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Ex-N.C. speaker begins 5-year prison term

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former House Speaker Jim Black surrendered to federal marshals Monday to begin serving his five-year sentence for political corruption.

"I'm prepared for about anything," Black said when asked if he was ready for prison. Wearing gray slacks and a red button-down shirt, the 72-year-old smiled at reporters as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Raleigh minutes before a court-ordered deadline to surrender.

Black, once one of the most powerful politicians in North Carolina, pleaded guilty in February to illegally taking thousands of dollars from chiropractors while pushing their legislative agenda.