Esteban Loaiza was once an All-Star pitcher, and now he’s an inmate. The former major leaguer was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of possession of cocaine with intent of distribution in San Diego County.
The 47-year-old was allowed to remain free on bond after his sentencing but was ordered to turn himself in to authorities on April 19. He did so at the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego.
He faced up to 10 years in prison, but cut a deal for three years and five years on probation.
Loaiza was arrested on February 9, 2018 after San Diego sheriff’s deputies found a “sophisticated” cargo compartment in his minivan that was used to high contraband. The van was parked in his home and there were baseball bags with Loaiza’s name were on top of it. That led to a search warrant for his rental home in Imperial Beach where authorities found cocaine.
Here’s more from NBC Los Angeles:
According to details in the government’s sentencing memorandum, Loaiza’s rented townhouse was described as a “stash house” used to distribute the drugs. The home didn’t contain furniture or personal belongings. Loaiza was originally charged with possession of more than 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) along with two counts of transporting and possessing narcotics with the intent to sell — all felonies. In his plea agreement, the athlete admitted to driving a Mercedes-Benz SUV that he knew contained cocaine. He transported the drugs to his home in Imperial Beach and transferred the drugs to another car at the property, and intended to transport the cocaine to another person.
Loaiza is going away for a long time. Hopefully he’ll turn his life around.