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Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc pleads not guilty

Sayoc, 56, faces life in prison for allegedly sending pipe bombs to critics of President Donald Trump.

The man suspected of mailing 16 pipe bombs to critics of President Donald Trump in October pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

Florida resident Cesar Sayoc, 56, faces life in prison after a federal grand jury in New York indicted him on 30 charges for mailing bombs to billionaire George Soros, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA director John Brennan, actor Robert De Niro, and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

Federal officials said Sayoc sent 16 bombs across the country, with targets including former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, but the scope of the grand jury was limited to those received in New York.

The first bomb was discovered at Soros' New York suburban home on Oct. 23 and more were discovered in similar packaging in the following days.

Sayoc was finally arrested on Oct. 26 in Plantation, Florida, and then transported to New York to be detained pending his trial.

Image: Cesar Sayoc's van is seen in Boca Raton, Florida
Cesar Sayoc's van is seen in Boca Raton, Florida, on Oct. 18, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media.Ed Kennedy / via Reuters

The 30 counts Sayoc was indicted on include use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, threatening interstate communications, illegal mailing of an explosive, use of an explosive to commit a felony, and use of a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Assistant US Attorney Emil Bove told Judge Jed Rakoff that the government needs time for discovery which includes canvassing for surveillance video from various post offices around the country. Sayoc's trial date has been set for July 15.