Florida resident pleads guilty to mailing explosives to Donald Trump
00:47, Mar 24, 2019
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"In October 2018, I made devices that were created to look like pipe bombs and sent them in the mail", Sayoc said in court.
Sayoc had initially been charged with 30 counts, already putting him at risk of life in prison.
Sayoc's guilty plea had been anticipated since his court docket showed last week that a pretrial conference scheduled for Thursday had been changed to a "plea" hearing.
Sayoc has been accused of mailing 16 pipe bombs, some of which were sent to former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire financier George Soros, actor Robert De Niro, several members of congress, and CNN offices in NY and Atlanta. At least some listed a return address of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Devices were also mailed to CNN offices in NY and Atlanta.
"I sent all 16 devices with the intent to threaten or intimidate", Sayoc said in court. The devices never posed a threat to their targets because they were so poorly made, officials said.
"Thankfully no one was hurt by these unsafe devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake", Berman said.
Sayoc who became emotional as he wrapped up his remarks apologized and said “I know these actions were wrong
Sayoc, a part-time pizza deliveryman, grocery worker and former stripper, was arrested in October after a four-day manhunt. He had been living in a van plastered with Trump stickers and images of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.
Cesar Sayoc is seen in a booking photo from 2015 released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office and obtained by CNN.
Each device, Sayoc said, consisted of a plastic pipe with a digital alarm clock and attached wires. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff asked. He packed all of them with a potentially deadly mix: powder from fireworks, fertilizer, a pool chemical and glass fragments.
"I'm extremely sorry", he said, speaking so softly that sometimes he was told to repeat himself.
The hunt for the bomber began October 22 when a device was discovered in a mailbox at an estate in New York City's northern suburbs owned by the billionaire George Soros, a liberal political activist and frequent subject of conspiracy theories.
"For five days in October 2018, Cesar Sayoc rained terror across the country, sending high-ranking officials and former elected leaders explosive packages through the mail", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in the statement.
Sayoc is accused of sending bubble-wrapped manila envelopes to other elite Democrats such as BarackObama and Joe Biden. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Wray also said there were potential DNA matches connecting Sayoc to some of the devices.
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