‘MAGA bomber’ pleads guilty in Manhattan court

Adam Warner
March 21, 2019 - 4:24 pm
Cesar Sayoc van

Broward County Sheriff's Office/Imon Karim/USA TODAY Network

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The Florida man accused of sending explosive devices to prominent Democrats before the midterm elections last year appeared in Manhattan federal court, where he pleaded guilty to mailing more than a dozen of the packages.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, sobbed while entering his plea to a judge Thursday.

"I'm extremely sorry," he said, insisting he didn't intend for the devices to explode. 

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"What would prevent powder from fireworks from exploding?" U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff asked.

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

He'll be sentenced on 65 counts -- including illegal mailing of explosives and using a weapon of mass destruction -- on Sept. 12.

Without a plea deal, he faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The charge carrying that life sentence has been dropped by prosecutors.

Sayoc was arrested in Florida in late October after allegedly sending pipe bombs to former President Barack Obama, 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker. CNN personalities and celebrities like Robert De Niro were also targeted in the week-long scare.

One package was mailed to Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, home and another was mailed to CNN's offices in Manhattan.

None of the 16 improvised explosive devices exploded.

When Sayoc was arrested he was found living in a van covered in pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers – earning him the nickname “MAGA bomber.”

The charges against Sayoc say he intended to “kill, injure and intimidate an individual and unlawfully to damage and destroy a building, vehicle, and other real and person property.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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