Alyssa Duff ’19, Website Editor-in-Chief
On March 21, 2019, suspect Cesar Sayoc, 57, admitted to mailing explosive devices to former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, major Democratic donors George Soros and Tom Steyer, CNN offices, and more. Fortunately, the 16 bombs failed to detonate; therefore, no one was injured.
In a Manhattan Federal Court, he pleaded guilty to the 65 felony charges brought against him. He pleaded guilty to 16 counts of use of a weapon of mass destruction. This carries a maximum life sentence per count. The 15 felony counts that followed were interstate transportation of an explosive. Each of these 15 counts have a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Soyac also pleaded guilty to conveying a threat in interstate commerce, which carries a maximum sentence of five years per count. Fifteen of the 65 counts were illegal mailing of explosives with intent to kill or injure an individual, and they carry a maximum sentence of 20 years per count. Lastly, he pleaded guilty to one count of carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years that should run consecutively of other charges. Sayoc is expected to spend life in prison.
Sayoc initially claimed that even though he put fertilizer and powder from fireworks, he only meant for the devices to look like pipe bombs and not to detonate. According to CNN, “‘What would prevent, for example, powder from fireworks from exploding?’ the judge asked.” Sayoc then changed his story and said, “Sir, I was aware of the risk that it would explode.”
It is apparent that Sayoc sent the bombs to Democratic and anti-Trump individuals with the intent to harm them, simply for having differing political views.
Sayoc is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12, 2019. The maximum sentence he can face, with all 65 felony counts, is life imprisonment.
Photo courtesy of CNN