his 13-year career.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department valued the narcotics at more than $500,000.

Loaiza, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico, was briefly married to the late singer Jenni Rivera, who died in a plane crash in 2012.

She filed for divorce shortly before her death, ending their two-year marriage.

After graduating high school, Loaiza signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent.

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