Former U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi has arrived here to begin serving a 21/2-year sentence for accepting bribes.

Biaggi, 71, arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport late Sunday and reported to the U.S. Correctional Facility at 1 a.m. Monday to begin serving his sentence.As Biaggi left the plane, he declined to comment because he had held a news conference before boarding a plane in Newark, N.J.

The 10-term Democratic congressman was convicted of bribery charges in federal court in New York City in September 1987 for accepting a Florida spa vacation from former New York Democratic boss Meade Esposito.

He was later convicted in the Wedtech scandal and sentenced to eight years.

At the New Jersey airport, Biaggi said he had served his constituents well and would return "to pick up where we left off."

About 30 friends gathered at a posh New York restaurant Saturday for a farewell party for him.