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Cesar Sayoc Indicted On Charges Carrying Potential Life Prison Penalty

10 November 2018

They said they had linked him to fingerprint and DNA evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's crime laboratory recovered from some of the packages.

Prosecutors have accused Sayoc of mailing more than a dozen improvised explosive devices to targets including billionaire investor George Soros, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden.

He was arrested October 26 at an auto parts store, and charged with five federal crimes, including transporting explosives across state lines, threatening former presidents and assaulting federal officials.

Prosecutors followed through on a promise to upgrade the charges with an indictment that led with five counts alleging use of a weapon of mass destruction. The envelopes bore similar features, in addition to a clock, wiring and PVC pipe packed with explosive material: they included a return addressee of "Debbie Wasserman Shultz" - a congresswoman and former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee - and six self-adhesive postage stamps with the American flag. He had been living in a van covered with stickers of Trump and showing images of some Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.

The investigators said a laptop found in the van contained lists of addresses that matched those found on the bomb-carrying packages mailed from South Florida.

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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.

Friday's indictment accuses Sayoc of sending improvised explosive devices to five people in NY: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election; billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros; former Central Intelligence Agency directors John Brennan and James Clapper; and actor Robert De Niro. Officials say that Sayoc also used his phone to conduct a range of misspelled internet searches, like "hilary Clinton hime address" and "address kamila harrias".

No one was injured, as the bombs failed to detonate.

According to his social media profiles, he's also a fervent Trump supporter, who's often threatened violence against those the president vilifies. "He now faces justice from a nation of laws", Berman said. He was held without bail.

Sayoc's attorney, Sarah Baumgartel, did not immediately respond to NPR's requests for comment.

Cesar Sayoc Indicted On Charges Carrying Potential Life Prison Penalty