Former legislator Cecil McCrory was given an 8.5-year prison sentence Friday, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate noted that the sentence could be reduced after other defendants are sentenced in the corruption case against former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, the newspaper said.

McCrory, a key figure in Epps case, pleaded guilty to money laundering after being charged in late 2014 of bribing Epps and receiving cash from sweetheart contracts and consulting fees with the Department of Corrections.

McCrory’s attorney, Carlos Tanner, said his client received about $3 million in commissions and other revenue off the contracts arranged by Epps, the Clarion-Ledger said. The U.S. attorney’s office said he received about $4.6 million.

“This is a serious crime that has snared Mississippi,” Wingate said in handing down the sentence, the paper reported.

Epps pleaded guilty to money laundering after being charged with accepting at least $1.4 million in bribes and kickbacks over eight years as he arranged for $800 million in state prison contracts to go to companies tied to McCrory, the newspaper said.

Epps has had his sentencing delayed several times.

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Co-editor of Mississippi Today since November 2015. USA TODAY reporter and editor, 1986-2015. The Clarion-Ledger reporter, 1977-83; on team that earned 1983 Pulitzer Prize For Distinguished Public Service. Ole Miss journalism degree, 1977. Contact: