- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - The leader of a West Texas drug trafficking ring has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for smuggling marijuana in vehicle speakers.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Daniel Longoria since 2004 ran the operation through his business, Abilene Automotive and Performance.

Officials say 43-year-old Fabricio Abelardo Perez of Abilene was sentenced Thursday to 13 years in federal prison. Perez in January pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

Longoria was convicted of the same count and sentenced earlier this week.

Investigators say Longoria concealed marijuana in speaker boxes put into vehicles, then distributed throughout Abilene. Longoria also used vehicles that were left at his business to transport cash to drug suppliers in Mexico.

Four other people were previously sentenced to prison in the case.


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