Ex-Blue Jays pitcher Esteban Loaiza to face drug dealing charges

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After he was arrested Friday, Esteban Loaiza has pleaded not guilty to three felony drug charges, according to NBC San Diego. 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". No drugs were actually found in the auto, but the search led detectives to to investigate his home near San Diego. Later, authorities obtained a search warrant for his home, where officials say packages were found containing 44 pounds of a white powder believed to be cocaine.

Sheriff's Lt. Jason Vickery said the deputies had been surveilling Imperial Beach as part of a narcotics investigation and had spotted him in a 2010 Mercedes-Benz mid-size SUV believed to be linked to a smuggling operation. Loaiza is accused of possessing 44 pounds of cocaine intended for sale. He was being held Monday for lack of $200,000 bail pending a court appearance on Wednesday.

Loaiza, 47, pitched for eight teams in his lengthy Major League Baseball career and finished with a record of 126-114. 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.

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Loaiza, who last pitched in the majors in 2008, made over $40 million in his 13-year career.

It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and he could not be reached to comment.

"I love Esteban", Boggs told the San Diego Union Tribune. She had filed for divorce shortly before her death. "I don't know how he would get himself involved in this, so it's hard to even comment on it". 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 friend, and I'm sorry as heck to see what's going on".

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