SAN DIEGO — Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza is facing a federal charge that he possessed cocaine intended for sale.
Loaiza’s drug case was moved Wednesday from state to federal court. He pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges and remains jailed.
Authorities say about 44 pounds of cocaine were found in a minivan parked in the garage of Loaiza’s leased townhome last month after investigators stopped his Mercedes SUV and discovered a hidden compartment.
The Tijuana-born Loaiza pitched for 14 seasons for nine teams, including the Pirates, Yankees, Dodgers and White Sox. He left the majors in 2008.
He later married popular Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. She filed for divorce before dying in a 2012 plane crash.