A former Abita Springs police lieutenant who previously was found guilty of cocaine distribution received a 35-year prison sentence after a state judge decided Monday that he fit the definition of a habitual offender. Panagiotis Ioannis Kondylis, 45, faced a maximum of 30 years in prison on the cocaine distribution charge, but his habitual offender status could have put him in prison for life.
A St. Tammany Parish jury convicted Kondylis of cocaine distribution in August in a 10-2 vote. Assistant District Attorney Jason Cuccia filed a multiple offender bill in November, which included a list of at least nine of Kondylis' prior felony convictions.
Kondylis' defense attorney, Stephen Yazbeck, denied the allegations in court. The denial did not sway Judge Richard Swartz, who tacked five years on to the maximum penalty in Kondylis' case.