Pipe bomb suspect scheduled for Election Day court hearing

By Julia JonesRosa Flores and Nicole Chavez | CNN News

Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc is expected to appear in a New York court on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old will appear in federal court in downtown Manhattan at noon ET, according to a letter from federal prosecutors to Judge Robert Lehrburger.

Sayoc was due to arrive in New York on Monday after waiving his right to a bond hearing in Miami on Friday.

He faces five federal charges: interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers.

16th explosive device recovered, prosecutors say

Sayoc is accused of sending at least 14 mail bombs to several targets, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. None of the devices detonated, and no one was injured.

If convicted, Sayoc could receive up to 48 years in prison.

Since Sayoc’s arrest, authorities have recovered two more packages containing explosive devices, bringing the total to 16.

The latest package was found on Friday, federal prosecutors said in the letter to Lehrburger. The device was in a package addressed to a Democratic donor and billionaire Thomas Steyer, in California, prosecutors said. It was the second package Sayoc allegedly mailed to Steyer.

“The defendant used mailing materials nearly identical to the other 15 packages, including the same type of envelope, address format, and stamps,” the prosecutors’ letter reads.

FBI finds target list, package labels

Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 at an AutoZone parking lot in Plantation, Florida, as he neared his white Dodge van, which was plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat memes.

In the week since his arrest, authorities have called the pipe bombs a “domestic terrorist attack.”

A letter sent to the judge presiding over Sayoc’s case in Florida suggests investigators believe he had planned to continue his alleged attacks.

“Put simply, only the defendant’s arrest and incapacitation resulting from his detention were sufficient to stop his attack,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote.

Searches into Sayoc’s laptop and cell phone showed he had been doing research online about the homes and families of the recipients of the packages. He also kept a list of their physical addresses and had lists of other potential targets, the letter said.

And while the exact content of the packages has not been discussed in detail, prosecutors said the bombs had clear similarities. They a in envelopes that had return labels listing the address and the name of US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, a former Democratic National Committee chair.

The return labels all had the same misspellings, the letter said.

Video shows suspect chatting with officers

Investigators suspect that Sayoc made the pipe bombs in the van he was arrested beside, two law enforcement sources have said.

A law enforcement official has said it appears that Sayoc had been kicked out by his parents and was living in the vehicle.

Sayoc’s arrest last month was not the first time that law enforcement approached him near his vehicle.

In September, two Boca Raton police officers had a friendly chat with the former male dancer outside his van, which was parked outside a fitness club.

The nearly five-minute conversation was recorded on an officer’s bodycam.

The footage shows one officer explaining that someone had called about Sayoc, saying, “They were concerned about you.”

The officers seemed to think he was OK. Sayoc told them he was taking a nap after working at a Florida strip club and that he planned to go inside the gym to work out. They checked his license and ran his plate, and they both came back valid.

In the video, Sayoc’s dashboard and front seats are visible but not the rest of the interior.

CNN’s Rosa Flores reported from Miami, and Nicole Chavez wrote and reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Kara Scannell, Evan Perez, Laura Jarrett, Jamiel Lynch, Susannah Cullinane and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

Facebook Comments

Must Read

Related Articles