'Tractor Man' Gets Six Year Prison Sentence

The tobacco farmer dubbed "Tractor Man" (search) was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison in connection with the incident that brought traffic in the nation's capital to a standstill.

Dwight Ware Watson (search), 51, of Whitakers, N.C., was handed the prison time for his conviction on charges of making a false threat to detonate explosives, and destruction of federal property.

On March 17, 2003, Watson drove his tractor into a shallow pond at Constitution Gardens (search), just west of the Department of Homeland Security — which elevated the terror threat level to orange three days before the start of the U.S. led assault on Iraq.

During a February hearing, Watson apologized for the incident. He also recounted a jailhouse conversation he had with a federal probation officer after his conviction.

"I told her I was here to start a revolution on behalf of tobacco farming families," said Watson, who contends that changes in U.S. tobacco policy over the past two decades ruined him financially.

For more than a century, Watson's family grew tobacco on 1,500 acres of North Carolina farmland. By the time of his arrest, Watson was farming just a few dozen acres threatened with foreclosure.