Ex-baseball star sentenced to 3 years on drug charges

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to federal drug charges involving 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of cocaine that he admitted he planned to distribute.

Loaiza, 46, was sentenced Friday more than a year after he was arrested near a house in Imperial Beach, a town south of San Diego that borders Tijuana, Mexico.

Authorities obtained a search warrant for the house and found the cocaine in 20 packages under baseball bags bearing the star’s name inside the compartment of a Nissan minivan parked in the garage.

The Tijuana-born hurler played for several U.S. teams between 1995 and 2008, including the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. He earned more than $43 million over 14 seasons.

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