Mail Bombing Suspect Arrested; FBI Director Wray Says Not "Hoax Devices"

Update4: FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a Friday press conference that "these were not "hoax" devices," and that Sayoc's fingerprint was found on a package mailed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). DNA on two IEDs linked to a sample from a prior arrest of Sayoc helped capture him. 

When asked if Sayoc acted alone, Wray said: "This is very much an active and ongoing investigation. We do believe that we've caught the right guy." 

Update3: Suspicious packages were intercepted in California on Friday addressed to Sen. Kamala Harris and billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer, according to the Sacramento Bee

The FBI and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department are on scene at a post office in south Sacramento investigating the possibility that a mail bomb similar to a dozen others mailed to prominent political figures and news organizations around the country has been found there, authorities say.

“We are investigating reports of a suspicious package in South Sacramento,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton said. “It resembles the ones that have been reported throughout the country.”


The facility was evacuated and closed, and FBI and U.S. Postal Service investigators and the Sacramento Fire Department were at the scene. A robot was being used to go in and out of the facility, and sheriff’s deputies were going door to door in the neighborhood telling residents to stay inside. -Sacramento Bee

Update2: President Trump announced the apprehension and arrest, and says the suspect will be "prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

Update: NBC News has identified the suspect as 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc Jr.

According to the New York Times, citing public records, Sayoc has a lengthy criminal history dating back to at least 1991, including felony theft, drug and fraud charges, and being accused of a bomb threat

Social media posts reveal that Sayoc is an ardent Trump supporter, attending at least one Trump rally: 

Based on the Facebook posts, the person identifying as Sayoc was fixated on the idea America would be at risk of terror under Clinton.

“Wake up America FBI director warns an attack like never seen before here in America will happen. We can’t afford risk American lives with Hilary Clinton. They will infiltrate refugees guaranteed,” the person wrote. -Yahoo!

According to The Times: 

• His criminal record from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement indicates that at the time of his last arrest in 2015, he was 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds. He has brown eyes, black hair and a scar on his left arm, the records said, and was born in New York. The records listed Mr. Sayoc’s occupation as “manager.”

• According to a 2012 bankruptcy petition filed in Miami, Mr. Sayoc resided at the time at his mother’s home. “Lives w/mom,” a handwritten note on the petition said. “Has no furniture.”

More from the Daily Mail: 

He claims to be Native American, and according to a picture posted on his social media page, he is a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

Other information from his LinkedIn page suggests that Sayoc is Filipino. 

The profile includes dubious claims that could not be immediately independently confirmed, including that Sayoc is a promoter for male striptease troupe Chippendales, and that he is enrolled in a veterinary medicine program. -Daily Mail


Federal authorities arrested a Florida man at approximately 10:30 a.m. Friday in connection with a spate of suspected explosive devices mailed to prominent Democrats and anti-Trump figures over the past week. 

According to CBS Miami, the man, 56, was arrested in the Miami area after discovering DNA evidence and using cell phone data which led them to the suspect - reportedly at a Plantation Auto Zone in Broward County, miles away from the Sunrise, FL office of Congresswoman Debbie Wassermsan-Schultz - the return address on the mailed devices. 

The Miami Herald, meanwhile, reports that the suspect is from Aventura and is being questioned by FBI agents along with the joint terrorism task force.

A law enforcement source tells the Miami Herald the arrest was made at an auto parts store in Plantation. Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reports a “loud explosion” was heard at the time of the arrest, possibly from an FBI flash bomb device. -Miami Herald

Department of Justice Director of Public Affairs, Sarah Igsur Flores, confirmed that one person is in custody. A press conference is scheduled for 2:30 pm ET.

President Trump, meanwhile, will address the investigation shortly: 

According to security and terrorism expert, David Videcette, the man has previously made "terroristic threats" and was under surveillance for the past 24 hours. 

The arrest follows the interception of two more suspicious packages Friday morning, addressed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former National Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper which was also addressed to CNN - bringing the total number of mailings to 13, after New York police say an X-rayed package revealed an object which appeared to be a pipe bomb. 

(Previous list of recipients)

The device for Booker was addressed to his Camden, New Jersey office but was intercepted in Florida, while the device addressed to Clapper and CNN was found in a Manhattan post office, which was evacuated in response. 

"At apporximately 8:15 a.m. an alert postal worker who was aware of a series of suspected pipe bombs in packages going through the mail recognized a package that postal workers across the country had been warned about and shown photographs of in the system here at Radio City station," said John Miller, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism. "This area was secured while emergency service and the NYPD Bomb Squad responded. The package was isolated in the post office. The Bomb Squad was able to use their equipment to conduct an X-ray. Inside they saw what appears to be a pipe bomb consistent with other devices we’ve seen this week contained in a package consistent with the packaging we’ve seen this week."

Clapper called the packages "domestic terrorism." 

"My wife and I are away from home right now. And our neighbors have been retrieving our mail. Been very concerned about them. So in one sense, it’s kind of a relief, but it’s not a surprise," he said. "This is definitely domestic terrorism. No question about it in my mind."

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