The man accused of sending pipe bombs through the mail to several prominent Democratic officials, including two former presidents, made his first court appearance yesterday where he was read his rights.
Cesar Sayoc of Aventura, Florida, faces five federal charges including 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.
He is facing up to 48 years in prison if convicted.
Sayoc appeared visibly shaken during the hearing with his face turning red and tears welling up in his eyes.
Sayoc allegedly sent as many as fourteen pipe bombs through the mail to a number of Democratic office-holders and officials. The recipients include former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, former US Attorney General Eric Holder, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former CIA Director John Brennan and actor Robert De Niro.
All of the recipients have either attacked President Trump verbally or have been attacked by the President.
According to law enforcement officials, the suspect had a list of more than 100 people who he intended to send bombs. Officials are working their way through the list notifying them that they are on the list.
Sayoc told authorities that the bombs were not capable of hurting anyone and that he did not intend to hurt the recipients. Federal investigators however say the bombs were real and posed a real threat to recipients.
Sayoc is an ardent President Trump supporter. A white van Sayoc was living in is adorned with pro-Trump and pro-Vice President Mike Pence stickers.
The FBI found Sayoc through a fingerprint retrieved from one of the packages sent to Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He is currently being held at a federal detention center in Miami. Authorities are seeking to transfer him to New York by the end of this week.
Court records show Sayoc had been arrested at least nine times in the past on charges that include grand theft, battery, fraud and drug possession. In 2002 he was arrested after he threatened to bomb Florida Power and Light if the power company shut off his electricity. “It would be worse than September 11th,” he reportedly told a company rep, alluding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Photo by Miami Police Department