Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested


Former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who was arrested after sheriff's deputies allegedly found $500,000 worth of cocaine in his Imperial Beach home, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felony drug charges, including possession for sale of a controlled substance.

The judge set Loaiza's bail at $250,000 after prosecutors argued that he's a flight risk.

Officials tell News 8, detectives were doing surveillance in regards to a drug investigation when they pulled him over for a traffic violation.

The 46-year-old played for numerous teams between 1995 and 2008, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates and concluding with his second stint with the Chicago White Sox.

Loaiza, 46, was arrested Friday during a traffic stop.

Deputies searched his rented home in Imperial Beach and said they discovered packages of white powder they believed to be cocaine.

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

It was not immediately known if Loaiza has hired a lawyer. His arrest at that time (following a game), led to a movement across the league where teams stopped serving beer in clubhouses after the game. Deputies from the Border Crimes Suppression Team stopped Loaiza for a traffic infraction, and inside the vehicle found "a sophisticated after-market compartment used to hide contraband". That provide enough probable cause for officers to seek a search warrant to take a look in his home, which he leased in early February. She had filed for divorce shortly before her death.

Loaiza was a two-time All Star who won 126 games in his career, the second most for a Mexican-born pitcher behind Los Angeles Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela.