A former Forsyth County businessman has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on cocaine charges.
Paul Lee Longoria, 36, of Cumming was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr., said Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.
In May 2007, Forsyth County Sheriff’s drug investigators found about 450 pounds of cocaine at Longoria’s business, Crown Fencing Co., off Hwy. 369.
At the time, the cocaine seizure was believed to be the largest in metro Atlanta history.
This spring, Longoria pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, Crosby said.
The minimum mandatory sentence for that charge is 10 years.
Longoria and truck driver Jessie Steve Urbina, 39, of Alamo, Texas, were arrested May 3, 2007, after agents with the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety pulled over Urbina’s tractor trailer.
Sheriff’s deputies used dogs to search the vehicle for drugs.
About a week later, 40-year-old Edward Lopez of Alamo, Texas, was arrested in his home state.
Authorities said Lopez directed the loading of 200 kilograms of cocaine that had been dropped off at Longoria’s Forsyth County business.
Urbina reportedly told authorities he had unloaded his cargo at the fence company.
Local and federal officials found cartons of cabbage containing an estimated $8 million to $10 million worth of cocaine at the company.
All three men were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Urbina and Lopez are scheduled to be sentenced in September, Crosby said.