Former MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza Nabbed In $500000 Cocaine Bust

Former MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza Nabbed In $500000 Cocaine Bust

Former MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza Nabbed In $500000 Cocaine Bust

According to the sheriff's report, a search of his vehicle during a minor traffic stop revealed a "sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to hide contraband".

Mark Osborne, of ABC News reports, Loaiza, who pitched in the majors for 14 years, most prominently with the Chicago White Sox, was pulled over for a minor traffic violation while under surveillance for an ongoing narcotics investigation on February 9, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

At Loaiza's leased home, which was located next to a school, investigators discovered roughly 44 pounds of cocaine, the lieutenant alleged.

Loaiza would face up to 20 years and eight months in prison if convicted.

Sheriff's Lt. Jason Vickery said the deputies had been surveilling Imperial Beach as part of a narcotics investigation and had spotted him in a 2010 Mercedes-Benz mid-size SUV believed to be linked to a smuggling operation.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Karkenny successfully pushed for Loaiza's bail to be increased to $250,000, saying the 46-year-old is a flight risk with ties to Mexico and a large amount of financial assets.

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

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

Loaiza played for numerous teams between 1995 and 2008, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates and concluding with his second stint with the Chicago White Sox.

"I love Esteban", Boggs told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Officials say Loaiza kept the drugs in a home just steps away from a preschool.

He was married to singer Jenni Rivera but the couple filed for divorce in October 2012.

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