Ex-Pirate pitcher Esteban Loaiza gets 3-year federal sentence for drug trafficking
Former Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Esteban Loaiza was sentenced in federal court in San Diego to three years in prison for drug trafficking on charges involving about 44 pounds of cocaine, federal prosecutors said.
In a plea agreement in U.S. District Court, Loaiza, 47, of Imperial Beach, Calif., admitted he took a silver Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle on Feb. 9, 2018 and drove it to a townhouse in Imperial Beach, where he put the 20 packaged “bricks” of cocaine in another vehicle in his garage.
Loaiza pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Law enforcement agents found the cocaine in a factory-built compartment in the rear cargo area of a minivan. It was parked in the garage under baseball bags bearing Loaiza’s name.
Loaiza, a native of Mexico, played with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1995 to 1998. He was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 2003 All-Star Game while representing the Chicago White Sox.
Loaiza, who was allowed to remain free on bond, must report to authorities April 19.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, email@example.com or via Twitter .