Cesar Sayoc hit with 30-count indictment in pipe bomb case
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in New York on Friday secured a 30-count indictment against the man accused of mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of Donald Trump across the U.S., bringing charges more severe and more numerous than those he previously faced.
Cesar Sayoc, 56, who had been living out of a van in Aventura, Fla., faces a possible sentence of life in prison based on the charges, including five counts of using a weapon of mass destruction, five counts of illegal mailing of explosives and five counts of threatening interstate communications and other similar allegations.
His next court appearance was not immediately scheduled.
Authorities have said they believe Sayoc is responsible for mailing 16 possible explosive devices to people considered foes of the president, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, liberal billionaire George Soros and others. Sayoc was arrested last month and charged with five counts. Even after he was in taken into custody, authorities continued to recover packages they believe he sent through the mail.
None of the devices exploded, although the FBI said they were not hoaxes.
Sayoc covered the van he lived in with pro-Trump stickers and decals of the president’s opponents with targets over their faces.
The FBI connected Sayoc to the devices via fingerprints and a possible DNA match, authorities said. His attorney in Florida, where he first appeared in court, has called the evidence “flimsy.”