- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on a Texas man’s guilty plea to a charge he conspired to bribe Mississippi’s former corrections commissioner (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A Texas man has pleaded guilty to a charge that he conspired to bribe Mississippi’s former corrections commissioner.

Mark Longoria, the 53-year-old CEO of Houston-based Drug Testing Corp., waived indictment and pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony count of conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate. Longoria said he paid nearly $230,000 to businessman Cecil McCrory as a commission for sales that Longoria’s company made to the Mississippi prison system.

Longoria said he discovered during the course of the contract that McCrory, a former state legislator, was using part of the money to bribe former Mississippi corrections commissioner Christopher Epps.

McCrory and Epps previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the bribery scheme.

Wingate said he will sentence Longoria in October. Longoria faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors also want him to forfeit $131,000.

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3:02 p.m.

A Texas man intends to plead guilty to charges that he conspired to bribe Mississippi’s former corrections commissioner.

Mark Longoria, the 53-year-old CEO of Houston-based Drug Testing Corp., told a federal magistrate judge Wednesday that he is waiving indictment on charges he conspired to bribe Christopher Epps. Longoria is scheduled to enter a guilty plea later Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.

Teresa Malone, of Carthage, Mississippi, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that she made regular payments to Epps over nearly four years. Prosecutors say those payments were kickbacks from a consulting contract that Epps allegedly steered to her.

Prosecutors say Longoria paid nearly $230,000 to businessman Cecil McCrory, intending McCrory to use at least part of the money to bribe Epps.

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