Feb. 12 (UPI) — Police arrested former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza after allegedly finding an estimated $500,000 worth of suspected cocaine at a home he was leasing in Southern California.
The 43-year-old faces three felony charges, including: possession of more than 20 kilograms of heroin or cocaine, possession or purchase of narcotics, and transportation or sale of narcotics, according to San Diego police records.
He was detained at South Bay Detention Facility in Chula Vista on $200,000 bail. Loaiza was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
The San Diego Sheriff’s Department’s Border Crimes Suppression Team arrested Loaiza Friday as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, a news release from the department said.
Officers stopped Loaiza for a minor traffic infraction and searched his vehicle, leading to a discovery of a “sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to conceal contraband,” the release said.
Police obtained a search warrant for a home Loaiza was leasing in Imperial Beach. At the home, police said they found 20 kilograms of suspected cocaine which had an estimated value of $500,000.
Loaiza attended Chicago White Sox SoxFest in January in Chicago, where he met up with fans and took pictures.
John Boggs — Loaiza’s agent — told the San Francisco Chronicle that he did not have any information about the arrest and he has not spoken to his client recently.
“I am shocked and saddened by the news and had no indication he would ever be in this type of situation,” Boggs told the Chronicle. “I don’t know how he would get himself involved in this, so it’s difficult to even comment on it.”
Loaiza owned a 4.34 ERA in 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers and White Sox. He was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004. Loaiza led the league with 207 strikeouts in 2003 for the White Sox, while he posted a 21-9 record.
The Mexican right-handed pitcher earned more than $43 million in salary during his lengthy professional baseball tenure, according to Baseball Reference.