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US Man Pleads Guilty of Mailing Bombs to Trump Foes
24 March 2019, 12:49 | Tara Lloyd
Source Handout Getty
Cesar Sayoc, 57 - a former bodybuilder, stripper and pizza delivery worker who was living out of his van before his arrest in Plantation last October - sobbed as he entered the plea before a federal judge in NY.
The bombs began turning up weeks before the hotly contested midterm elections, contributing to an already tense political environment.
Sayoc was arrested October 26 outside an auto-parts store near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At the time, he had been living in a van covered with Trump stickers and images of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.
Cesar Sayoc, 57 - who became known as the MAGA bomber - entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court, speaking in a halting, shaky voice that often dropped to a whisper.
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Cesar Altieri Sayoc is pictured in Ft.
"I know these actions were wrong and I am sorry", he told the court, in a barely audible, choked voice.
The change-of-plea hearing was revealed last week after a phone conference between prosecutors, Sayoc's lawyers and a judge. He packed all of them with a potentially deadly mix: powder from fireworks, fertilizer, a pool chemical and glass fragments.
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One charge carries a mandatory 10-year prison term that must be served in addition to his sentence on 64 other counts.
The hunt for the bomber began October 22 when a device was discovered 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. CNN's NY offices were evacuated when a package addressed to John Brennan, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, was found in the mail room, a situation that played out on live television.
Sayoc is accused of sending bubble-wrapped manila envelopes to other elite Democrats such as Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Over several days, investigators tracked the packages to a mail center in Opa-locka. Wray also said there were potential DNA matches connecting Sayoc to some of the devices. The most recent device was intercepted en route to New Jersey Senator Corey Booker on Friday.
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He said Sayoc's crimes "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".
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