Cesar Sayoc, Suspect in Mail Bomb Case, Makes First Court Appearance

Cesar Sayoc court appearance
Daniel Pontet/AP/Shutterstock

Cesar Sayoc, suspected of sending at least 13 packages containing mail bombs to CNN, top Democrats, and other critics of President Donald Trump, appeared in court on Monday for the first time to face five federal charges.

According to the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sayoc remained calm during the short hearing, but teared up when he saw one of his sisters in the gallery. He mouthed the words “I love you” to her.

Prosecutors argued that he should be denied release on bond, which would mean that he would remain incarcerated at least until after a trial.

At the hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres read the charges against Sayoc and informed him of his rights. Another hearing is scheduled for Friday, where a number of procedural issues are likely to be addressed. The criminal charges against Sayoc were filed in New York, so he is expected to be transferred there.

Sayoc is charged with interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting federal officers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the charges carry a maximum of 58 years in prison.

Earlier on Monday, the FBI said they had recovered another package at a mail facility that was addressed to CNN in Atlanta. The parcel was found at a post office in the city, and CNN president Jeff Zucker said there was “no imminent danger to the CNN Center.” He said all of the mail being sent to CNN was being screened off site.

The FBI said the package was similar in appearance to the others.