56-year old Cesar Sayoc of Florida was arrested and charged Friday in connection with the investigation of suspicious packages sent nationwide to various democratic politicians and outspoken critics of President Donald Trump, including former President Barack Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sayoc was charged with transporting explosives across state lines, illegally mailing explosives, threatening former presidents and others, threatening interstate communications and assaulting federal officials. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he could face up to 58 years in prison.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a news conference Friday that he could confirm 13 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or “pipe bombs”, were sent to various individuals across the country. The packages were mailed in manila envelopes, each with the return address of Florida US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“Though we’re still analyzing the devices in our laboratory, these are not hoax devices,” Wray said.
Confirmed packages were sent to:
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Former President Barack Obama
- Former CIA Director John Brennan, care of CNN
- Former Director of National Intelligence and CNN contributor, James Clapper
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (one device)
- Business magnate, philanthropist, and political activist Geoge Soros
- Senator Cory Booker
- Senator Kamala Harris
- Actor and outspoken Trump critic Robert DeNiro
- US Representative Maxine Waters (two devices)
- Former Vice President Joseph Biden (two devices)
The Justice Department said investigators found his fingerprint on the package mailed to US Representative Maxine Waters. Sayoc has a criminal record, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat.
“Today’s arrest does not mean we’re out of the woods,” Wray said in the statement. “There may be other packages in transit now—other packages on the way. So we need the help of everyone out there—every citizen, every law enforcement partner, everyone we’ve got—to help with this investigation in the days to come.”