Al­leged bomb mailer in­dicted on 30 counts

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - NATION & WORLD - By Larry Neumeis­ter

NEW YORK — The Florida man ac­cused of send­ing pipe bombs to prom­i­nent crit­ics of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was in­dicted Fri­day on charges car­ry­ing a po­ten­tial penalty of life in prison.

The 30-count in­dict­ment against Ce­sar Sayoc was handed up in Man­hat­tan fed­eral court, where Sayoc made an ini­tial ap­pear­ance ear­lier this week after he was brought to New York.

Sayoc, 56, was ar­rested Oct. 26 in Florida on five charges car­ry­ing a po­ten­tial sen­tence upon con­vic­tion of nearly 50 years.

Au­thor­i­ties said he sent im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices to nu­mer­ous Democrats, crit­ics of Trump and CNN. The scare height­ened ten­sions be­fore the cru­cial midterm elec­tions, but he was ar­rested within days.

Prose­cu­tors fol­lowed through on a prom­ise to up­grade the charges with an in­dict­ment that led with five counts al­leg­ing use of a weapon of mass de­struc­tion. The doc­u­ment said he mailed 16 im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices though the U.S. mail to vic­tims across the coun­try.

The charges said he aimed to “kill, in­jure and in­tim­i­date an in­di­vid­ual and un­law­fully to dam­age and de­stroy a build­ing, ve­hi­cle, and other real and per­son prop­erty.”

None of the de­vices — some of which ar­rived at New York ad­dresses — ex­ploded.

A mes­sage left with Sayoc’s lawyer was not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

Sayoc ap­peared in New York ear­lier this week. He was held with­out bail. Sayoc had been ar­rested out­side a South Florida auto parts store. He had been liv­ing in a van cov­ered with stick­ers of Trump and show­ing images of some Trump op­po­nents with crosshairs over their faces.

In the in­dict­ment, prose­cu­tors noted that an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive mailed to for­mer Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton in Chap­paqua, New York, con­tained a pic­ture of Clin­ton and mem­bers of her fam­ily marked with a red “X.”

The in­dict­ment said oth­ers tar­geted by the mail­ings also re­ceived sim­i­larly marked pic­tures of them­selves along with the ex­plo­sives.

Oth­ers tar­geted by the mail­ings in­cluded for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, 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.

Prose­cu­tors say ev­i­dence against Sayoc in­cludes DNA link­ing him to 10 of the ex­plo­sive de­vices and finger­prints on two of them.

The case was ran­domly as­signed to U.S. Dis­trict Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

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