Pipe bomb suspect to appear in court on Election Day, prosecutors say

Pipe bomb suspect to appear in court on Election Day, prosecutors say

The man accused of sending over a dozen explosive devices to Democratic targets is expected to be transferred to New York on Monday and appear in federal court there on Election Day, according to U.S. prosecutors.

In a new court filing, federal prosecutors also linked Cesar Sayoc, the suspected pipe bomber, to the second mail bomb package sent to billionaire and major Democratic donor Tom Steyer and recovered by the FBI late last week — bringing the total count of devices he is accused of sending to 16.


Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 and charged with five federal crimes after the FBI identified him as the suspect in the pipe bomb investigation. In the days prior, Sayoc allegedly mailed improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, to various high-profile targets including former President Obama, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE, and former attorney general Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderTrump official criticizes ex-Clinton spokesman over defunding police tweet Obama to speak about George Floyd in virtual town hall GOP group launches redistricting site MORE

On Friday, Sayoc, who is a native of Florida, agreed to be transferred to New York City and face charges there. In a letter to Judge Robert Lehrburger on Monday, U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman said Sayoc would arrive in the Southern District of New York that day and is scheduled for a hearing before the Judge at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning — the day of the midterm elections. 

In the letter, Berman again stated that suspected pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc committed a “domestic terror attack” and argued he should be held in federal prison pending trial. 

“The Government will request continued pretrial detention at the defendant’s presentment in this District on the bases of flight risk and danger to the community. New facts further support the Government’s position,” Berman wrote in the Monday filing.

“Specifically, on November 2, law enforcement recovered a sixteenth IED mailed by the defendant, which was addressed to Thomas Steyer in California. This was the second IED that the defendant mailed to Steyer. The defendant used mailing materials nearly identical to the other 15 packages, including the same type of envelope, address format, and stamps,” Berman wrote.

Berman also noted that the investigation is “ongoing,” leaving open the possibility that more devices could be tied to Sayoc in the coming days. 

Federal prosecutors signaled in an earlier letter to the judge presiding over Sayoc’s case in Florida that he was likely to face additional charges and penalties, though none have yet been filed.

The mail bombs attracted massive attention in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, resulting in some critics blaming President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE's rhetoric in part for encouraging the attempted attacks. Sayoc, who has since been identified as a Trump supporter, mailed the explosive devices to some of the president's harshest critics.

Trump has denounced acts of "political violence" in the wake of the events and at times blamed the media for the anger in society, both in the wake of the attempted pipe bombings and the deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh days later.

Sayoc Letter on Scribd