Bomb sus­pect agrees to no bail, trans­fer to NY

Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - News - BY CURT AN­DER­SON

Pipe bomb sus­pect Ce­sar Sayoc agreed Fri­day to be trans­ferred to New York to face charges of send­ing ex­plo­sive de­vices to prom­i­nent Democrats, crit­ics of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and me­dia out­lets.

At­tor­neys for Sayoc said Fri­day in Mi­ami fed­eral court that it’s bet­ter if his lawyers in New York can take the case as soon as pos­si­ble. They could still seek a bail hear­ing there, but pros­e­cu­tors say he should re­main jailed, given the mag­ni­tude of the charges and the strong ev­i­dence against him.

“We wanted to make sure that all of his con­sti­tu­tional rights were pre­served,” said at­tor­ney James Ben­jamin af­ter the hear­ing. “We feel we’ve done all we can.”

The tim­ing of the trans­fer is un­cer­tain. It can hap­pen quickly or take weeks, and is not usu­ally an­nounced ahead of time by the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice, Ben­jamin said. Even de­fense lawyers are not in­formed.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said. “The gov­ern­ment wants to get him up there as soon as they can.” Pros­e­cu­tors left court with­out speak­ing to re­porters.

Sayoc is ac­cused of send­ing 15 im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices to nu­mer­ous Democrats, Trump crit­ics and me­dia out­lets. He was ar­rested a week ago out­side a South Florida auto parts store in a white van in which he had been liv­ing, a ve­hi­cle cov­ered with stick­ers of Trump and show­ing im­ages of some of the pres­i­dent’s op­po­nents with red crosshairs over their faces.

No bombs ex­ploded and no one was in­jured. Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if con­victed on five fed­eral charges that were filed in New York be­cause some of the de­vices were re­cov­ered there.

Sayoc’s lawyers de­cided not to seek re­lease on bail af­ter pros­e­cu­tors re­leased a let­ter out­lin­ing more ev­i­dence against him, in­clud­ing DNA link­ing him to 10 of the ex­plo­sive de­vices and finger­prints on two of them.

Other ev­i­dence in­cludes on­line searches Sayoc did on his lap­top and cell­phone for ad­dresses and pho­tos of some of his in­tended tar­gets, which in­cluded for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den, Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris and New Jer­sey Sen. Cory Booker. Pack­ages were also mailed to CNN in New York and At­lanta.

The lap­top also has a file with the ad­dress in Sun­rise, Florida, of the of­fice of U.S. Rep. Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz, for­mer chair­woman of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee. That of­fice was used as the re­turn ad­dress on the pack­ages con­tain­ing the pipe bombs, ac­cord­ing to the FBI. The com­puter file was la­beled “Deb­bie W.docx”.

Ce­sar Sayoc

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.