(NEW YORK) — Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man who mailed more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Earlier this year, Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Manhattan to four sets of charges — 65 counts total — for sending 16 packages containing explosive material and glass shards to liberal politicians and others who support liberal policies, such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Robert De Niro. Current presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden were also included as targets in the string of package bombs.
Sayoc attached a picture of the intended victim marked with a red “X” outside each improvised explosive device.
During the plea hearing in March, Sayoc indicated that he did not mean to injure anyone but acknowledged that the devices could have detonated.
In defense filings, Sayoc’s lawyers stated that he “lost everything in the Great Recession” and had “cognitive limitations and severe learning disabilities.” The filings also stated that Sayoc was “abandoned by his father and sexually abused by a teacher at his Catholic school.”
The FBI and U.S. Postal Service began finding the IEDs on Oct. 22 — the first one found was addressed to billionaire George Soros in New York — and continued to locate more until Nov. 2. Sayoc mailed the devices over the course of five days in October, prosecutors said.
Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 in the parking lot of an Autozone in Plantation, Florida, about 20 miles northwest from his home in Aventura, after the packages triggered a nationwide manhunt for the culprit.
Investigators identified him after finding a fingerprint on one of the packages sent to California Rep. Maxine Waters and matched it to a print Sayoc provided during a previous arrest.
Sayoc had been primarily living in a white van covered in political stickers supporting President Donald Trump at the time of his arrest. Inside the van, FBI agents seized a laptop that contained lists of physical addresses that matched many of the labels on the envelopes he mailed.
Sayoc became “more isolated,” anxious and paranoid as he aged and his steroid use increased, his attorneys said in a sentencing submission in July, which requested a sentencing of just over 10 years.
He was critical of those he perceived to be enemies of the president and “came to believe that prominent Democrats were actively working to hurt him, other Trump supports and the country as a whole,” according to the defense’s filing.
Federal prosecutors requested that Sayoc be sentenced the maximum of life in prison, stating that he “perpetrated this attack intending to injure and silence public servants and private citizens based on their civic activities.”
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