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The so-called “MAGA Bomber,” who sent mailbombs to some of Trump’s A-list haters, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday.
Prosecutors previously requested that Cesar Sayoc be locked up for life for sending 16 homemade explosives to a slew of liberal celebrities and politicians — including Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and even actor Robert De Niro — over the course of 11 days last October. The government called his crimes "terrorist attacks" that required months of careful planning. But defense attorneys asked the judge to let Sayoc off easy with a 10-year sentence.
"He created, did he not, a climate of fear and terror going on day after day for several weeks?" asked U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff Monday after Sayoc’s counsel asked for less jail time.
The 57-year-old had pleaded guilty to using weapons of mass destruction in an attempted domestic terrorist attack, along with 64 other felony charges in March. Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26, 2018, after his fingerprints were identified on one of the bombs, addressed to Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The charges add to his long criminal record, which includes drug offenses and fraud dating back to 1991.
Though Sayoc’s packages were intended to fire a massive blow to the targeted progressives, not one of them got hurt. According to an FBI analysis, Sayoc’s IEDs were made incorrectly, so they wouldn’t have exploded. But the packages, along with the faulty explosives, included pictures of Sayoc’s intended targets with red “X” marks slashed across their faces.
"In this darkness, Mr. Sayoc found light in Donald J. Trump," his defense lawyers wrote, referencing how he lost everything during the Great Recession. His team also said Monday that the president’s rhetoric deeply resonated with Sayoc, who “slowly became deranged by it.”
The former exotic dancer and pizza delivery guy was also reportedly a Fox News devotee and planned his schedule around watching “Fox and Friends” every morning and “Hannity” at night.
"I wish more than anything that I could turn back time and take back what I did," Sayoc said when he took the stand Monday.
Cover image: A U.S. Postal Service mail box is seen at a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)