Accused mail bomber hit with 30-count indictment

Image Update Pipe Bomb Suspect Charged with Using Weapon of Mass Destruction Image #3

A federal grand jury in Manhattan on Friday returned a 30-count indictment against Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly mailed 16 improvised explosive devices to prominent Democrats, critics of President Trump and CNN.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors say that he sent 16 improvised explosive devices to 13 people through the USA mail with an intent to "kill, injure and intimidate".

The 56-year-old was charged with the use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of an explosive, threatening interstate commerce, illegally mailing an explosive, carrying an explosive while committing a felony, and using a destructive device to engage in a violent crime. The document said he mailed 16 improvised explosive devices though the US mail to victims across the country. The document said Sayoc mailed 16 improvised explosive devices though the United States mail, aiming 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 NY addresses - exploded.

Prosecutors said each of Sayoc's alleged mailings had similarities, including the return address of "Debbie Wasserman Shultz", a misspelling of former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as six stamps bearing the American flag, and address labels printed on white paper with black ink in similar typeface and font size.

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Sayoc was initially to appear in court three days ago. He was held without bail.

Sayoc was ultimately arrested on October 26th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, thanks to forensic evidence recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on 11 of the bombs.

Prior to the arrest, the registered Republican was living in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers.

Federal prosecutors said Cesar Sayoc mailed as many as 15 pipe bombs to politicians including the Obamas, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. A device sent to CNN's NY headquarters and addressed to former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan forced the evacuation of the Time Warner Center last month. The following morning, a string of similar packages were discovered across the country, including one which was found in the mailroom of CNN's midtown headquarters.

The case was randomly assigned to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. A new hearing to arraign Sayoc on the indictment charges has yet to be set.

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