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Pipe bomb suspect had O’Rourke in his sights

The man accused of mailing crude pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and left-leaning donors may have had Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke in his sights, The Dallas Morning News first reported Wednesday.

O’Rourke Campaign Spokesman Chris Evans told ABC-7 O’Rourke received several threatening Facebook messages from pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc earlier this year.

Evan said that on October 25, 2018, the FBI sent dogs and agents to go through O’Rourke’s mail at his El Paso campaign office.

“We received Facebook messages from Sayoc threatening Beto in April,” Evans said, “We immediately reported them to Capitol Police and then turned over the messages to the FBI in July.”

The FBI says Sayoc ultimately mailed 15 improvised explosive devices to prominent Democrats, Trump critics and media outlets before he was arrested in the van last week.

The 56-year-old Sayoc faces five federal charges in Manhattan carrying a combined maximum sentence of 48 years behind bars, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said in the letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres that Sayoc should remain jailed without bail. A detention hearing is set Friday in Miami, as well as a hearing on when Sayoc should be sent to New York to stand trial. Additional charges are likely, they said.

“Because of the powerful proof that the defendant perpetrated these acts, he poses a substantial danger to the community. In light of the consequences at issue and the likelihood of conviction, the defendant is also a substantial flight risk. Therefore, pretrial detention is appropriate,” the letter says.

Among Sayoc’s online searches for addresses, prosecutors said, were for former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire George Soros, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Attorney General Eric Holder and for “cnn building.” The FBI recovered explosive devices sent to all of them, among others.

Sayoc’s cellphone contains photos of some of his alleged intended victims, the letter adds, including Soros, the homes of Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, and the driver’s license belonging to Michelle Obama.


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