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 ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Bank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever 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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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.