Former MLB All-Star Esteban Loaiza to be in court Wednesday

Postado Fevereiro 15, 2018

Esteban Loaiza pleaded not guilty to felony drug charges Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court, according to the Associated Press.

Mark Osborne, of ABC News reports, Loaiza, who pitched in the majors for 14 years, most prominently with the Chicago White Sox, was pulled over for a minor traffic violation while under surveillance for an ongoing narcotics investigation on February 9, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Bail was originally set at $200,000 but the judge Wednesday raised it to $250,000 after deputy district attorney Ryan Karkenny argued the Mexican pitcher poses a flight risk, saying he has lived on both sides of the border and has access to "significant funds".

If convicted on all counts, Loaiza faces more than 20 years in prison. Deputies said Loaiza had a sophisticated compartment in his vehicle used to hide contraband. He last played in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and the former player could not be reached to comment.

San Diego Sheriff's Lt. Jason Vickery says the packages are still being tested.

The defendant, a Tijuana native who attended Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, was under surveillance last Friday when he left his home in a suspected drug vehicle, authorities said. Loaiza's best season came with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 when he won 21 games, recorded a 2.9 earned run average and finished second in American League Cy Young voting. Loaiza's agent, John Boggs, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had no information about the arrest and that he has not spoken to Loaiza recently. She filed for divorce shortly before she died in a plane crash in 2012. 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. "He's a great guy with a big heart - again, I don't know what or why he'd be involved in this".