Former All-Star pitcher Loaiza pleads guilty to drug charges in San Diego

Ex-MLB Star Esteban Loaiza Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Charge, Faces Life In Prison

Ex-MLB Star Esteban Loaiza Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Charge, Faces Life In Prison

According to the Associated Press, Loaiza pleaded guilty Friday and acknowledged possessing the cocaine with intent to distribute. Esteban Loaiza faces a minimum 10 years, and a maximum of life in prison, with deportation to Mexico on the table.

Loaiza had been under surveillance when he was arrested in February near a house in Imperial Beach, which borders Tijuana, Mexico. His sliver Mercedes SUV had just left the garage when authorities confronted him. In Loaiza's shirt pocket, deputies also allegedly found a garage-door remote for the Fern Avenue townhouse.

"Underneath the baseball bags and the rear floor panels of the Nissan, officers found 20 packages, consistent with the usual appearance of packaged narcotics", according to the criminal complaint. That is equivalent to 44 pounds.

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Loaiza was arrested and booked into county jail, where he remained until his transfer into federal custody.

The 46-year-old Loaiza pitched for eight teams in a 14-year Major League Baseball career, posting a 126-114 mark and 4.65 ERA. He was an All-Star again in 2004, but he was traded shortly afterward to the New York Yankees, where he struggled and never fully regained his White Sox form before eventually retiring in 2008 after an injury-plagued return to Chicago.

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