In this courtroom sketch, Cesar Sayoc, left, appears in federal court in Miami, Oct. 29, 2018.
In this courtroom sketch, Cesar Sayoc, left, appears in federal court in Miami, Oct. 29, 2018.

An American charged with mailing pipe bombs to high-profile Democratic politicians and other critics of U.S. President Donald Trump was ordered held without bail Tuesday during his first appearance in federal court in New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim argued that Sayoc, who was transferred from federal custody in Florida, was "a serious risk of danger to the public and a flight risk."

Sayoc, dressed in navy blue prison overalls, appeared alert and respectful as he went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger. When Lehrburger asked the defendant if he understood his rights, Sayoc replied, "Yes sir, a hundred percent."

A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for November 12.

The former stripper and pizza delivery driver was arrested on October 26 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and charged with five federal crimes. Sayoc, who lived in a white van adorned with right-wing political images supporting Trump and denouncing Trump's critics, was apprehended after an intense manhunt.

Sayoc has been accused of mailing 16 pipe bombs, some of which were sent to former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire financier George Soros and CNN.

None of the bombs exploded before being intercepted and no one was injured.     

Sayoc faces up to 48 years in prison if convicted of the five charges that were filed in New York because some of the bombs were recovered there.