San Diego, CA.- Former Major League Baseball player Esteban Loaiza was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of probation after pleading guilty to trafficking 20 kilograms of cocaine.
At the hearing, the prosecutor in charge of the case argued before Judge Janis Sammartino that Loaiza not only participated in cocaine trafficking, but months before his arrest, he provided bank accounts in his name for the transfer of illicit resources.
The Tijuana native was arrested in February 2018 in Imperial Beach, California after an operation that resulted in a search warrant for a leased residence in his name, where the drug packets were located in a vehicle he had driven moments before.
The cocaine, worth half a million dollars, was in a suitcase in the back of the truck.
At first, Loaiza pleaded not guilty to the charges before the San Diego County Court, but the case was appealed to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, where he changed his statement to guilty.
The former player was released on bail and this Friday, March 8, he went to the Federal Court of San Diego accompanied by his lawyer Janice Deaton.
For his part, the prosecutor in charge of the case, Larry Casper, told the media that the prosecution feels "satisfied with the sentence that shows that nobody is above the law."
He added "Mr. Loaiza pays a price for the crime he committed. It is a severe crime that involves a large amount of cocaine. "
Casper also explained that after serving his sentence, the former professional baseball player will probably be deported to Mexico, since in the United States he remained as a temporary resident, an immigration status that will be revoked for the crime he committed.
During his career as a professional baseball player in the United States, he played for the LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Oakland A's.
Loaiza exceeded $40 million dollars in earnings during his 14 year career.