The Slatest

Cesar Sayoc Indicted on 30 Counts for Sending Pipe Bombs to Prominent Trump Critics

Daniel Aaronson surrounded by microphones from reporters.
Daniel Aaronson, a lawyer representing Cesar Sayoc, speaks to the media outside the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami on Oct. 29.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of sending 16 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, has been indicted on 30 counts in a federal court in New York.

The indictment prosecutors announced Friday could mean a life sentence for the 56-year-old Florida man. Charges included using a weapon of mass destruction, illegal mailing of explosives, interstate transportation of an explosive, and threatening interstate communications. Sayoc had previously been charged with five federal crimes, which would have given him a maximum of 48 years in prison if convicted.

Sayoc, an early and impassioned Trump supporter, was connected to the bombs when investigators found his fingerprints and a possible DNA match. He was also found to have searched for the intended victims’ addresses on his phone.

The packages he allegedly sent—made of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring, and possibly explosive material—never exploded, but FBI Director Christopher Wray said after they had been examined that they were not hoaxes. While Sayoc was in custody, packages he had mailed continued to be found.

Alleged targets included George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, Rep. Maxine Waters, Sen. Cory Booker, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic donor Tom Steyer, actor Robert De Niro, and CNN. The packages were labeled with the return address of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The scope of the grand jury was limited to those sent in New York: bombs sent to Soros, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, and De Niro.

The first package was discovered at Soros’ home on Oct. 23. They continued to be found all through the week, and Sayoc was finally arrested on Oct. 26. According to NBC News, Sayoc has a preliminary court appearance set for Monday.