Since Monday, more than a dozen pipe bomb packages have been sent to prominent critics of President Trump. Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, of Aventura, Florida, was taken into custody Friday morning by F.B.I. agents for the wave of mail bombs. WSOC Channel 9 confirmed that Sayoc played soccer for UNC Charlotte in 1983.
Among the recipients were former President Obama, former Vice President Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All of the packages contained the return address of South Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
None of the devices exploded. There is some question as to whether they were poorly manufactured or never intended to detonate.
Sayoc, a registered Republican, has posted photos wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and his white van is plastered with Trump stickers. He appears to run a pro-Republican Twitter account in the name of Cesar Altieri. Among other anti-Democrat propaganda, the account advocates the false claim that the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting are actors.
Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes, including mailing an incendiary device and threatening a former president. He faces up to 58 years in prison according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He will be prosecuted in New York City following an initial appearance in Florida.
Sayoc already has a criminal history with over 10 charges dating to 1991. The charges include felony theft, drug and fraud charges. In 2002 Sayoc threatened to bomb Florida Power and Light, stating “it would be worse than September 11.”
The suspect was identified from a fingerprint and several traces of DNA left behind on the envelopes. He crafted the bombs from PVC pipe, batteries, a small clock and wiring.
President Trump’s reactions to the bombs have been fickle. Just today, he complained that the “‘bomb’ stuff” has deterred Republican voters but later celebrated on Twitter all of those who helped solve the mystery.