More charges laid against u.s. mail-bomb­ing sus­pect

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - NEWS - BREN­DAN PIER­SON

New York fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors on Fri­day brought new charges against Ce­sar Sayoc, the Florida man ac­cused of mail­ing bombs to prom­i­nent Democrats and other crit­ics of U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

In an in­dict­ment filed in Man­hat­tan fed­eral court, pros­e­cu­tors charged Mr. Sayoc with 30 crim­i­nal counts, in­clud­ing mul­ti­ple counts of us­ing a weapon of mass destruc­tion and in­ter­state trans­port of ex­plo­sives.

Mr. Sayoc’s lawyer, fed­eral de­fender Sarah Baum­gar­tel, did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment. If con­victed, the 56year-old faces a sen­tence of life in prison. He had pre­vi­ously faced five counts car­ry­ing a max­i­mum prison sen­tence of 48 years.

Mr. Sayoc, a for­mer strip­per and pizza de­liv­ery driver who lived in a white van fes­tooned with right-wing po­lit­i­cal images sup­port­ing Mr. Trump and at­tack­ing his crit­ics, was ar­rested in Florida on Oct. 26 fol­low­ing an in­tense man­hunt. He is be­ing held with­out bail.

Fri­day’s in­dict­ment ac­cuses Mr. Sayoc of send­ing im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices to five peo­ple in New York: for­mer U.S. sec­re­tary of state Hil­lary Clin­ton, whom Mr. Trump de­feated in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion; bil­lion­aire in­vestor and Demo­cratic donor Ge­orge Soros; for­mer Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency di­rec­tors John Bren­nan and James Clap­per; and ac­tor Robert De Niro.

Au­thor­i­ties had pre­vi­ously linked Mr. Sayoc to more than a dozen mail bombs around the United States. Other tar­gets in­cluded for­mer U.S. pres­i­dents Bill Clin­ton and Barack Obama, for­mer vice-pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and Demo­cratic U.S. Sen­a­tors Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ka­mala Har­ris of Cal­i­for­nia.

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