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Man gets 13 years for mail bombing

FRESNO, Calif., July 7 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma man has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for sending a package of bombs to his brother's business in Visalia, Calif.

Vernon Dale Mustin, 52, of Spiro, Okla., was sentenced Wednesday, after a 3-hour hearing in Fresno, Calf., U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said. Mustin appealed for leniency, arguing that he is mentally ill and had been self-medicating with illegal drugs and alcohol.

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Mustin admitted sending a package containing five pipe bombs to a mail service in Roseville, Calif. It was forwarded from there to his brother's air conditioning business.

One of the brother's sons opened the package, setting off a pipe bomb. He suffered burns and the permanent loss of his sense of smell.

The case was investigated by Visalia police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from other federal agencies.

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