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Jeffrey Phillips has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for threatening to kill U.S.Senior Judge C. Arlen Beam of the Eighth Circuit of Appeals.

Phillips, 37, of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., pleaded guilty to sending a threatening letter addressed to Beam's office at the federal courthouse in Lincoln on July 13. The envelope contained white powder and a letter threatening to kill Beam and saying the powder was anthrax. An investigation determined that it was not.

Phillips had put his name and return address on the envelope, and the FBI determined the letter had in fact been sent by him. At the time, he was a convicted sex offender being held at the Ste. Genevieve County Detention Center.

Phillips told investigators he was angry with Beam over his handling of a case involving some of Phillips' friends and associates. Based on other correspondence, authorities believe his motivation in threatening Beam was to get moved from the Missouri prison system to a federal facility.

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Phillips was sentenced Monday and will be returned to custody in Missouri for further proceedings, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. His federal sentence will follow the completion of any incarceration ordered by Missouri.

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