Accused mail bomber Sayoc to face new charges

Image Update Pipe Bomb Suspect Charged with Using Weapon of Mass Destruction Image #4

Image Update Pipe Bomb Suspect Charged with Using Weapon of Mass Destruction Image #4

U.S. prosecutors in NY on Friday indicted the Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to critics of Donald Trump with crimes that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"Cesar Sayoc allegedly targeted former high-ranking officials such as President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others, as well as CNN, by sending explosive packages to them through the U.S. Postal Service", said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. Sayoc had been arrested outside a South Florida auto parts store.

He was arrested October 26 at an auto parts store, and charged with five federal crimes, including transporting explosives across state lines, threatening former presidents and assaulting federal officials.

No one was injured in the mail bombs, according to the report, as most were recovered by alert postal employees before the devices could explode.

The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of explosives, illegal mailing of explosives and threatening interstate communications.

Others targeted included former president Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden, California senator Kamala Harris and New Jersey senator Cory Booker. His social media accounts are filled with anti-Democrat sentiments and racist diatribes.

Prior to the arrest, the registered Republican was living in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers. Officials say that Sayoc also used his phone to conduct a range of misspelled internet searches, like "hilary Clinton hime address" and "address kamila harrias". He added that it took just five days to identify and arrest Sayoc.

The charges include five counts of use of a weapon of mass destruction for each pipe bomb mailed to and intercepted in the NY area, targeting billionaire liberal donor George Soros, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, actor Robert de Niro, former CIA director John Brennan and former intelligence chief James Clapper. "He now faces justice from a nation of laws".

Sayoc had been scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday for a hearing on the earlier charges. He has been held without bail since his capture.

Sayoc's attorney, Sarah Baumgartel, did not immediately respond to NPR's requests for comment.

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