By James Wright
A man accused of sending at least 14 pipe bombs to prominent Democratic leaders and critics of President Donald Trump has been formally charged with five federal crimes in Miami, according to The Independent.
Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested on Oct. 26 for his connections to the pipe bombs sent to influential figures in the Democratic Party, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sayoc was charged with the mailing of explosives, threatening a former president, making threatening interstate communications and assaulting federal officers, according to The Independent.
Sayoc is an ardent Trump supporter, and planned his attacks at least three months in advance, according to The New York Times.
The FBI found conclusive evidence from Sayoc’s laptop and cellphone, which were found in his van, according to The New York Times. In addition, law enforcement officials stated that Sayoc had prepared a list of 100 potential bomb targets, each of whom has been notified by authorities.
Sayoc’s cell phone contains photos of some of his alleged victims, including prominent billionaire George Soros, the homes of both Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, along with a photo of a driver’s license belonging to former First Lady Michelle Obama, according to ABC News.
The FBI also reports that Sayoc’s laptop had a file with an address of former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office in Florida. That office was used as the return address on the packages containing the pipe bombs, according to ABC News.
Sayoc will be transferred to New York to stand trial and face federal charges, as per an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, according to USA Today. Sayoc’s lawyers have found it in his best interest to have the hearing in New York instead of staying in Miami.
Questions remain about whether the pipe bombs sent out by Sayoc were able to detonate on their own, according to The New York Times. Prosecutors are still determining whether Sayoc had the necessary skills to successfully build a bomb that could detonate on its own, or if he intended to send the bombs out to forge a divide and heighten political tension.
The released court papers restate what authorities thought all along –– despite the bombs being crudely fashioned, they were in fact dangerous and sent out with the intention of detonation and causing maximum harm, according to The New York Times.