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Former MLB pitcher charged with drug trafficking

Former Chicago White Sox pitcher Esteban Loaiza has been arrested for allegedly dealing cocaine out of his California rental home. He was taken into custody in Imperial Beach, near the Mexican border.

According to authorities, San Diego police had been surveilling Loaiza’s vehicle because they believed it may have been used to smuggle drugs. On Feb. 9, officers pulled over the vehicle for a minor traffic violation. During a search, they found a special compartment designed to hide drugs. Based on their discovery, they obtained a warrant to search Loaiza’s rental home. They searched the property and found 20 kilograms of white powder suspected to be cocaine. If all the powder tests positive for cocaine, it will have an estimated street value of around $500,000. Loaiza was arrested and charged with multiple drug crimes, including possession, transport and trafficking of cocaine. He was held in jail because he could not pay the $200,000 bail.

Loaiza, 46, was an MLB pitcher from 1995 until 2008. He played for several teams, but he had the most success with the White Sox. In 2003, he had a 21-9 record with the team and was the starting pitcher for the All-Star Game. He was married to Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera for two years. She was killed in a plane crash in 2012.

Individuals charged with drug trafficking may be able to help their situation by retaining the services of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could review the evidence and work to build a strong defense based on the specifics of the case. In some circumstances, it could be possible to get the charges dropped. In other situations, an attorney could negotiate a plea deal that lowers the charges.

Source: ABC News, “Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested on drug charges“, Julie Watson, Feb. 12, 2018

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.