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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Friday, August 10, 2018

Former MLB All-Star Pitcher Esteban LoaizaPleads Guilty to Possessing 20 Kilograms of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 10, 2018

SAN DIEGO – Former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza pleaded guilty in federal court today to an Information charging him with possession of 20 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute.

In a change of plea hearing before United States District Judge Janis L. Sammartino, Loaiza admitted that on February 9, 2018, he took possession of a silver Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle that he knew to contain cocaine. He further admitted that he drove the SUV to a townhouse he rented in Imperial Beach, California, where he transferred 20 kilograms of cocaine to another vehicle in the garage, and that he did so with the intent to distribute the cocaine to another person.

Loaiza will remain on bond and subject to electronic location monitoring pending his sentencing hearing.

Sentencing is scheduled to occur before Judge Sammartino on November 2, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.

This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.

DEFENDANTS                                            Case 18CR1743-JLS                        

Esteban Antonio Loaiza                                  Age: 46                                   Imperial Beach, CA


Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(a)(1)

Maximum penalty: Life imprisonment and $10,000,000 fine


United States Drug Enforcement Administration

United States Border Patrol

San Diego Sheriff’s Department


Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 10, 2018