March 24, 2018

Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested

15 February 2018, 05:47 | Winifred Adams

Former MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza to be in court Wednesday


Former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested in San Diego on drug charges after he was caught with 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of cocaine and heroin.

Loaiza, who won 21 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2003, is accused of possessing more than 40 pounds (20 kilograms) of heroin and cocaine and meant to sell it.

Bail was originally set at $200,000 but the judge Wednesday raised it to $250,000 after deputy district attorney Ryan Karkenny argued the Mexican pitcher poses a flight risk, saying he has lived on both sides of the border and has access to "significant funds".

It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and the former player could not be reached to comment.

Loaiza was arrested Friday on suspicion of drug smuggling after San Diego County sheriff's officers found a "sophisticated" compartment used to hide contraband in his vehicle. Depties say Loaiza leased the home in early February.

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Deputies then obtained a search warrant for Loaiza's home, where they found bundles of cocaine weighing about 44 pounds.

Vickery said deputies used to test substances they believed were illicit drugs in the field but they now wait for a laboratory to test it because of concerns about handling fentanyl, a synthetic opioid so powerful that even a tiny amount can be fatal. He last played in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to Baseball Reference, Loaiza made more than $43 million over a career that spanned parts of 13 seasons, and he was a two-time All Star.

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

He was married to famed singer Jenni Rivera, who died in a 2012 plane crash.

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