On Friday, authorities in South Florida arrested Cesar Sayoc Jr., age 56, on suspicion of sending at least 14 pipe bombs through the mail to prominent Democrats and Trump critics around the country. Sayoc will appear in court on Monday, when he will be charged with five federal charges including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, making threats against former presidents and assaulting federal officers. If convicted he could be sentenced to up to 48 years in prison.
Sayoc appears to have been estranged from his family for several years and was living out of his van when he was arrested on Friday.
None of the devices exploded though authorities stated they were capable of exploding. The devices were made with about six inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring and “energetic material,” which FBI Director Chris Wray described as “potential explosives and material that give off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock or friction.”
“Though we’re still analyzing the devices, these are not hoax devices,” Wray said at a press conference. Some of the packages also included photos of the intended recipient marked with a red ‘X’.
Investigators believe that Sayoc made the pipe bombs in that van. Inside the vehicle were soldering equipment, stamps, envelopes, paper, a printer and an unidentified white powder.
Mailed in manila envelopes, the packages had the address of Democrat leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz written as the return address, albeit misspelled.
Sayoc, of Aventura, Florida, is a bodybuilder who worked as a male dancer for several years and most recently as a pizza driver. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1983-1984 but did not graduate. He was an undeclared major who played on the soccer team. He also went to Brevard College in North Carolina in the fall of 1980, attending classes for three semesters without graduating.
A fingerprint on one of the envelopes, two DNA samples and a cellphone signal from Florida lead investigators to Sayoc, who has a history of at least nine arrests.
Sayoc was arrested several times in the 1990’s for theft. In 2002, Sayoc called a representative at Florida Power and Light, threatened to blow up the building and said it would be “worse than September 11th.” He also said that something bad would happen to the representative if he or she cut his electricity. He was arrested and plead guilty. He was sentenced to one-year probation.
In 2004, he faced felony charges for possession of a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid but the charges were dismissed. In 2012, he filed for bankruptcy, telling the court he had $4,175 in personal property and more than $21,000 in debts.
He was very active on his two Facebook accounts and three Twitter feeds, often attacking liberals and Democrats. He posted videos and photos of himself at Trump rallies.
Investigators still don’t know whether all the bombs that were mailed have been found.
“There may be other packages in transit now and other packages on the way so we need the help from everyone out there. Every citizen, everyone in law enforcement, and everyone we’ve got,” said Wray.
President Trump noted that the mail-bomb episode stalled the rising Republican polls at a critical time before the midterm elections.
On Friday,he tweeted: “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
Source: Israel in the News