U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Margaret McKeown called the act despicable when she sentenced 46-year-old Donny Love on Friday.
Love denied having anything to do with the plot.
Love was convicted in 2011 of 10 counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Prosecutors say Love arranged for the placement of three pipe bombs in front of the federal courthouse in San Diego in 2008. The blast shattered glass doors but caused no injuries.
Prosecutors say Love planned to collect a $75,000 reward by turning in one of the bombers.
Two women and a man who pleaded guilty have been sentenced to about a decade in prison.