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Former sheriff sentenced

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NEW ORLEANS (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Former Plaquemines Parish sheriff Irvin "Jiff" Hingle must spend nearly four years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine for taking bribes from a jail construction contractor.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance on Wednesday rejected Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Chester's request for a 31-month sentence on the single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and bribery to which Hingle pleaded guilty. She imposed a sentence 15 months longer than that: 3 years and 10 months. After leaving prison, he must spend two years on supervised release.

The judge said prosecutors gave Hingle a break by charging him with a crime carrying a 5-year maximum sentence, rather than one with a 20-year cap.

Hingle's plea admitted accepting $20,000 in bribes.

He apologized to Vance and to parish residents.

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