Pipe bomb suspect indicted on charges of using weapons of mass destruction

Pipe bomb suspect indicted on charges of using weapons of mass destruction
© MSNBC

The suspect in a number of attempted pipe bombings of prominent Democrats was indicted Friday on charges of using weapons of mass destruction with intent of killing or injuring individuals.

Cesar Sayoc Jr. faces a 30-count criminal indictment in Manhattan federal court, where the 56-year-old Florida resident appeared in court earlier this week.

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If convicted, 56-year-old Sayoc would face almost 50 years in prison for each of the five weapon-of-mass-destruction counts, as well as potential punishments for dozens of other charges.

Court documents obtained by the Associated Press say Sayoc wanted to “kill, injure and intimidate an individual and unlawfully to damage and destroy a building, vehicle, and other real and person property.”

There was no immediate announcement Friday of a date for Sayoc's formal arraignment, where he will appear in court to enter a plea on the charges.

Prosecutors allege that his targets included former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersKey House committee obtains subpoenaed Trump financial documents from two banks: report Nancy Pelosi fends off impeachment wave — for now On The Money: Judge rules banks can give Trump records to House | Mnuchin pegs debt ceiling deadline as 'late summer' | Democrats see momentum in Trump tax return fight | House rebukes Trump changes to consumer agency MORE (D-Calif.).

Prosecutors noted in the indictment that those targeted by the packages also received pictures of themselves and family members, often with a red "X" drawn over the picture. None of the packages exploded.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE last month pledged "swift and certain justice" for those responsible for the attempted attacks.

"We must never allow political violence to take root in America — cannot let it happen — and I am committed to doing everything in my power to stop it and to stop it now," Trump said.

Sayoc was arrested last month in Florida, where he had reportedly been living out of a van emblazoned with pro-Trump stickers and pictures of the president's opponents, including Clinton, with crosshairs superimposed over their faces.

Updated at 3:50 p.m.