Retired MLB All-Star charged with drug smuggling

    12 de febrero de 2018

    San Diego, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Esteban Loaiza, who spent 13 years in Major League Baseball, was arrested here in possession of 20 kg. (44 lbs.) of a substance thought to be cocaine, the San Diego Sheriff's Department said Monday.

    The Mexican-born former MLB All-Star pitcher was detained Friday and a judge set his bail at $200,000.

    He is charged with the possession, transport and sale of a controlled substance.

    Loaiza, 46, was married for a time to Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera, who was killed in a 2012 plane crash.

    Sheriff's deputies pulled over Loaiza for a minor traffic infraction when they spotted him behind the wheel of a vehicle that authorities suspected was being used to smuggle drugs.

    The stop came shortly after Loaiza left the home he was renting in Imperial Beach, near the US-Mexico border.

    A search of the vehicle turned up a hidden compartment and deputies then obtained a search warrant for the residence, where the drugs were found.

    Authorities estimated the value of the seized drugs at $500,000.

    Loaiza's MLB career included two stints with the Chicago White Sox, where he posted a record of 21-9 in 2003. He also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.