LaPlace man linked to Mississippi bribery scheme

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. — Jacque Jones of LaPlace is expected to plead guilty in federal court this fall to charges alleging he and three other Louisiana men attempted to bribe a Mississippi sheriff with $2,000 in casino chips.

According to investigators, Jones, Michael LeBlanc Sr. of Baton Rouge, Michael Leblanc Jr. of Prairieville and Tawasky Ventroy of Opelousas are accused of scheming to win contracts to sell prison inmates phone service at a jail in Kemper County, Mississippi.

The men are accused of bribing former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps with $2,000 and promising future payment to secure his help in influencing officials over the jail, according to a recent ABC News report.

Epps is serving an almost 20-year federal prison sentence in Texas after being convicted of taking nearly $1.5 million in bribes from private contractors.

An Oct. 2 plea hearing in Jackson, Mississippi has been set for the four men. All remain free on bail and have previously filed not guilty pleas. However, a notice filed this month indicate the men intend to change their pleas.

The conspiracy and bribery charges would carry sentences of up to 15 years in prison.