Ex-Nationals Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Arrested With Nearly 45 Pounds of Cocaine, Deputies Say - NBC4 Washington
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Ex-Nationals Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Arrested With Nearly 45 Pounds of Cocaine, Deputies Say

Esteban Loaiza was being held on $200,000 bail

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    On September 4, 2005, pitcher Esteban Loaiza #21 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the game at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

    Former Washington Nationals pitcher Esteban Antonio Loaiza was in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Monday for multiple drug charges. 

    Deputies confirmed Loaiza's arrest Friday was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. 

    The former major leaguer was driving a vehicle believed to be smuggling narcotics, deputies said. That led deputies to a search of an Imperial Beach home Loaiza had leased in early February.

    Inside the home, deputies said they found about 44 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $500,000.  

    Loaiza, 46, was booked into the South Bay Detention Center in Chula Vista, California before 6 p.m. Friday. 

    Loaiza was being held on $200,000 bail of possession over 20 kilograms along with two counts of transporting and possessing narcotics with the intent to sell. All three charges are felonies. 

    Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Loaiza attended Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. After his 1995 debut in the major leagues, he went on to pitch for the Pirates, Yankees, Oakland A's and Dodgers.

    He also played one season for the Washington Nationals in 2005, the team's inaugural season in D.C. after the franchise changed from the Montreal Expos. During his one season in Washington, Loaiza finished with a 12-10 record and a 3.77 ERA over 34 games played that year, NBC Sports reports.

    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.

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