Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleads guilty to drug charges, faces life in prison

Back in February, former big-league pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested in San Diego on federal drug charges. He had been under surveillance and authorities found about 20 kilograms of cocaine in a house he was renting.

According to the Associated Press, Loaiza pleaded guilty Friday and acknowledged possessing the cocaine with intent to distribute. He is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life. He'll be sentenced on Nov. 2.

Here are some more details, via the Associated Press:

Loaiza, 46, was under surveillance when he was arrested in February near a house in Imperial Beach, which borders Tijuana, Mexico. His silver Mercedes SUV had just left the garage when authorities confronted him.

After a canine sniffed drugs in the SUV, authorities obtained a search warrant for the house and found the cocaine in 20 packages in the compartment of a Nissan parked in the garage. Loaiza admitted in a plea agreement that he transferred the drugs from one vehicle to the other.

Loaiza suited up for eight teams and played 14 years in the big leagues from 1995-2008. He retired with a career 126-114 record and a 4.65 ERA. Loaiza had his best season with the White Sox in 2003, when he went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and finished second in the AL Cy Young voting.

According to Baseball-Reference, Loaiza earned nearly $44 million in salary during his career.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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