Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Accused mail bomber to remain in jail after brief court appearance

Accused mail bomber to remain in jail after brief court appearance

The south Florida man accused of mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and other critics of US President Donald Trump is expected to make his first appearance in Manhattan federal court today, after his case was moved to NY from Florida.

If convicted, he faces almost 50 years in federal prison.

He faces five federal charges: 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.

Prosecutors have said Sayoc is likely to face additional charges and penalties as their investigation proceeds, and should be detained pending trial because he is unsafe and a flight risk.

When U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger asked him if he understood his rights as explained to him, Sayoc responded: "Yes, sir, a hundred percent".

The 56-year-old was recently extradited to NY from Florida, where he was arrested October 26 at an auto parts store.

At the time of his arrest, he was living inside a van decorated with images of Trump and anti-Democrat stickers.

All of the bombs were sent through the United States postal service but none exploded and no one was injured.

His lawyers decided not to seek release on bail after prosecutors released a letter outlining more evidence against him, including DNA linking him to 10 of the explosive devices and fingerprints on two of them.

Sayoc's lawyers have found it in his best interest to have the hearing in NY instead of staying in Miami.

Sayoc has been accused of mailing 16 pipe bombs, some of which were sent to former president's Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire financier George Soros and CNN. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen.

In a letter to ABC News Sayoc's mother, Madeline Sayoc, wrote that she had unsuccessfully tried to get him treatment for what she said was long-standing mental illness.

"Yet another suspicious package, addressed to CNN's Atlanta office, was intercepted. three days after Sayoc's arrest".

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