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HOUSTON A Houston-area man has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for passing almost $500,000 in fake cash.

A federal judge in Houston on Wednesday sentenced 35-year-old Synaca Thomas of Cypress.

Thomas in January pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make and possess counterfeit currency, plus illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

Investigators say Thomas and his wife would take genuine $5 bills and reprint them to appear to be $100 bills.

Brittany Jordan earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make counterfeit currency and passing counterfeit currency. The 26-year-woman is free on bond pending sentencing.

Prosecutors say the husband s punishment was enhanced because he attempted to smuggle contraband, which was disguised as candy, into a facility where he was being held.

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