A 56-year-old man from Florida arrested on Friday in connection with the series of “suspicious packages” sent to Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump has been charged with five counts of federal crime, The New York Times reported.
Cesar Sayoc – a former pizza deliveryman, strip-club worker and an outspoken Trump supporter with a criminal record – was caught using a lone fingerprint and a set of misspellings. He has been formally charged with sending 13 homemade bombs and a law enforcement official said he may be charged with sending a 14th device to a major Democratic donor. The package was intercepted in California, The Washington Post reported.
A federal criminal complaint said Sayoc’s van, which he was living out of, was found covered with images and slogans found on extreme right-wing social media accounts. He also posted frequently on right-wing social media groups and his Facebook account has photos of a Trump rally he attended during the 2016 presidential campaign. He is seen wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher A Wray said the bureau was still trying to determine if Sayoc’s bombs were functional but added that they contained “energetic material” that could be dangerous.
Addressing reporters at the White House earlier in the day, Donald Trump praised law enforcement officials for quickly arresting Sayoc. The US president said he did not think he bears blame for the alleged crimes. “No, not at all,” Trump said. “There is no blame, there is no anything.” He observed that the gunman who shot and wounded Congressman Steve Scalise last year “was a supporter of a different party”.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters at the Justice Department headquarters in Washington that lawlessness and political violence would not be tolerated. “Let this be a lesson to anyone, regardless of their political beliefs, that we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation and outright violence to further an agenda,” he added.
FBI Director Wray asked everyone to remain vigilant after officials warned there may be other undiscovered packages in the mail system or a mailbox somewhere in the country.