Retired Major League Baseball pitcher, Esteban Loaiza was arrested at his home near San Diego on Friday, when agents found 20 kilos (44 pounds) of illicit drugs.
TMZ reports that the former pitcher was busted during a Border Crime Suppression Team’s drug smuggling sting at his home.
The arrest occurred after Loaiza experienced a “minor traffic violation” by police. The officer uncovered a “sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to conceal contraband.”
Suspecting more, they obtained a search warrant and went to Laoiza’s rented home, which he just began renting in early February, where they found the enormous stash of drugs.
The Tijuana-born Loaiza was charged by the San Diego Sheriff’s office with three felonies. This includes the possession of cocaine over 20 kilograms, possession of cocaine for sale, and transporting of narcotics for sale.
According to Yahoo, the street value of the narcotics was placed at $500,000.
At this time, the narcotics are suspected to be cocaine and/or heroin. Loaiza will appear at court on Wednesday. Currently, he is in jail on $200,000 bond.
According to the New York Post, the journeyman player pitched for the Yankees, Pirates, Blue Jays, White Sox, Nationals, Athletics, and Dodgers over his 14 MLB seasons, between 1995 to 2008.
He has a career 126-144 record and is the “second-winningest Mexican pitcher in MLB history after Fernando Valenzuela.”
The right-hander was an All-Star in both 2003 and 2004, and the American League strikeout leader in 2003. In 2003, he was second place in the American League Cy Young voting, losing to Roy Halliday, who recently passed away.
Loaiza was a force, a pitcher that was nearly unhittable before injuries started to take a toll on his health and pitching. Over his career, Esteban Loaiza made over $43 million dollars.
Story updated: Former Nationals pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested with more than 40 pounds of what is suspected to be cocaine, worth about $500K https://t.co/9BlLhHC5A9
— NBC Sports Nationals (@NBCSNationals) February 12, 2018
This is not the first time the pitcher has seen the inside of a jail cell. In 2006, when playing for the Oakland A’s, Loaiza was arrested for what ESPN reports as “exceeding 120 mph” while driving his Ferrari and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Loaiza was previously married to singer Jenni Rivera and was on her reality show, I Love Jenni. At the time of her 2012 private plane crash death, Rivera had filed for divorce from the MLB player.
According to the New York Post, Loaiza recently appeared at Sox Fest in Chicago, where he signed autographs and met with fans.