US Stamps

Florida man to serve 20 years for mailing pipe bombs in 2018

Aug 9, 2019, 3 PM
An FBI photograph of a mailed package intercepted in October 2018. Several packages franked with six United States forever stamps and containing handmade explosive devices were mailed to prominent individuals, including former President Barack Obama, and the CNN news network.

by Linn’s Staff

The Florida man who mailed 16 improvised explosive devices last year to prominent political figures and a news organization has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

United States District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York sentenced 57-year-old Cesar Sayoc on Aug. 5.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in October 2018, Sayoc mailed padded envelopes, each containing an improvised explosive device (IED), to former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actor and director Robert De Niro, Sen. Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, billionaire philanthropists George Soros and Thomas Steyer, and Rep. Maxine Waters, as well as the CNN news network.

The individuals who were the targets of the mailings are all Democratic political figures or prominent supporters of liberal causes.

The FBI and the U.S. Postal Service successfully recovered all 16 packages, none of which detonated. The misspelled name and address of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz were printed on a return address label affixed to each of the parcels intercepted.

Sayoc was arrested in Plantation, Fla., by the FBI on Oct. 26, 2018, less than five days after the first mailed device was recovered. He pleaded guilty March 21 to 65 felony counts.

Photographs of the mailed parcels published by CNN and also released by the FBI show a manila envelope franked with six Flag forever stamps of the design issued in January 2017 (Scott 5158-5162). The self-adhesive stamps are arranged three across and two down.

At least one parcel was flagged as postage due. A large envelope with irregularly shaped contents weighing more than 4 ounces and up to 8 ounces would be assessed $3.75 postage for USPS first-class package service in October 2018. The six forever stamps, each with 50¢ postage value at that time, totaled $3.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Cesar Sayoc assembled and mailed explosive devices to high-ranking officials and former elected leaders to incite fear and to terrorize his victims. Though thankfully no one was hurt by his actions, Sayoc’s domestic terrorism challenged our nation’s cherished tradition of peaceful political discourse.”

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers also characterized the mailings as an act of domestic terrorism.

CNN reported that at his sentencing hearing Sayoc expressed remorse for his actions.

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