A lone fingerprint and a set of misspellings helped point FBI agents to a Florida man with a long criminal record now charged with mailing homemade bombs to prominent critics of President Trump — a politically charged case that has roiled the run-up to next month’s congressional elections.
Cesar Sayoc, 56, a former pizza deliveryman, strip-club worker and virulently partisan supporter of the president, was arrested Friday and charged with a string of crimes in connection with the homemade pipe bombs sent this week to former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and others.
He was formally charged with sending 13 such devices, and a law enforcement official said he is likely to be charged with sending a 14th device to Tom Steyer, a major Democratic donor. That package was intercepted in California, officials said.
The manhunt began Monday afternoon, when a pipe bomb was found inside a package delivered to billionaire activist George Soros, and ended less than 96 hours later with Sayoc’s arrest outside an auto supply store in Plantation, Fla. Sayoc, who lives in nearby Aventura, was arrested near his vehicle: a white van festooned with political declarations echoing Trump rhetoric.
Agents tried to question him immediately, according to one law enforcement official, under what’s called the “public safety exception,” which says police can interview a subject without first reading them their rights if authorities are seeking information about ongoing security threats. Sayoc did not want to talk and quickly demanded a lawyer, the official said.
WPLG Local 10 Video: Mail-bomb plot suspect Cesar Sayoc to appear in court on Monday