Package bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc appears at Election Day court hearing

NEW YORK — The man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Trump was ordered held without bail after his first court appearance in New York on Tuesday. Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted on five federal charges that were filed in New York because some of the devices were recovered there.

Cesar Sayoc, who was transferred from federal custody in Florida, hugged his lawyer after a hearing in which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim called him “a serious risk of danger to the public and a flight risk.”

Sayoc has been accused of sending improvised explosive devices to numerous Democrats, Trump critics and media outlets in a scare that heightened tensions before the crucial midterm elections Tuesday. None of the devices exploded, and no one was injured in the pipe bomb scare.

He was arrested outside a South Florida auto parts store. He was living in a van covered with stickers of Mr. Trump and showing images of some of the president’s opponents with red crosshairs over their faces.

Assistant Federal Defender Sarah Baumgartel declined to comment after the hearing, in which Sayoc presented himself as polite and soft-spoken and responded “Yes, sir” to questions from the judge.

His lawyers decided not to seek his release on bail after prosecutors released a letter outlining more evidence against him, including DNA linking him to 10 of the explosive devices and fingerprints on two of them. Sayoc had a list of more than 100 others he planned to target in his van during the arrest, a law enforcement official told CBS News. The list included mostly politicians and media figures.

Other evidence includes online searches Sayoc did on his laptop and cellphone for addresses and photos of some of his intended targets, which included former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Packages were also mailed to CNN in New York and Atlanta.

Prosecutors said the most recent crude bomb was recovered Friday in California, addressed to the liberal activist Tom Steyer.

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