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Suspected mail pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc expected to plead guilty 

Cesar Sayoc is accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs last year to prominent Democrats and CNN.

An apparent pipe bomb was found in the

An apparent pipe bomb was found in the CNN building in Columbus Circle on Oct. 24, police said. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Alleged pro-Trump mail bomber Cesar Sayoc is scheduled to plead guilty next Thursday to crimes stemming from last year's campaign to mail explosive packages to prominent Democrats, according to a docket entry posted Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

A federal official confirmed that Sayoc, accused of sending at least 16 pipe bombs last year to Democrats including former President Barack Obama and to a media organization, is expected to be in court for a “proceeding of interest” — the usual terminology for a guilty plea.

Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, has been held since his arrest last October following the mailing of explosive devices to Obama and others including ex-vice president Joe Biden, ex-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Democratic donor George Soros and the Manhattan offices of CNN.

A defense lawyer for Sayoc and a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman both declined to comment on the plea, which was disclosed at a telephone conference on Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, according to the court docket.

Sayoc was named in a 30-count indictment in November with multiple charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of explosives and other explosives-related crimes, and threatening interstate communications. He faces up to life in prison.

Both sides declined to comment Friday on the charges to which Sayoc has agreed to plead. Though a plea hearing is scheduled, defendants can change their minds, and a guilty plea does not become official until it is entered.

Sayoc effusively praised President Donald Trump on social media and drove a van garishly decorated with pro-Trump bumper stickers, alongside others with crosshairs over liberal figures like Clinton or slogans like, “CNN Sucks.”

He grew up in Brooklyn, and authorities said he had a long record of arrests including theft, fraud and drug charges. The government said most devices were similar — PVC pipe, a clock, wires and explosive material packed in a bubble-wrap lined manila envelope with American flag stamps.

The envelopes had return addresses in the name of Debbie Wasserman Shultz — a member of congress and Democratic party leader from Florida — and were mailed to home and office addresses. Some were returned, some were delivered, some were intercepted at postal facilities, and none exploded.


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