Florida man who mailed pipe bombs to Trump critics pleads guilty

Florida man who mailed pipe bombs to Trump critics pleads guilty

A Florida man suspected of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump a year ago on Thursday pleaded guilty.

Cesar Sayoc entered the plea Thursday before a federal judge in NY.

The FBI noted when he was apprehended that though the bombs did not explode, they were not meant to be hoaxes.

"I'm truly sorry, " he said before pleading guilty to 65 counts, including using weapons of mass destruction and mailing explosives with the intent to kill.

The change-of-plea hearing was revealed last week after a phone conference between prosecutors, Sayoc's lawyers and a judge.

He faces the possibility of a life sentence. Sayoc mailed 16 devices to his intended victims around the country, who also included actor Robert De Niro and CNN. They were mailed to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia.

Sayoc, 57, was arrested and charged in October after a series of possible explosive devices were sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the news network CNN, among others.

On Thursday, he told the judge that he made objects created to look like pipe bombs and filled them with explosive powder from fireworks.

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"What would prevent, for example, powder from fireworks from exploding?" the judge asked.

The first of the bombs was discovered October 22 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.

The slew of charges relates to 16 package bombs Sayoc sent from a Florida post office to leading Democrats as well as the Manhattan offices of CNN. CNN's NY offices were evacuated when a package addressed to John Brennan, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, was found in the mail room, a situation that played out on live television. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Over several days, investigators tracked the packages to a mailing center in Florida.

"Thankfully no one was hurt by these unsafe devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake", Berman said. "Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with".

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