Two former Merrill Lynch & Co. executives convicted in Enron’s bogus sale of power barges to the brokerage were sentenced Thursday in Houston to prison terms far shorter than the punishment sought by the government.

James A. Brown, former head of the brokerage’s asset lease group, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison and a year’s probation. Daniel Bayly, former head of investment banking for Merrill Lynch, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years incarceration and six months probation. Each was ordered to pay $840,000 in fines and restitution. Both men live in Darien, Conn.