Cesar Sayoc, accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs through the mail to prominent Democrats and news outlets, was arrested Thursday, October 26th. Sayoc was found five days after he began sending the bombs.
The Florida man, 56, will be transported to New York for sentencing. He faces five federal charges that carry a combined total of 48 years in prison, prosecutors have said. A detention hearing was set for Friday, November 2.
His intended victims include former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, among others.
The addresses and homes of these people were found on his cellphone and laptop computer, in addition to pictures of Michelle Obama’s driver’s license and a file containing the address of the office of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This was used as the return address on the packages holding the pipe bombs.
Other targeted people were billionaire George Soros, who states on his website that he has been a well-known supporter of democratic ideals for more than 30 years, and media outlets—an internet search for just the “CNN building” was found by investigators.
The FBI recovered the explosive devices sent to all of them. None of the bombs exploded and nobody was injured, though they did contain real explosive material and shards of glass evidently meant to maximize harm to intended victims.
Cesar Sayoc is apparently an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump. He was living in a van decorated in numerous stickers and emblems listing Trump’s actions while in office. In addition to those, there were some threatening decals. One such sticker says “Zero Tolerance kill your enemy and those who rob you then take to the everglade for gators” in all caps, with no punctuation.
Though President Trump has stated that he does not intend to call former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, two of the people targeted by Sayoc, he has said, “These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country. We will prosecute them/him/her, whoever it may be, to the fullest extent of the law.” These comments were made during a press briefing over the incident.