Florida man sentenced for mailing explosives to political figures

Bay Area and California residents among intended targets in domestic terrorism campaign

A 57-year-old Florida man was handed a 20-year sentence Monday after he pleaded guilty in March to 65 felonies for mailing 16 explosive devices across the country last October, including to some Bay Area and California targets, federal prosecutors said.

Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, 2018, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service recovered 16 envelopes containing explosives mailed by Cesar Altieri Sayoc to his victims, including current Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer, as well as former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN, among others.

Cesar Sayoc
One addressed to Harris, former San Francisco district attorney and state attorney general and current U.S. senator, was intercepted in Sacramento and another intercepted in Burlingame was addressed to Steyer, a former hedge fund manager from San Francisco who has funded a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump.

The envelopes shared the seemingly misspelled return address in "Florids," as well as contents, and an initial forensic analysis located Sayoc's fingerprints on at least 11 of them.

"Sayoc's domestic terrorism challenged our nation's cherished tradition of peaceful political discourse," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Southern District of New York, where the sentencing took place.

Sayoc had attacked many liberal political figures online since at least 2011, and he posted incendiary comments about some of his victims prior to mailing out his envelopes.

The FBI also found several exhaustive Internet search entries on Sayoc's laptop, including "address kamila harrias," "tom steyers mailing address" and "michelle obama mailing address."

In addition to his prison sentence, Sayoc was sentenced to five years of supervised release.

— Bay City News Service

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