Cesar Sayoc, the man sources say was arrested Friday in connection with suspected explosive packages sent to prominent figures, has an arrest history that includes an alleged bombing threat against a Florida utility company, records show.
Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, was arrested Friday morning at a business in Plantation, Florida, some 30 miles north of Miami, a source said.
DNA found on at least one of the packages helped investigators identify Sayoc as a suspect, and investigators also were able to use his cell phone to track him, law enforcement officials told CNN.
Here’s what we know:
• Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Sayoc faces at least five federal counts, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers. He faces up to 58 years in prison.
“This is law and order administration,” Sessions told reporters. “We will not tolerate such lawlessness.”
• Fingerprints on an explosive device sent to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California were matched with those of the suspect as well as DNA samples from two different explosive devices, FBI Director Chris Wray said.
• Wray said 13 improvised explosive devices were sent. Each consisted of “roughly 6 inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, some wiring and what is known as ‘energetic material,’ which is essentially potential explosive and materials that give off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock or friction. Though we are still analyzing the devices in our laboratory these are not hoax devices.”
He added, “Today’s arrest does not mean we are all out of the woods. There may be more packages in transit now.”
• Sayoc has a string of arrests dating back to the early 1990s, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show.
Notable among them was a 2002 arrest in which Miami police alleged Sayoc threatened to bomb the Florida Power and Light Co. and said that “it would be worse than September 11th.”
“The defendant contacted a rep (from) Florida Power and Light Co. … by telephone and threatened to blow up FPL,” a Miami Police Department report about the incident reads.
The caller “threatened to blow up the building if FP&L turned off his light,” the report reads.
The online state records describe the offense as “threat to bomb” and “threaten to discharge destructive device.” They show that Sayoc pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation. There is also a notation about the adjudication being withheld.
• The records show eight arrests, including on suspicion of grand theft, battery, fraud, drug possession and probation violations.
Sayoc was convicted by plea of stealing copper pipes from a Home Depot in Hollywood, Florida, in 2014, court documents show. He’d been charged with petit theft.
The adjudication of some of the other arrests could not immediately be determined from the summary of offenses provided by the Department of Law Enforcement. Sayoc appears to have pleaded no contest to some offenses, and prosecutors seem to have dropped charges in other matters.
• A 2012 bankruptcy filing in Florida indicates that Sayoc “lives with his mom, owns no furniture.” The 46-page filing, signed by Sayoc in June 2012, lists total assets of $4,175 and liabilities of $21,109.
• Sayoc also was arrested in April 1999 in North Carolina on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, said Angie Grube, a spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. But the district attorney’s office dismissed the charges, said Tim Ayock, spokesman for police in the town of Matthews.
The arrest happened when a Matthews officer “stopped to help a broken-down vehicle and it turned out to be a stolen vehicle,” Ayock said.
It’s not clear why the charges were dismissed, Ayock said. Charlotte-Mecklenburg district attorney’s office spokeswoman Meghan McDonald declined to comment about the case.
• At the arrest scene Friday morning, a van in Plantation was towed away to Miramar, Florida, where an FBI field office is located, a law enforcement official said. The van’s exterior features images of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as well as a “CNN Sucks” sticker, video footage shows.
• He is a registered Republican, according to Florida Department of State spokeswoman Sarah Revell, citing the state’s Division of Elections records.
• Sayoc was a student at Brevard College in North Carolina, school spokeswoman Christie Cauble told CNN. He enrolled at Brevard in fall 1980 and attended classes there for three semesters but didn’t graduate, Cauble said.
• Sayoc was not previously known to the Secret Service, law enforcement sources said.
• He has ties to New York, a source said.