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The Florida man pleads guilty to sending bombs to Trump enemies



NEW YORK (AP) – A Florida man on Thursday pleaded guilty to sending CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump to CNN in a wave of attacks that had not hurt anyone while spending days worrying Before political violence in the US had spread to the midterm elections last fall.

Cesar Sayoc, 57, sobbed as he petitioned a federal judge in New York.

"I am very sorry," he added, adding that he had never intended for the devices to explode.

He was sentenced to life in prison if he sentenced on September 12 in 65 cases, including the use of weapons of mass destruction and the sending of explosives with the intent to kill. In return for his guilty plea, the prosecution brought an indictment that resulted in a life sentence.

Sayoc was accused of targeting rudimentary bombs – none of which detonated – on 16 targets, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, several members of Congress, former President Barack Obama and actor Robert De Niro. Devices were also sent to CNN offices in New York and Atlanta.

The bombs surfaced weeks before the hotly contested interludes, adding to an already tense political environment.

6 PHOTOS

What we know about mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc, Jr.

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Cesar Altieri Sayoc was arrested on Friday, October 26, 2018, in connection with mail bomb scare, the at least 12 suspicious packages to prominent Democrats contained from coast to coast.

(Broward County Sheriff's Office / Handout via REUTERS)

Cesar Sayoc Jr. was arrested at the AutoZone store on State Road 7 in Plantation, Florida.

[Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel / TNS via Getty Images]

Sayoc's van was covered with labels from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. It also had stickers labeled "CNN Sucks" (19659012) (Carline Jean / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

The 56-year-old was a registered Republican.

(REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst) [19659019] Social media accounts that appear to belong to Sayoc show deep admiration for President Trump and the accounts also often contained bizarre conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton.

(ABC News via AP)

Sayoc has a long criminal history. including charges of threatening the "discharge of a destructive device," "Grand Theft," and charges of possessing a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid.

(Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)




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SHOW CAPTION [19659025] Sayoc was arrested at the end of October in a car business in Florida. He lived in a van plastered with Trump stickers and pictures of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.

On Thursday, he told the judge that he had designed objects that looked like pipe bombs and filled them with explosive powder from firecrackers

"Do you think they would explode?" US District Judge Jed Rakoff asked:

"No, sir," Sayoc said.

"What would prevent powder from exploding firecrackers?" Rakoff asked.

"I was aware of the danger that they would explode," Sayoc said.

The first bomb was discovered on October 22 in a mailbox in an estate in the northern suburb of New York City, owned by the billionaire George Soros, a liberal political activist and frequently the subject of conspiracy theories.

A device aimed at the Clintons was discovered the next day, and a day later a series of bombs followed in the homes or offices of prominent Democrats. One who was directed to former CIA director John Brennan was sent to New York to CNN.

Other target groups included Californian Senator Kamala Harris and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

Investigators tracked the parcel post office in Florida for several days. The prosecution said the evidence against Sayoc contained DNA, which linked him to 10 of the devices and fingerprints of two of them.


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