Mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc faces life in prison after a federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted him on 30 charges, according to NBC News.
The 56-year-old was indicted on Friday, November 9, with mailing pipe bombs to several public figures who have been critical of President Donald Trump. These include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire George Soros, former CIA director John Brennan, National Intelligence Director James Clapper, and actor Robert De Niro. Sayoc also allegedly mailed an improvised explosive device to CNN.
The charges, which carry a maximum of life in prison, include the use of weapons of mass destruction, illegal mailing of explosives, interstate transportation of explosives, and threatening interstate communications.
In initial court filings after the arrest, federal prosecutors said that Sayoc conducted a domestic terror attack. The original charges carried a maximum sentence of 48 years in prison. Sayoc is said to have sent IEDs to 13 individuals but according to ABC News, the indictment charges focused only on the explosives that were sent to De Niro, Soros, Clinton, Brennan, and Clapper.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement from the Department of Justice that Sayoc’s conduct placed numerous lives at risk when he targeted high ranking officials, who also include former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden.
Berman also described Sayoc’s action as an assault to the United States, which he said is a nation that values the rule of law, free press, and tolerance of differences without resort to violence.
The first bomb was discovered at the New York home of Soros on Oct. 23, but it did not take long for authorities to identify the suspect. Sayoc was identified through DNA that linked him to 10 of the explosive devices, and fingerprints on two of them. He was arrested in Plantation, Florida on Oct. 26. Assistant Attorney General John Demers commended those who helped track and arrest Sayoc.
“Cesar Sayoc mailed 16 IEDs to more than a dozen victims throughout the country, including current and former elected leaders,” Demers said.
“Less than five days after the first IED was discovered, he was tracked down and arrested, thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other law enforcement partners.”
Sayoc is detained without bail to face trial. His preliminary court appearance set is for Monday. His mother, Madeline Sayoc, has claimed that her son has been mentally ill for a long time.