US mail bomb suspect appears in New York court

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MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 29: Daniel Aaronson, from the Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo P.A. law firm, speaks to the media outside the Federal District court for the Southern District of Florida after attending a hearing for his client Cesar Sayoc where he was formally addressed with the charges against him on October 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Mr. Sayoc was arrested on allegations that he was the person that mailed pipe bomb devices that targeted critics of President Donald Trump and have been recovered in New York, Washington D.C., California and South Florida, all with the return address of Debbie Wassermann-Schultz’s office. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to critics of US President Donald Trump, appeared in a New York court Tuesday and was ordered held without bail.

Sayoc, 56, appeared before a Manhattan federal court for just a few minutes. He did not fight detention and was remanded, an official at the US Attorney’s office said. He will need to be indicted before November 12.

He was arrested on October 26 and charged with mailing explosive devices to former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro and others. Several of the devices were intercepted in New York.

Sayoc, a registered Republican with a criminal history and reported past as a stripper, initially appeared in court in Miami, before being sent to New York, where charges were first filed in the mail bombing spree.

The attempted bombings heightened political tensions and put the United States on edge ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, seen as a referendum on the Trump presidency.

The suspect was living in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers when he was arrested at an auto store in Plantation, Florida.

The explosive devices were sent through the mail and Sayoc was tracked down based on fingerprint and possible DNA evidence, according to the FBI.