U.S.

MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza Is Cocaine Kingpin, Say Police

Updated | Former Major League Baseball player Esteban Loaiza has been arrested in California on suspicion of trafficking cocaine.

The 46-year-old former All-Star pitcher was arrested Friday in Imperial Beach, near the U.S.-Mexican border.

0212-esteban-loaiza-getty-11 Esteban Loaiza was arrested on drug-trafficking charges. Getty Images

He was booked Friday on charges involving the possession, transport and sale of 44 pounds of suspected cocaine worth an estimated $500,000, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators working with a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department drug unit stopped Loaiza after they spotted him in an SUV they had linked to drug trafficking.

After searching the vehicle, police found a secret compartment used to conceal contraband.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search a home he had been renting in Imperial Beach and found 44 pounds of a substance believed to be cocaine, valued at $500,000.

Loaiza’s MLB career spanned from 1995 to 2008, and he played for teams including the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox. He made nearly $44 million in his 14 seasons in the major leagues. 

Born in Tijuana, Mexico, he was briefly married to singer Jenni Rivera, who died in a 2012 plane crash. 

Loaiza is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated one of the teams Loaiza played for.

Editor's Pick
cold, war, west, russia, latin, america, us, relations

Russia Comes to Latin America as U.S. Ties Fail

“The recent visit to Venezuela by nuclear-capable bombers is a Russian reminder to U.S. President Donald Trump of what could happen if he pulls out of the 30-year-old nuclear non-proliferation START treaty,” one expert told Newsweek.