After being transferred from his home state of Florida, pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc made his first court appearance today in Manhattan where it was announced he will be held without bail.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger announced his decision after deeming Sayoc a flight risk as well as a danger to the public.
The 56-year-old, who was arrested on October 26 in Florida, stood in court without shackles next to his public defender Sarah Jane Baumgartel.
Sayoc is being charged with interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers.
He is accused of mailing 16 pipe bombs to political figures such as former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others as well as CNN. The last pipe bomb, mailed to Democrat and Hedge Fund Manager Thomas Steyer, was discovered on Friday.
“The defendant used mailing materials nearly identical to the other 15 packages, including the same type of envelope, address format, and stamps,” the prosecutors’ letter reads.
No-one was injured in all 16 mailings as none of the pipe bombs were successfully detonated.
The mother of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc writes that she is estranged from her son but hurt by his alleged attacks, and she calls on the country — specifically, President Trump — to tone down the nasty rhetoric https://t.co/dYo6UaAzf5 pic.twitter.com/dhiCaNp0D2
— CNN (@CNN) November 5, 2018
Cesar Sayoc’s mother pleads for tougher laws
Prior to Sayoc’s appearance in court, the suspect’s estranged mother wrote a letter to ABC, explaining that her son suffers from a mental illness. In the open letter she detailed her attempts to get Sayoc help and urged for stricter laws that would “compel and require” treatment for those suffering from mental illness.
“While I have not lived with my son for 35 years or even heard from him in over four years, I cannot express how deeply hurt, sad, shocked and confused I am to hear that my son may have caused so many people to be put in fear for their safety,” Madeline Sayoc wrote. “This is not how I raised him or my children.”
Sayoc’s preliminary hearing is set for Monday.