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 ClintonGOP senator says idea that Ukraine interfered in US election is 'not a conspiracy theory' Cotton: Democrats are 'upset that their witnesses haven't said what they want them to say' Trump's troubles won't end with a Senate acquittal MORE, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersGearing up for a chaotic year on K Street Maxine Waters: Republicans 'shielding' Trump 'going to be responsible for dragging us to war' Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely 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 TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir 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.