A suspect is under arrest in the series of suspicious packages that were sent to former presidents and top Democratic officials, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The male suspect was arrested at a business in Plantation, Florida, according to multiple media reports.
The Justice Department confirmed that his name is Cesar Sayoc, of South Florida. Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned the crimes and labeled the suspect as a “partisan.”
Early on, Pix11 News reporter Myles Miller wrote on Twitter, “BREAKING: Senior law-enforcement sources have confirmed this suspect is Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Fort Lauderdale, Fl.”
You can read more about Cesar Sayoc here. According to videos from the scene, his van was covered with Trump and Republican oriented stickers. He is a registered Republican, according to Florida voter records. Read more about his politics here.
Sayoc’s Twitter and Facebook pages were filled with pro Trump and Republican commentary and showed him at Trump rallies and even the inauguration. In some photos, he wore a Make America Great Again hat.
Here’s an example from his social media page:
CNN is reporting that authorities towed a vehicle, a white van, from the business. The van was outside an Auto Zone, according to video from the scene. Sayoc was a customer there, CNN reported. The news of the suspect’s arrest came after a 12th package was discovered. It was addressed to James Clapper. The suspect lives in Southern Florida, according to CNN.
A video on his Twitter page shows a Trump rally:
His home address is in Aventura, Florida, according to CNN, and he has a criminal history and ties to New York. Fox News reported that he lives in north Miami Beach, is about 56, and is a white male. The prior arrests were for terrorist threats, Fox added.
Fox News reported that authorities had been watching the man for the past 24 hours. Cameras at a self-service kiosk helped authorities identify the man, Fox News reported. He was tracked through a cell phone number, CNN reported.
President Trump condemned the attack as despicable.
The president said, “I am pleased to inform you that law enforcement has apprehended the suspect and taken him into custody. This is an incredible job by law enforcement. We’ve carried out a far-reaching federal, state and local investigation… these terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country. I’ve instructed authorities to spare no resource or expense…we will prosecute them, him, her, whoever it may be to the fullest extent of the law. We must never allow political violence to take root in America, and I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it, and to stop it now.”
Before the arrest, Trump had tweeted, “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!” He also wrote, “Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, “it’s just not Presidential!”
CNN reported that the network heard late on October 25, 2018 that authorities had made significant progress in the investigation. NYPD officials were also spotted at the scene in Plantation, Florida. The white van appeared to be covered with stickers and decals. Here’s a closer look at the stickers:
Plantation is located about 37 minutes from Miami and is in Broward County.
According to the network, there may be forensic evidence and images linked to the suspect. The network added that it’s believed federal authorities got their break in the case when authorities traced the packages’ path to a sorting facility in Florida. CNN later reported that they think forensic evidence does exist in the case.
Authorities Traced the Packages to a Mail Sorting Facility in Opa-Locka, Florida
NBC News reported that the sorting facility in question was an U.S. Postal Service facility in South Florida. The mail sorting facility was located in Opa-locka, Florida, and the Miami-Dade Police Department had indicated it was assisting federal agents who had zeroed in on that facility.
Among others, the packages, with crude explosive devices that did not explode, were sent to former Presidents Barack Obama and the residence of Bill and Hillary Clinton. One package turned up in the CNN mail room. Other critics of President Donald Trump, from George Soros to John Brennan to Robert De Niro, had packages sent to them. No one has been injured.
High Point University said in a statement that what the suspect wrote on LinkedIn about his educational background was false. “Cesar Altieri Sayoc never attended nor applied to High Point University,” the university stated in an email.