The former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza is now in serious trouble, as he now faces federal charges for drug smuggling this Wednesday morning, and was transferred to a federal prison, as informed by Carlos Nava of ESPN.
Esteban Loaiza fue acusado en una corte federal y hoy tiene programado ser transferido a una prisión federal en referencia a su caso de narcotráfico— Carlos Nava ESPN (@TapaNava) 7 de marzo de 2018
According to Nava, the spokeswoman of the U.S. Attorney Southern District of Calfornia, Kelly Thorton, provided him and ESPN via email that information, as they requested it, and also Thorton told them "no further comments will be made at the moment".
Loaiza declared himself not guilty of the charges of possession and transportation of drugs for sale on February 14th during the first audience of the case, and in case of being found guilty of those charges, he could face a sentence of 20 years and 8 months, plus the federal charges of drug smuggling.
The ex-MLB player was arrested on February 9th by the Border Crimes Suppression Team, when during a surveillance investigation, he was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Loaiza was driving a vehicle "believed to be involved in the smuggling of narcotics", according to the police report.
While the officers were searching inside the vehicle, they discovered a "sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to conceal contraband" in the car. The police, then obtained a warrant to search a house that Loaiza was renting at Imperial Beach, California since early February.
The search led to the discovery of 44 lbs of "suspected cocaine" inside Loaiza's house, which according to the police report, has an estimated value of $500 K.