Pipe bomb suspect scheduled for Election Day court hearing
The man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday in New York, where prosecutors said they will ask for him to be held without bail because he is considered dangerous.
Cesar Sayoc was being transferred from federal custody in Florida. His attorneys had said last week in Miami that it would be better if his lawyers in New York could take the case as soon as possible.
Sayoc has been accused of sending improvised explosive devices to numerous Democrats, Trump critics and media outlets in a scare that heightened tensions before the crucial midterm elections, happening the same day as his court appearance.
He was arrested a week ago outside a South Florida auto parts store in a van in which he had been living, a vehicle covered with stickers of Trump and showing images of some of the president’s opponents with red crosshairs over their faces.
Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted on five federal charges that were filed in New York because some of the devices were recovered there.
His lawyers decided not to seek release on bail after prosecutors released a letter outlining more evidence against him, including DNA linking him to 10 of the explosive devices and fingerprints on two of them.
Other evidence includes online searches Sayoc did on his laptop and cellphone for addresses and photos of some of his intended targets, which included former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Packages were also mailed to CNN in New York and Atlanta.
Prosecutors say the most recent crude bomb was recovered Friday in California, addressed to the liberal activist Tom Steyer.
None of the devices exploded, and no one was injured in the pipe bomb scare.