Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc hit with 30-count indictment

A federal grand jury in New York City on Friday returned a 30-count indictment against mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc.

Sayoc, 56, was arrested on October 26 in Florida and is accused of sending at least 16 mail bombs to several targets, including CNN, former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. None of the devices detonated and no one was injured.

CNN sent Sayoc’s appointed attorney, Sarah Jane Baumgartel, requests for comment by phone and email but has not received a response.

The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation and receipt of explosives, threatening interstate communications, and the illegal mailing of explosives. All counts as follows:

  • 5 counts of “Use of a weapon of mass destruction”
  • 5 counts of “Interstate transportation and receipt of explosives”
  • 5 counts of “Threatening interstate communications”
  • 5 counts of “Illegal mailing of explosives”
  • 5 counts of “Use of explosives to commit a felony”
  • 5 counts of “Use of a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence”

Sayoc faces life in prison and does not have any scheduled court appearances as of now, Nicholas Biase, a spokesman with the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, said in an email to CNN.

Sayoc of Aventura, Florida, is a bodybuilder who worked as a male dancer for several years and most recently as a pizza delivery driver.

He apparently lived in a white van plastered with tickers and posters that praised President Donald Trump and criticized Democratic and media figures, including some of the people who were targets of the bombs. Investigators believe he made the pipe bombs in the van, law enforcement sources told CNN.

Court records show Sayoc had been arrested at least nine times, mostly in Florida, for accusations of grand theft, battery, fraud, drug possession and probation violations.

After being arrested in South Florida, Sayoc was transferred to New York, where some of the targets of the packages live and work.

While the exact content of the packages has not been disclosed in detail, prosecutors said the bombs had clear similarities.

They were found in envelopes that had return labels listing the address and name of US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, a former Democratic National Committee chair.