Cesar Sayoc, the man arrested in the nationwide mail-bomb scare targeting prominent political figures, has a long criminal history and is known on social media for posting inflammatory comments about leading Democrats.
Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., faces five federal charges, including illegally mailing explosives and making threats against former presidents. He faces up to 48 years in prison if found guilty, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.
Sayoc was previously known to law enforcement officials and has been arrested nearly a dozen times in Florida, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat. His first arrest in the state was at age 29 for larceny. Other charges against him have included grand theft, fraud and illegal possession of steroids.
Social media profiles that apparently belonged to Sayoc contain posts attacking political foes of President Donald Trump. According to records, Savoc is a registered Republican.
After FBI agents arrested Sayoc in Plantation, Fla., on Friday, they hauled away his white van. Media reports showed images of the van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, American flags, and images of Democratic figures with red cross hairs over their faces.
A friend of Sayoc’s, Justin Humberger, told VOA that “every conversation you ever get into with Cesar, it comes around to politics.” He described Sayoc’s political leanings as “very pro-Trump,” but said he did not see any violent tendencies coming from him.
Sayoc is so far the only person who has been arrested in connection with the mailings of at least a dozen suspicious packages to political and media figures, including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Authorities are still investigating whether other people were involved in case and have not ruled out the possibility of further arrests.