In February, former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested in San Diego on three drug-related felony charges. Authorities said they caught Loaiza with 44 pounds of cocaine stashed in a van, which was parked in the garage of a rented townhouse. Loaiza, who could face life in prison if convicted, initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of possession with intent to distribute.
Loaiza, however, has a "change of plea" hearing in Southern California on Friday, per ABC-7 in Chicago. The two-time All-Star is expected to change his plea to guilty, per the report. The station's legal analyst, Gil Soffer, states that such a hearing results in a guilty plea in "99% of cases."
"The day Loaiza was arrested, he had driven over the Mexican border, investigators said," ABC-7 reports. "At the time he couldn't come up with the $24,000 cash required to bond out of jail, despite having made $43 million dollars during his 14-year career in Major League Baseball. After a series of court hearings, Loaiza managed to make a significantly reduced bond in May, which involved a variety of financial sources, and the ex-MLB star has been out ever since."
Loaiza could face a sentence ranging from 10 years to life if convicted.
Loaiza, now 46, made his MLB debut in 1995 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went on to pitch for eight MLB teams, including the New York Yankees in 2004. He made the MLB All-Star game as a member of the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander accrued a career record of 126-113 with a 4.65 ERA.