The man accused of sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent Democrats has been indicted in Manhattan federal court on 30 counts connected to the mailing of 16 explosive devices to 13 targets.
Cesar Sayoc, 56, of South Florida was arrested on Oct. 26, five days after the first discovery of the improvised explosive devices were sent to targets including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro and former President Barack Obama. A device sent to CNN’s New York headquarters and addressed to former CIA director John Brennan forced the evacuation of the Time Warner Center last month.
The indictment was handed down on Friday.
“Cesar Sayoc allegedly targeted former high-ranking officials such as President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others, as well as CNN, by sending explosive packages to them through the U.S. Postal Service,” said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Sayoc’s alleged conduct put numerous lives at risk. It was also an assault on a nation that values the rule of law, a free press, and tolerance of differences without rancor or resort to violence. Thanks to the diligent and determined work of our law enforcement partners here and across the country, it took just five days to identify and apprehend Sayoc and end his reign of terror. He now faces justice from a nation of laws.”
Prosecutors said each of Sayoc’s alleged mailings had similarities, including the return address of “Debbie Wasserman Shultz,” a misspelling of former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as six stamps bearing the American flag, and address labels printed on white paper with black ink in similar typeface and font size.
The 16 IEDs all had “approximately six inches of PVC pipe packed with explosive material, a small clock, and wiring” according to prosecutors. Some of the devices also contained shards of glass. Prosecutors said they found searches on a cell phone seized from Sayoc for the home addresses of his alleged targets, as well as pictures of some the victims.
Devices were sent to targets in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Delaware, California and Atlanta. The full list of victims, per prosecutors: Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro, Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, George Soros, Thomas Steyer, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters.