Tearful mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc faces court as 15th package is intercepted
- Sayoc was ordered held without bail, charged with five felony counts in relation to pipe bombs sent to critics of Donald Trump
The man accused of mailing at least 14 pipe bombs to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump was ordered held without bail on Monday as the FBI confirmed a similar suspicious package addressed to CNN had been intercepted.
Cesar Sayoc, his salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a thin ponytail, remained largely silent, only acknowledging Judge Edwin Torres’ reading of the charges against him.
Shackled and wearing a beige jumpsuit, the 56-year-old man began to cry and the three lawyers with him stood shoulder to shoulder to obscure him from reporters and photographers.
Sayoc was expected to appear in court in Miami again on Friday morning.
The former male stripper and part-time pizza delivery man is charged with five felony counts: interstate transport and illegal mailing of explosives, threatening a former president, making threatening interstate communications and assaulting federal officers.
In Atlanta, the FBI confirmed on Monday that another suspicious package addressed to CNN’s headquarters there had been intercepted.
News of that latest package surfaced with just over a week to go in highly charged political campaigns across the nation leading up to November 6 elections, in which Democrats are battling to seize control of a Congress now held by Trump’s Republican Party.
Tensions prompted by the pipe bombs ratcheted up even further after a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, killing 11 worshippers while yelling “All Jews must die.”
Last week’s bombs were sent to a range of prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other frequent targets of Trump’s scorn, including CNN.
Cesar Sayoc, arrested in bomb plot against Trump’s critics, is a registered Republican with a long criminal history
Sayoc’s case is expected to be moved to New York, where he will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office there, officials said.
A public defender listed as Sayoc’s lawyer of record in New York, Sarah Baumgartel, did not respond to requests for comment.