Boca Raton Police Services released body camera video of officers questioning Cesar Sayoc over an unrelated matter weeks before his suspicious packages arrest.
NEW YORK – Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc was ordered held without bail Tuesday after a judge heard arguments that the 16 explosive devices he allegedly sent to critics of President Donald Trump showed he poses a public danger and flight risk.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger issued the ruling after Sayoc, 56, made his initial appearance at a hearing in Manhattan federal court after waiving a similar court hearing in Miami on Friday.
Sayoc was ordered to return to court on Monday next week.
Federal investigators captured him in southern Florida on Oct. 26 after linking him to fingerprint and DNA evidence found on some of the explosive devices Sayoc allegedly sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, actor-director Robert De Niro, billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, cable news network CNN and other prominent Trump critics.
Investigators recovered all of the devices before they could explode, and no one was injured.
Federal investigators captured Sayoc near an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida, just west of Fort Lauderdale. He was driving a white van covered with stickers that praised Trump and trashed Trump’s Democratic critics.
Federal authorities accused the suspect of waging a domestic terrorist attack, charging him with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of an explosive and threats against former presidents.
If convicted on the current criminal charges, Sayoc faces a maximum sentence of 48 years in prison. However, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman signaled in a court filing last week that the suspect likely will face additional charges from the continuing federal investigation.
Sayoc planned the pipe bomb mailings as early as July, Berman said in the court filing, citing evidence the suspect conducted Internet searches to find addresses for his potential targets.
Investigators say they also found copies of return address labels with the misspelled name of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, matching labels found on the packages the suspect allegedly used to mail the explosive devices.
Underscoring the government’s legal argument, Berman said in a Monday court filing that “the evidence gathered to date demonstrates the dangerousness of the defendant and creates significant incentives for him to flee.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kevin McCoy on Twitter: @kmccoynyc
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