US federal agencies on Friday arrested a 56-year-old Florida man who is allegedly behind the mailing of over a dozen packages containing potentially explosive devices to prominent Democratic figures and outspoken critics of President Trump, the New York Times reported.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions identified the suspect as Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr., 56, of Florida, who has been charged with five federal crimes, including illegal mailing and interstate transportation of explosives. He currently faces up to 48 years in prison.
Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr, who owns a white van adorned with pro- Republican and pro-Trump stickers that was confiscated by the FBI, was identified in part due to DNA evidence, law-enforcement, informed NBC News. The FBI narrowed its investigation to the state of Florida late Thursday, after identifying that many of the packages went through a mailing facility outside Miami.
Sayoc, a registered Republican, has a long criminal record of at least 10 arrests for threatening to deploy bombs, possessing a stolen vehicle, and selling steroids, among other violations. In 1991, he pleaded guilty to grand theft to the third degree.
US President Trump praised the FBI, Secret Service, and other law enforcement for their rapid response in identifying and arresting the suspect. "We must never allow political violence to take root in America," he said.
Investigators are currently in the process of determining whether the pipe bomb like devices were actually meant to explode or used as a means to induce chaos in the run up to the midterm congressional elections.
Among those targeted by the packages include Hillary and Bill Clinton, billionaire George Soros, former president Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden, Hollywood actor Robert De Niro and former CIA director John Brennan.
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