Man who sent pipe bombs to CNN, prominent Democrats pleads guilty

Man who sent pipe bombs to CNN, prominent Democrats pleads guilty

Kerry Wise
March 24, 2019

The Florida man who mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats critical of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty Thursday in a NY federal court.

He had been scheduled to go on trial this summer on charges that he mailed explosives to 16 targets, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the billionaire George Soros, several members of congress and the actor Robert De Niro.

The bombs began turning up weeks before the hotly contested midterms, contributing to an already tense political environment.

Sayoc, a part-time pizza deliveryman, grocery worker and former stripper, was arrested in October after a four-day manhunt. The pro-Trump stickers that covered the nearby van condemned liberals and the media; one contained an image of Clinton under red cross hairs.

When Rakoff asked Sayoc whether he intended the devices to explode, or to kill or injure people, Sayoc said he did not.

The change-of-plea hearing was revealed last week after a phone conference between prosecutors, Sayoc's lawyers and a judge.

Cesar Altieri Sayoc is pictured in Ft. He packed all of them with a potentially deadly mix: powder from fireworks, fertilizer, a pool chemical and glass fragments.

"I know that these actions were wrong and I am extremely sorry", he finally said.

Sayoc who became emotional as he wrapped up his remarks apologized and said “I know these actions were wrong
Sayoc who became emotional as he wrapped up his remarks apologized and said “I know these actions were wrong

The first of the bombs was discovered October 22 in a mailbox at an estate in New York City's northern suburbs owned by the billionaire George Soros, a liberal political activist and frequent subject of conspiracy theories.

He faces the possibility of a life sentence.

The slew of charges relates to 16 package bombs Sayoc sent from a Florida post office to leading Democrats as well as the Manhattan offices of CNN.

The first package was found on October 22, a Monday, and the investigation and anxiety only grew as more devices were identified in the days that followed.

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

CNN's NY bureau was evacuated in October after the discovery of a package with an explosive device addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, officials said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials alleged Sayoc mailed improvised explosive devices to Obama; Clinton; former Vice President Joe Biden; former Attorney General Eric Holder; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters; U.S. Sens.

"Cesar Sayoc has admitted to acts of domestic terrorism that are repulsive to all Americans who cherish a society built on respectful and non-violent political discourse, no matter how strongly held one's views", Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said, according to NBC News.

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