All-Star Pitcher Faces Federal Cocaine Charge

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Cocaine smuggling charges against former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza were transferred to federal court Wednesday and Loaiza was transferred from state to federal custody.

Loaiza, 46, was arrested on Feb. 9 in Imperial Beach and charged with possession of 20 kilos of cocaine. The state charges were dismissed Wednesday and he was federally charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Loaiza pitched for 14 seasons with seven Major League teams, including the White Sox and Dodgers. He made the All-Star team in 2003 and 2004, starting for the American League All-Stars in 2003, and led the league in strikeouts that year, with 207. He retired in 2008 with a lifetime record of 126-114.

He was married for two years to pop singer Jenni Rivera. Their divorce was pending when Rivera died in a plane crash on Dec. 9, 2012.

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