US mail bomber targeting Trump critics sentenced to 20 years in prison


(Photo: Agencies)

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The man who mailed explosives to several prominent US political figures in 2018 was sentenced in New York City on Monday to 20 years in prison.

"I am beyond so very sorry for what I did," Cesar Sayoc said before Judge Jed Rakoff at a federal court in Manhattan before he was sentenced, local media reported.

Sayoc, a 57-year-old from the state of Florida, sent 16 pipe bombs to 13 people across the country during the weeks leading up to the mid-term elections last year, causing a nationwide scare. His targets included former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among other critics of President Donald Trump.

No one was hurt in the incidents as none of the home-made bombs detonate.

Prosecutors had requested that Sayoc be sentenced to life imprisonment, while Sayoc's lawyers asked for 10 years in their plea for leniency, citing "traumatic" events that have "pushed Cesar Sayoc further and further into the margins of society," according to media reports.

Those events included being abandoned by his father as a boy and being sexually assaulted in a Catholic school.

Sayoc was arrested last October in Florida when police seized the van he was living in, which was plastered with stickers with Trump's name and images of Trump critics with crosshairs over their faces.

Defend lawyers also wrote to the judge that Sayoc "truly believed wild conspiracy theories he read on the Internet, many of which vilified Democrats and spread rumors that Trump supporters were in danger because of them."

Sayoc pleaded guilty to 65 felony counts earlier this year.