How FBI Caught Suspected Mail Bomber Cesar Sayoc Jr.
A single fingerprint on a suspicious package mailed to Rep. Maxine Waters helped authorities nab the man who allegedly sent at least 13 suspected pipe bombs to high-profile Democratic figures over the past week, officials said Friday.
“Once I knew that they had a print, I was pretty confident we’d be able to find the right person,” FBI director Chris Wray said at a press conference.
Investigators also found a possible DNA connection between samples on two separate IEDs and material collected from suspect Cesar Sayoc in a previous arrest in Florida, Wray added.
Sayoc, 56, was arrested in Plantation, Florida, earlier Friday and was charged with five federal crimes — including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives and threats against former presidents, officials said.
He will be prosecuted in Manhattan and faces up to 58 years behind bars.
Each of the 13 devices was made from around six inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring and “energetic material” — which Wray described as “potential explosives and material that give off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock or friction.”
“Though we’re still analyzing the devices, these are not hoax devices,” Wray said.
Some of the packages also included photographs of the intended recipient marked with a red “X,” according to the criminal complaint.
Targets included former President Obama, whose first name was misspelled as “Barrack” on the envelope, and Hillary Clinton — spelled “Hilary,” the complaint says. Waters was written as “Maxim Waters.”
Asked why Sayoc was allegedly targeting Democrats, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he couldn’t say “other than what you might normally expect.”
“He may have been — appears to be partisan, but that will be determined by the facts as the case goes forward. I’m not able to comment on that,” Sessions said.
Sayoc, a registered Republican, drives a van plastered in images of President Trump and anti-press messages like “CNN SUCKS.”