Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man who mailed pipe bomb packages to Democratic politicians, journalists and other famous figures who oppose President Donald Trumpwas sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday in New York by a federal judge.

The 57-year-old former bodybuilder and nightclub employee had pleaded guilty in March to charges pertaining to transporting explosives and using weapons of mass destruction. Sayoc was arrested in Florida in October 2018 after he was found to have mailed 16 pipe bombs and other similar devices to 13 individuals and offices around the nation in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections. Among Sayoc’s targets were the CNN offices, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), billionaire George Soros and actor Robert De Niro. 

According to Sayoc, who often shared fake news about Democrats and liberal figures on right-wing websites, claimed his addiction to steroids and his mental illness were to blame for his actions. He also alleged to have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and dyslexia.

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U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff reportedly said the design flaws in Sayoc’s explosive devices were intentional and demonstrated the Florida man did not mean to truly harm his targets. Many prosecutors had pushed for a life sentence for Sayoc.

“He hated his victims, he wished them no good,” said Rakoff, “but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand.”

“In this darkness, Mr. Sayoc found light in Donald J. Trump,” Sayoc’s attorneys wrote. “He came to believe that he was being personally targeted for supporting Trump: Mr. Sayoc thought that anti-Trump forces were trying to hurt him and they were to blame when his van was vandalized.”

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