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Former MLB All-Star pitcher arrested with 20 kilos of cocaine and heroine

15 February 2018

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza (loh-EYE-suh) has been arrested in California on suspicion of trafficking drugs.

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.

Loaiza faces felony charges of possession, transportation, and sale of suspected cocaine. Loaiza's best season came with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 when he won 21 games, recorded a 2.9 earned run average and finished second in American League Cy Young voting.

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It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and the former player could not be reached to comment.

Katz ordered Loaiza to remain in San Diego County if he posts bail, which had been set at $200,000 after his arrest Friday.

Based on that stop and other evidence, deputies obtained a warrant to search the Imperial Beach home that Loaiza leased earlier this month "just steps away from an area preschool", Vickery said.

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Deputies from the Border Crimes Suppression Team stopped Loaiza's vehicle and found a "sophisticated after-market compartment used to hide contraband", Lt. Jason Vickery alleged. Authorities were surveilling the vehicle on suspicion it was being used to smuggle drugs.

Officers stopped Loaiza for a minor traffic infraction Friday after he left the home he started renting recently in the Pacific coast community of Imperial Beach, along the U.S. -Mexico border. She filed for divorce shortly before she died in a plane crash in 2012.

Loaiza, who made $43.7 million during his career, has made headlines with the law before.

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Former MLB All-Star pitcher arrested with 20 kilos of cocaine and heroine