Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested

Ex-All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested

Former All Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleaded not guilty in a South County courtroom Wednesday to allegations that he smuggled and possessed more than 20 pounds of cocaine intended for sale.

Loaiza, who won 21 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2003, is accused of possessing more than 40 pounds (20 kilograms) of heroin and cocaine and meant to sell it.

His bail, initially set at $200,000, was reportedly increased to $250,000 on Wednesday because he was deemed a flight risk.

Loaiza was charged with possession of over 20 kilograms and two counts of transporting and possesssing narcotics with intent to sell, all felonies. He was arrested earlier after he was pulled over in the beach community for a minor traffic violation.

A search warrant was issued for Loaiza's home in Imperial Beach, California, where investigators found over 44 pounds of cocaine.

Loaiza is the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in major league history.

It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and the former player could not be reached to comment. He last played in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was married to singer Jenni Rivera but the couple filed for divorce in October 2012.

Criminal defense attorney, David Shapiro, who has handled numerous drug cases in San Diego but is not representing Loaiza, said this one is unique because of his fame as one of Mexico's most successful pitchers.

Loaiza, who made $43.7 million during his career, has made headlines with the law before. "I don't know how he would get himself involved in this, so it's hard to even comment on it". "He's a friend, and I'm sorry as heck to see what's going on".

After graduating high school, Loaiza signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent.