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Esteban Loaiza Begins 3-Year Prison Sentence ... In Cocaine Case

4/19/2019 3:35 PM PDT

Esteban Loaiza Begins 3-Year Prison Sentence In Cocaine Case

Breaking News

Wasn't a Good Friday for Esteban Loaiza ...

The ex-MLB star surrendered to authorities in San Diego on Friday to begin his 3-year prison sentence in his cocaine case -- and after his sentence, he's expected to be deported to Mexico. 

As we previously reported, Loaiza -- who made more than $40 MILLION during his 14-year MLB career -- was arrested last year after cops say he was trying to move 44 pounds of cocaine from a house located near a school.

Cops say the coke stash is worth more than $500,000!!! 

The 47-year-old was quiet and stone-faced as he walked into the federal courthouse on Friday -- not saying a word to the waiting media. 

The whole story is insane ... Loaiza was busted by the San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. back in Feb. 2018 during a routine traffic stop. 

Cops say a search of the baseball player's car led to the discovery of a "sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to conceal contraband."

Cops then got a warrant to search a home that Loaiza had been renting since early February -- located "steps away from an area preschool" -- and found roughly 20 kilograms of suspected cocaine.

Loaiza was initially booked into San Diego County Jail for 3 felonies -- Possession of cocaine over 20 kilograms, possession of cocaine for sale, and transportation of cocaine.

He later pled guilty to felony cocaine possession with intent to distribute.

Loaiza, the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in MLB history, played for 8 different teams in his career -- earning over $43 million.

He last played for the White Sox in 2008 -- the same team he played for when he was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004.

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