You may recall just prior to the 2018 elections that a Florida leftist operative named Cesar Sayoc was arrested, posing as a Republican Trump supporter and mailing pipe bombs that didn’t even function to prominent Democrats. Well, now he’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes.
“I wish more than anything I could turn back time and take back what I did,” Sayoc told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “But I want you to know, Your Honor, with all my heart and soul, I feel the pain and suffering of these victims.”
Sayoc blamed his behavior on his mental illness and excessive use of steroids, adding, “I should have listened to my mother, the love of my life.”
In March, Sayoc pleaded guilty to 65 felonies for mailing 16 improvised explosive devices.
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At that time, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “For five days in October 2018, Cesar Sayoc rained terror across the country, sending high-ranking officials and former elected leaders explosive packages through the mail. Thankfully no one was hurt by these dangerous devices, but his 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.”
“Cesar Sayoc has admitted to acts of domestic terrorism that are repulsive to all Americans who cherish a society built on respectful and non-violent political discourse, no matter how strongly held one’s views,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with. I applaud the efforts of so many in our law enforcement community whose alertness and tirelessness led to the prompt arrest of the defendant before he was able to injure anyone, as well as those whose efforts led to today’s plea.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said, “Sayoc’s crimes were intended to incite fear among his targets and uncertainty among the general public, leading to a significant deployment of various law enforcement resources in a nationwide search to find him. When called upon, our FBI JTTFs across the country – along with our partner agencies – did what we do best, working swiftly, and side by side, to bring him to justice. Unlike most of our investigations, this case played out in plain view from beginning to end. The announcement of today’s plea is as good a time as any to remind the public that our JTTFs are working behind the scenes on a daily basis, in much the same way, to keep our communities safe.”
USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett added, “Today’s plea represents the hard work of Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners to keep USPS employees, customers and the sanctity of the US Mail safe from those who wish to harm the American public based on their distorted political or ideological agenda.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said, “The NYPD and our law enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to keep New York City safe from threats of terror. I commend the members of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Southern District of New York for their work in this case.”
ABC News reports on the sentencing:
Earlier this year, Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Manhattan to four sets of charges — 65 counts total — for sending 16 packages containing explosive material and glass shards to liberal politicians and others who support liberal policies, such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Robert De Niro. Current presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden were also included as targets in the string of package bombs.
During the plea hearing in March, Sayoc indicated that he did not mean to injure anyone but acknowledged that the devices could have detonated.
In defense filings, Sayoc’s lawyers stated that he “lost everything in the Great Recession” and had “cognitive limitations and severe learning disabilities.” The filings also stated that Sayoc was “abandoned by his father and sexually abused by a teacher at his Catholic school.”
He was critical of those he perceived to be enemies of the president and “came to believe that prominent Democrats were actively working to hurt him, other Trump supports and the country as a whole,” according to the defense’s filing.
Federal prosecutors requested that Sayoc be sentenced the maximum of life in prison, stating that he “perpetrated this attack intending to injure and silence public servants and private citizens based on their civic activities.”
Sayoc’s attorneys, all federal public defenders, argued that Sayoc was motivated by his obsession with Trump and his anger at Democrats, whom he blamed for the vandalism of his van, which displayed Trump stickers.
Well, at least that is the cover story they are sticking to, right? But we provided information that indicated that this guy was clearly more orchestrated than that.
According to the Justice Department:
In October 2018, SAYOC mailed from Florida 16 padded envelopes, each containing an IED, to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Atlanta, Georgia, and California. SAYOC packed each IED with explosive material and glass shards that would function as shrapnel if the IED exploded. SAYOC also attached to the outside of each IED a picture of the intended victim marked with a red “X.” As SAYOC admitted today during his plea, he designed the IEDs for use as weapons and mailed them understanding that they were capable of exploding and causing injuries and property damage. In alphabetical order, SAYOC’s intended victims were former Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro, Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, George Soros, Thomas Steyer, and Representative Maxine Waters. Between October 22 and November 2, 2018, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service recovered all of the 16 IEDs mailed by SAYOC.
The FBI arrested SAYOC in Plantation, Florida, on October 26, 2018 – less than five days after the October 22 recovery of the first IED, which SAYOC mailed to Soros in New York. The FBI seized a laptop from SAYOC’s van, which contained lists of physical addresses that match many of the labels on the envelopes that SAYOC mailed. The lists were saved at a file path on the laptop that includes a variant of SAYOC’s first name: “Users/Ceasar/Documents.” A document from that path, titled “Debbie W.docx” and bearing a creation date of July 26, 2018, contained repeated copies of an address for “Debbie W. Schultz” in Sunrise, Florida, that is nearly identical, except for typographical errors, to the return address that SAYOC used on the packages. Similar documents bearing file titles that include the name “Debbie,” and creation dates of September 22, 2018, contain exact matches of the return address used by SAYOC on the 16 envelopes.
SAYOC’s laptop also revealed extensive Internet search history related to his investigation of the intended victims and his desire to injure or kill them. For example, SAYOC conducted the following Internet searches, among others, on the dates indicated in 2018:
- July 15: “hilary Clinton hime address”
- July 26: “address Debbie wauserman Shultz”
- Sept. 19: “address kamila harrias”
- Sept. 26: “address for barack Obama”
- Sept. 26: “michelle obama mailing address”
- Sept. 26: “joseph biden jr”
- Oct. 1: “address cory booker new jersey”
- Oct. 20: “tom steyers mailing address”
- Oct. 23: “address kamala harris”
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