Photo: Orlin Wagner (AP)

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza is expected to change his plea from not guilty to guilty in a felony cocaine distribution case, per a report from ABC7 Chicago:

Loaiza, 46, has a “Change of Plea” hearing on the court’s docket at 1 p.m. CDT Friday. A change of plea is a guilty plea in “99% of cases,” said former federal prosecutor Gil Soffer, ABC7's legal analyst. It is referred to as a change of plea because the defendant originally pleaded not guilty.

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Loaiza was arrested in San Diego back in February and charged with possession with intent to distribute after police reportedly found 44 pounds of cocaine inside a minivan parked in the garage of Loaiza’s townhome. It sounds like Loaiza may have been involved in international drug smuggling:

Federal investigators believe the property, which they found empty of furnishings, was being used as a transshipment point for cocaine. The day Loaiza was arrested, he had driven over the Mexican border, investigators said.

Loaiza would reportedly face a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence on the felony charge.

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