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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc will remain jailed and transferred to New York to face criminal charges.
Sayoc, 56, is accused of sending 15 package bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump.
On Friday, the FBI has confirmed a package was recovered Thursday night in California, similar in appearance to the others, addressed to major Democratic Party donor Tom Steyer.
Steyer issued a statement which read in part:
“These threats are not isolated but are a part of a larger assault on the norms that uphold our democracy. We will not relent as we push for the broadest possible democracy and a life of dignity and respect for every American. We are more motivated than ever this Election Day to secure victories for representatives who will uphold the values of democracy rather than assault them for political convenience.”
Sayoc is expected to stand trial on five federal crimes: interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former Presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers.
During a hearing Friday morning in Miami federal court, Sayoc waived his removal to New York. Judge Edwin Torres told him that he would be entitled to a bond hearing there. When the judge asked Sayoc if he understood that he has a right to a bond hearing in New York, Sayoc replied “yes sir.”
Sayoc’s previously indicated he would seek bond and fight extradition to New York. But after prosecutors filed documents listing additional evidence to be used against him, Sayoc and his lawyers decided to withdraw their request for a bond hearing.
“Right now we thought it was a little premature to contest anything right now until we know more facts,” said attorney Daniel Aaronson.
“As these things come dribbling in, we felt it more appropriate for the lawyers that are going to represent him in the long run to make the analysis and determination and decide what they want to do,” said attorney Jamie Benjamin.
Sayoc’s Miami attorneys said they have been denied a meeting with him face to face.
“It is still through a three-inch thick bulletproof glass window that prohibited us from having a complete dialogue with him,” said Benjamin.
Sayoc could be extradited to New York at any time. His Miami attorneys say they have faced some challenges in representing him.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of nearly 50 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Sayoc began plotting his attack in July, searching for addresses of his targets online.
Sayoc, an aspiring bodybuilder and avid President Trump supporter, is accused of sending explosive devices through the mail. Among his alleged targets were former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US Attorney General Eric Holder, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Rep. Maxine Waters.
Sayoc had a list of more than 100 people to whom he intended to send packages. Officials say he was working through that list which included individuals that were sent packages. On that list were members of the media and left-leaning politicians.
A court filing in New York this week said Sayoc’s fingerprints were found on two of the package bombs and his DNA was found on components in 10 of them.
Sayoc told investigators after his arrest in Plantation on Oct. 26th that the pipe bombs wouldn’t have hurt anyone and that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, according to a law enforcement official.
But federal authorities say the bombs Sayoc allegedly sent were real and a danger to their recipients.
Court records show Sayoc has been arrested at least nine times, mostly in Florida, for accusations of grand theft, battery, fraud, drug possession, and probation violations.