Pipe bomb suspect held without bail after first court appearance | US news

Pipe bombs suspect Cesar Sayoc was ordered to be held without bail on Tuesday by a federal judge in New York.

Sayoc made his first court appearance on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan following his transfer from Florida, where he was arrested last month.

He faces charges for allegedly mailing more than a dozen explosive devices to prominent Democrats, CNN and critics of Donald Trump, including billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros.

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

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Packages were sent to Barack and Michelle Obama’s Washington, DC, home and to Hillary Clinton at her upstate New York home in Chappaqua that the former secretary of state and presidential candidate shares with her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

None of the devices exploded and no one was injured when the packages were intercepted en route to their targets, but the authorities at the time did not hesitate to label the episodes a campaign of terrorism.

Prosecutors told a judge that Sayoc, reportedly a rabid supporter of Trump and white nationalism, presents a flight risk and is a serious danger to the public. They requested that he be held in custody and the judge agreed. Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted.

His lawyer has questioned the evidence in the case.

The week-long series of events where explosive devices began turning up in the post heightened tensions before the crucial midterm elections, which were happening across the US on the same day as Sayoc’s court appearance amid tight security.

At the time he was apprehended in Florida, the federal authorities took away his van, which was covered in stickers and decals declaring support for Trump and vice president Mike Pence and decrying leading Democrats in vivid terms.

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