Hearing delayed for Texan on Mississippi prison bribe charge

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A hearing for a Texas man accused of bribing the former leader of Mississippi’s prison system has been delayed.

Mark Longoria, CEO of Houston-based Drug Testing Corp., was supposed to appear Tuesday before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday in Jackson, but has been rescheduled for Aug. 3.

Prosecutors say Longoria’s travel problems delayed the hearing.

Longoria was charged Monday with conspiracy to bribe former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps, in exchange for prisons buying drug testing cups.

A criminal charge alleges Longoria sent nearly $230,000 to Brandon businessman Cecil McCrory so McCrory could pass some money to Epps.

Prosecutors often file charges, instead of indictments, against people who agree to plead guilty.

Longoria faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors want him to forfeit $131,000.