Former Blue Jays pitcher Loaiza pleads not guilty in drug case

Former Blue Jays pitcher Esteban Loaiza. (Kevin Frayer/CP)

Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza has pleaded not guilty to drug charges following his arrest for allegedly possessing 44 pounds of suspected cocaine.

Loaiza denied all allegations during an appearance Wednesday in San Diego County Superior Court that was also attended by his father and other family members.

Prosecutors charged Loaiza with possession and transportation for sale of more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cocaine base or heroin, and using a false compartment to smuggle drugs.

The specification of more than 10 kilograms could draw a stiffer penalty.

Loaiza would face up to 20 years and eight months in prison if convicted.

The court raised his bail to $250,000 after the prosecution argued he poses a flight risk.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.