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The Mail Bomb Suspect Has Pleaded Guilty To Sending Explosive Packages To Prominent Trump Critics

Cesar Sayoc, 57, was arrested in October after authorities say he mailed more than a dozen pipe bombs prominent Democrats and critics of the president.

Last updated on March 21, 2019, at 6:14 p.m. ET

Posted on March 21, 2019, at 5:28 p.m. ET

Richard Drew / AP

NYPD officers respond to the Time Warner Center after a suspicious package was delivered there.

A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending a series of explosive packages to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump last year.

Handout / Getty Images

Cesar Sayoc

Cesar Altieri Sayoc, 57, pleaded to a total of 65 felony counts as part of a plea agreement, a spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office told BuzzFeed News.

Sayoc was arrested in October after authorities said he had mailed the explosive packages to 13 intended targets, including Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, and former president Barack Obama. None of the packages detonated, but the discovery of the devices over the course of several days heightened tensions across the country.

Federal prosecutors said that between Oct. 22 and Nov. 22 Sayoc mailed the padded manila envelopes containing improvised explosive devices to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Delaware, Atlanta, and California.

Each of the envelopes contained a Florida return address for US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an obvious ruse, and contained about 6 inches of PVC pipe packed with explosive material, a small clock, and wiring.

BuzzFeed News

CNN has obtained a photograph of the suspicious package sent to our network in Atlanta that is similar in appearance to ones authorities say were sent by serial bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc. The suspected mail bomb is addressed to "CNN" and mailed to the CNN Center in Atlanta.

He pleaded guilty to four sets of charges for each of the devices, including 16 counts of using a weapon of mass destruction, 16 counts of interstate transportation of an explosive device, 16 counts of conveying a threat in interstate commerce, and 16 counts of the illegal mailing of explosives with the intent to kill or injury, according to the Department of Justice. Sayoc also pleaded guilty to using an explosive to commit a felony.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12 and could face life in prison.

As part of the investigation, authorities also seized a white van covered in a collage of pro-Trump and conspiratorial stickers.

The images included Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the Republican party logo, as well as stickers that showed rifle crosshairs over the faces of some of the Democratic figures he allegedly sent bombs to.

Another decal read, "CNN SUCKS," echoing the chant commonly heard at Trump rallies.


Sayoc is a Trump supporter who frequently attended pro-Trump events and rallies, according to his social media posts. He relentlessly attacked Trump's opponents on social media — many of whom were intended recipients of the pipe bombs — with racist language and vicious threats. He is a registered Republican in Florida and voted in the 2016 election, according to online records.

During the investigation, the FBI also seized a laptop from Sayoc's van that contained lists of addresses that matched many of the labels on the envelopes he mailed, prosecutors said. The laptop also showed Sayoc conducted an extensive Internet search into his intended victims.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.