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Alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc pleads guilty

Alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc pleads guilty

A Florida man pleaded guilty on Thursday to using weapons of mass destruction and other crimes in connection with mailing explosives to prominent Democrats and other critics of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sayoc, who has been referred to as the MAGA bomber in tabloids, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to 65 counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, the New York Daily News reported.

Sayoc had been scheduled to go on trial this summer on charges that he mailed rudimentary bombs to 16 targets, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, several members of Congress, former President Barack Obama and the actor Robert De Niro.

The bombs began turning up weeks before the hotly contested midterms, contributing to an already tense political environment.

Sayoc had been held without bail since his late-October arrest in Florida.

He'd been living in a van covered with Trump stickers and images of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.with crosshairs over their faces.

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"Thankfully no one was hurt by these unsafe devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake", Geoffrey S. Berman, the USA attorney in Manhattan, said after the plea.

People who knew Sayoc have described his peripatetic existence, saying that he lived for years out of his van while working as a DJ or bouncer at strip clubs. Last week, though, court documents indicated that he planned to change his plea.

A device addressed to the Clintons was discovered the following day, followed a day later by a slew of homemade pipe bombs found at the homes or offices of prominent Democrats. His guilty plea does not guarantee a more lenient sentence - but Judge Jed Rakoff stressed he did not have to hand down a life sentence in September.

"For five days in October 2018, Cesar Sayoc rained terror across the country, sending high-ranking officials and former elected leaders explosive packages through the mail", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in the statement.

Others targeted included California Sen. The most recent device was intercepted en route to New Jersey Senator Corey Booker on Friday. Wray also said there were potential DNA matches connecting Sayoc to some of the devices.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers added: "Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with".

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