It was said Chris Epps could sell ice to Eskimos and for years had lawmakers and governors eating out of his hand with his folksy, straight-shooting style and deep knowledge of the state prison system he ran.
He rose through the ranks from prison guard to the longest serving corrections commissioner in Mississippi’s history.
But Wednesday, a shackled Epps with graying hair, looking nothing like the man who wore expensive suits and drove a Mercedes, got no love from U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate. Wingate sentenced Epps, 56, to just shy of 20 years in prison and fined him $100,000 for running one of the largest and longest criminal conspiracies in the state’s history.
The prosecution had recommended 13 years.