Arkansas man sentenced for mailing white powder letters

A man convicted of sending white powder-filled envelopes to businesses and schools in Northwest Arkansas, was recently sentenced to 15 years in the federal prison system.

Philip G. Hanson was ordered to pay his former employer, DaySpring Cards of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, restitution of $65,841. He also received three years of supervised release following the end of his sentence. U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren called the mailings an act of terrorism, according to

"Such terroristic actions will not be tolerated," Hendren said, reports.

Hanson was convicted by a federal jury in September of 56 felony counts of sending threatening letters and white powder through the mail in autumn 2011. Twenty-six of the letters were considered threatening communications, while 30 included white powder.

"I believe the judge used the word heinous and that's certainly how we approached this case and federal law enforcement, the FBI, and our local law enforcement partners here," U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge said, reports.

Eldridge originally sought to have Hanson sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. He said it would be equivalent to five years for each of the six evacuations the letters sparked, including one at Northside Elementary School in Siloam Springs.