Filipino-American Cesar Sayoc, who stands accused of sending mail bombs to high-profile critics of President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to the crime in a Manhattan federal court today.
Sayoc was accused of sending 16 pipe bombs to 13 targets in October, reported CNN. His targets included former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton; former vice president Joe Biden, businessman George Soros, a major donor to the Democratic Party; Democratic senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris; and even to CNN’s offices in New York and Atlanta.
He mailed the bombs within five days to his various targets and admitted in court that he did so with the intent to threaten or intimidate. None of the bombs detonated and no one was injured.
Sayoc was charged with 65 counts of various charges including using weapons of mass destruction.
The Washington Post reported that an emotional Sayoc read a brief statement during his courtroom appearance where he apologized for his crime. He said: “I knew these actions were wrong. I’m extremely sorry.”
According to the BBC, Sayoc initially pleaded not guilty in November before the judge Jed Rakoff. He will now avoid going to trial with this new plea.
The United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said in a statement that he is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 12 where he will likely face life imprisonment.
In the same statement, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said that Sayoc’s actions “left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake. Sayoc has taken responsibility for his crimes, and will soon be sentenced to significant time in prison.”
Sayoc was caught in October after a four-day nationwide manhunt organized by various law enforcement agencies. DNA and fingerprint samples, as well as phone geolocation information, led the authorities to arrest Sayoc at a parking lot in Plantation, Florida where he appeared to be living in a white van, according to CNN.
The vehicle was covered with posters and stickers expressing support for Trump.
For his part, Trump described Sayoc as “insane” after he was arrested in October, reported CNBC.
Sayoc’s Filipino heritage was discovered shortly after his arrest. According to The Philippine Star, his father was born in the Philippines but eventually moved to the U.S. and was naturalized in 1970. His mother, on the other hand, was of Italian descent.
This article, Fil-Am suspect Cesar Sayoc pleads guilty to mail bombing Trump critics, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!