Former Athletics pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested with more than 20 kg of cocaine, heroin, authorities say

KABC logo
Monday, February 12, 2018
Former A's pitcher arrested with more than 20 kg of cocaine, heroin
Former Athletics pitcher Esteban Loaiza has been arrested in San Diego County on suspicion of smuggling cocaine and heroin.

SAN DIEGO -- A former journeyman pitcher whose career included a stint with the Oakland Athletics has been arrested in San Diego County for allegedly smuggling cocaine and heroin, authorities said.

Esteban Loaiza, who was briefly married to the late singer Jenni Rivera, was booked Friday on suspicion of possession and transportation of more than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of the narcotics. According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the drugs have an estimated street value of $500,000.

The 46-year-old Major League Baseball veteran was being held at a Chula Vista jail on Monday in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Loaiza, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico, had an MLB career that began with the Pirates and spanned 14 seasons from 1995 to 2008. During his last two years in the majors he played intermittently for the Dodgers, Blue Jays and White Sox.

A right-hander and two-time All-Star, he achieved a win-loss record of 126-114 and earned just over $43.7 million in the majors. The legendary Fernando Valenzuela is the only Mexican-born pitcher to win more games than Loaiza.

Rivera, Loaiza's former wife, was a Long Beach native who died in a plane crash in 2012 in Mexico.

Loaiza is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Click here for the latest stories about the MLB.

ESPN, City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.