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

Esteban Loaiza has been arrested on drug-trafficking charges. Getty Images

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.

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.