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Man who sent pipe bombs to CNN, prominent Democrats pleads guilty

The Florida man who sent several pipe bombs to critics of U.S. President Donald Trump and to CNN pleaded guilty Thursday.

Cesar Sayoc could get life in prison, says he's 'extremely sorry'

Cesar Sayoc, seen in a booking photo from last fall, pleaded guilty today to sending several pipe bombs. (Broward County Sheriff's Office/via AP)

A Florida man has pleaded guilty to sending a wave of pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Cesar Sayoc, 57, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.

"I'm extremely sorry," he said, speaking so softly that sometimes he was told to repeat himself. Though he said he never meant for the devices to explode, he conceded he knew they could.

He could get life in prison at sentencing Sept. 12 on 65 counts, including 16 counts of using a weapon of mass destruction and mailing explosives with intent to kill. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge that carried a mandatory life sentence.

One charge carries a mandatory 10-year prison term that must be served in addition to his sentence on 64 other counts.

Sayoc, a part-time pizza deliveryman, grocery worker and former stripper, was arrested in October after a four-day manhunt.

At the time, Sayoc had been living in a white van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, the slogan "CNN SUCKS" and images of Democratic leaders with red cross-hairs over their faces.

A van with windows covered in pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers is seen in Hollywood, Fla., on April 6, 2018. The van was confiscated by U.S. authorities on Oct. 26, 2018, during the investigation into a series of parcel bombs sent to critics of Trump. (Geo Rodriguez/Reuters)

Prosecutors accused Sayoc of mailing bombs through the U.S. Postal Service to Democrats such as former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden, and senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

Sayoc had been held without bail since his late-October arrest in Florida. He had been scheduled to go on trial this summer.

The bombs were sent in manila envelopes lined with bubble wrap and consisted of plastic six-inch pipes packed with explosive material and wired to small clocks and batteries, according to prosecutors. All were intercepted before reaching their intended targets, and none exploded.

This frame grab from video provided by WPLG-TV shows FBI agents escorting Cesar Sayoc, in sleeveless shirt, in Miramar, Fla. (WPLG-TV via AP)

With files from The Associated Press