Judge Set to Sentence 'The Bishop' Dud-Pipe Bomber

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By Ellen Kurt

CHICAGO (AP) — A small-town Iowa letter carrier will soon learn his sentence for sending dud pipe bombs with threatening letters signed "The Bishop."

A federal judge in Chicago put off announcing a sentence for John Tomkins until Tuesday after hearing arguments about an appropriate penalty last month.

At that hearing, the 48-year-old Dubuque, Iowa man apologized and said there were "no words to describe" his "shame." Tomkins was trying to drive up the value of shares he owned.

Jurors convicted Tomkins of multiple charges last year. The most serious is for use of a destructive device while mailing threatening communications. It carries a mandatory sentence of at least 30 years.

Tomkins said last month the mandatory minimum sentence was unfair. Prosecutors urged the judge to impose a sentence of around 45 years.

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