Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleads not guilty in drug case

Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleads not guilty in drug case
Ex-All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza denies dealing cocaine
nSAN DIEGO (AP) — Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who earned more than $43 million over 14 seasons, has pleaded not guilty to drug charges following his arrest for allegedly possessing 44 pounds of suspected cocaine.

Loaiza, 46, denied all allegations during an appearance Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court that was also attended by his father and other family members.

Born in Tijuana, the Mexican city across the border from San Diego, Loaiza became a celebrity in his native country after marrying the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. The “Diva de la Banda” was considered to be the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, selling more than 15 million records, and acting in reality television before she was killed in a plane crash in 2012.

Prosecutors charged Loaiza with possession and transportation for sale of more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cocaine base or heroin, and using a false compartment to smuggle drugs.

Later they obtained a search warrant for the home he rented in the beach community of Imperial Beach, where officials say packages were found containing a white powder believed to be cocaine and that weighed a total of 44 pounds (20 kilograms). The charges Loaiza pleaded to Wednesday in court in Chula Vista, California, are for any amount over 10 kilograms, prosecutors said.

The specification of more than 10 kilograms could draw a stiffer penalty.

Loaiza would face up to 20 years and eight months in prison if convicted. The judge raised his bail to $250,000 after prosecutors argued the Mexican pitcher poses a flight risk. Defense attorney Janice Deaton agreed to the terms, though it was unclear if the ex-pitcher would post bail. Deaton and Loaiza’s relatives left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

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

Authorities then obtained a search warrant for his home, where they reportedly found packages of a white powder officials believed to be cocaine. Depties say Loaiza leased the home in early February.

The court raised his bail to $250,000 after the prosecution argued he poses a flight risk.

The former MLB All-Star, who pitched for the Yankees in 2004, was arrested with 44 pounds of what police believed to be cocaine, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested on drug charges

Loaiza was arrested Friday on suspicion of drug smuggling after San Diego County sheriff’s officers who pulled him over for a traffic violation found a “sophisticated” compartment used to hide contraband in his vehicle. Later they obtained a search warrant for the home he rented in the beach community of Imperial Beach, where officials say packages were found containing a white powder believed to be cocaine.

Loaiza was busted during a traffic stop after he left his home, with investigators discovering the white powder stashed away in a “sophisticated” secret compartment.

Loaiza played for numerous teams between 1995 and 2008, included stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. He had a 21-9 record with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and started in the All-Star Game that year.

Investigators have said the arrest was part of an on-going narcotics probe but have given few other details about how a successful baseball star became linked to a case involving the transport and sale of drugs with an estimated value of $500,000, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

Former Major League Baseball player Esteban Loaiza pleads not guilty to multiple felony drug charges in Chula Vista Court. Deputy DA questioned following hearing #NBC7 was in the courtroom – the story at 4pm pic.twitter.com/Pne2EwskGc

Born in Tijuana, Loaiza became a celebrity in his native country after marrying the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. The “Diva de la Banda” was considered to be the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, selling more than 15 million records, and acting in reality television before she was killed in a plane crash in 2012.

Loaiza was also the husband of Jenni Rivera, the Mexican-American pop star who died with six others in a 2012 plane crash.  The 43-year-old superstar filed for divorce from Loaiza two months before the crash.

Former Nats Pitcher Arrested With 44 Pounds of Drugs

She filed for divorce shortly before her death, ending their two-year marriage.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza will be in Chula Vista court Wednesday to face drug smuggling charges after San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies said they found cocaine in his car.

Former All-Star pitcher who made $44 million in his career was arrested and charged with transporting 44 pounds of …

Agent, John Boggs, who represented Loaiza during his Major League Baseball career, said he had not seen him in more than a year but that he had heard he was involved in a business selling Mexican-made hats.

Starting pitcher Esteban Loaiza #21 of Team Mexico fields an out against Team Japan during the Round 2 Pool 2 Game of the World Baseball Classic at Angel Stadium on March 14, 2006 in Anaheim, California.
Ex-All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza denies dealing cocaine
Ex-All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza denies dealing cocaine

“I love Esteban,” Boggs told the San Diego Union Tribune. “He’s a great guy with a big heart — again, I don’t know what or why he’d be involved in this. I have no idea. He’s a friend, and I’m sorry as heck to see what’s going on.”

CHULA VISTA, California (AP) Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who earned more than $43 million over 14 seasons, denied allegations Wednesday that he is a cocaine dealer.

The 43-year-old Rivera was known as the “Diva de la Banda” and died as her career was peaking. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, sold more than 15 million records, and moved into acting and reality television.

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

The former Major League Baseball player appeared in San Diego County Superior Court in Chula Vista, California. The tall, thin ballplayer wearing a khaki jail uniform looked at his father and other family members before entering his not guilty plea.

Prosecutors charged Loaiza, 46, with possession and transportation for sale of more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cocaine, a cocaine base or heroin, and using a false compartment to smuggle drugs.

The specification of more than 10 kilograms could draw a stiffer penalty as could the allegation that the drugs were being stored at a townhome he leased that was within a 1,000 feet from an elementary school.

Loaiza would face up to 20 years and eight months in prison if convicted. The judge raised his bail to $250,000 after prosecutors argued the Mexican pitcher poses a flight risk. Defense attorney Janice Deaton agreed to the terms, though it was unclear if the ex-pitcher would post bail. Deaton and Loaiza’s relatives left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Loaiza was arrested Friday on suspicion of drug smuggling after San Diego County sheriff’s officers who pulled over the Mercedes Benz he was driving for a traffic violation found a ”sophisticated” compartment used to hide contraband at the back of the vehicle, according to investigators.

The former pitcher was arrested Friday in California for having more than 20 kilograms of heroin or cocaine, according to documents.

Later they obtained a search warrant for the home he rented in the beach community of Imperial Beach, where officials say packages were found containing a white powder believed to be cocaine and that weighed a total of 44 pounds (20 kilograms). The charges Loaiza pleaded to Wednesday in court in Chula Vista, California, are for any amount over 10 kilograms, prosecutors said.

Loaiza played for numerous teams between 1995 and 2008, included stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. He had a 21-9 record with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and started in the All-Star Game that year.

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Investigators have said the arrest was part of an on-going narcotics probe but have given few details about how a successful baseball star became linked to a case involving the transport and sale of drugs with an estimated value of $500,000.

Criminal defense attorney, David Shapiro, who has handled numerous drug cases in San Diego but is not representing Loaiza, said this one is unique because of his fame as one of Mexico’s most successful pitchers.

”At the very least what it shows is how Mexico’s drug culture is infiltrating every aspect of life, whether he was associated with people doing it or doing it himself,” he said.

Born in Tijuana, the Mexican city across the border from San Diego, Loaiza became a celebrity in his native country after marrying the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. The ”Diva de la Banda” was considered to be the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, selling more than 15 million records, and acting in reality television before she was killed in a plane crash in 2012.

She filed for divorce shortly before her death, ending their two-year marriage.

Agent John Boggs, who represented Loaiza during his Major League Baseball career, said he had not seen him in more than a year but that he had heard he was involved in a business selling Mexican-made hats.

”I love Esteban,” Boggs told the San Diego Union-Tribune. ”He’s a great guy with a big heart – again, I don’t know what or why he’d be involved in this. I have no idea. He’s a friend, and I’m sorry as heck to see what’s going on.”

Ex-Yankees pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleads not guilty to drug charges
Ex-Yankees pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleads not guilty to drug charges

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