A former Big Leaguer who pitched with the Yankees, Dodgers, Pirates and nine other teams in his 14-year MLB career is expected to plead guilty this week in a felony cocaine distribution case, The New York Post reports.
Esteban Loaiza has a “change of plea” hearing set for Friday in Southern California U.S. District Court, the story reports. Loaiza was arrested in San Diego in February in a case in which authorities reportedly found 44 pounds of cocaine in a van parked in the garage of a rented townhouse.
“Federal investigators have said they believe Loaiza used the rented townhome as an intermediate destination for cocaine,” The Post reports. “Prior to his arrest, during which Loaiza was pulled over for a traffic violation and cops found a sophisticated compartment to hide contraband in his Mercedes-Benz, the former MLB star had crossed the Mexican border earlier that day, prosecutors said.”
Loaiza posted bail in May, the report notes. He faces a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence and up to life in prison if convicted, according to reports.
The Post report adds: “Loaiza, who earned more than $43 million as a pro, is also known for appearing on the reality show ‘I Love Jenni,’ featuring him and his wife, Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. They were in the process of ending their two-year marriage before Rivera died in a plane crash in 2012.”