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Suspected mail pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc expected to plead guilty

Cesar Sayoc is accused of sending more than a dozen pipebombs last year to prominent Democrats including former President Barack Obama and to a media organization.

Suspected mail pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc, seen here

Suspected mail pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc, seen here on Aug, 30, 2015,  was named in a 30-count indictment in November with multiple charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of explosives and other explosives-related crimes, and threatening interstate communications. He faces up to life in prison. Photo Credit: AP

Alleged pro-Trump mail bomber Cesar Sayoc is scheduled to plead guilty next Thursday to crimes stemming from last year's campaign to mail explosive packages to prominent Democrats, according to a docket entry posted Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

A federal official confirmed that Sayoc, accused of sending at least 16 pipe bombs last year to Democrats including former President Barack Obama and to a media organization, is expected to be in court for a “proceeding of interest” — the usual terminology for a guilty plea.

Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, has been held since his arrest last October following the mailing of explosive devices to Obama and others including ex-vice president Joe Biden, ex-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Democratic donor George Soros and the Manhattan offices of CNN.

A defense lawyer for Sayoc and a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman both declined to comment on the plea, which was disclosed at a telephone conference on Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, according to the court docket.

Sayoc was named in a 30-count indictment in November with multiple charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of explosives and other explosives-related crimes, and threatening interstate communications. He faces up to life in prison.

Both sides declined to comment Friday on the charges to which Sayoc has agreed to plead. Though a plea hearing is scheduled, defendants can change their minds, and a guilty plea does not become official until it is entered.

Sayoc effusively praised President Donald Trump on social media and drove a van garishly decorated with pro-Trump bumper stickers, alongside others with crosshairs over liberal figures like Clinton or slogans like, “CNN Sucks.”

He grew up in Brooklyn, and authorities said he had a long record of arrests including theft, fraud and drug charges. The government said most devices were similar — PVC pipe, a clock, wires and explosive material packed in a bubble-wrap lined manila envelope with American flag stamps.

The envelopes had return addresses in the name of Debbie Wasserman Schultz — a member of Congress and Democratic party leader from Florida — and were mailed to home and office addresses. Some were returned, some were delivered, some were intercepted at postal facilities, and none exploded.

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