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Federal authorities have arrested a man at an Auto Zone in Plantation, Florida connected with a series of package bombs sent to prominent Democrats and Democratic supporters this week.
Identified as Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., law enforcement says he has previous criminal ties to the New York area.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Sayoc has been arrested at least ten times, including once in 2002 for making a bomb threat and in 2015 for a probation violation.
At a Department of Justice briefing after the arrest, FBI Director Chris Wray stated that DNA evidence from one of his previous arrests was directly connected to one of the explosive devices intercepted this week. Sayoc has been charged with five federal crimes:
1) Interstate transportation of explosive
2) Illegal mailing of explosives
3) Threats on former presidents and others
4) Threatening interstate communications
5) Assaulting federal officers.
Wray also stated that the deadly explosives sent to nation’s prominent Democrats were “definitely NOT a hoax.”
DOJ briefing on captured package bombing suspect
Earlier in the day, the FBI announced suspicious packages addressed to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper — similar in appearance to pipe bomb devices sent to other prominent Democrats — had been intercepted.
Friday afternoon, the FBI confirmed another package that was sent to Sen. Kamala Harris’ office in Sacramento contained a pipe bomb and was connected to the those Sayoc allegedly sent earlier in the week.
Various online profiles associated with Sayoc state he is a member of the Seminole Native American tribe of Florida, but there is no indication that either he, or his family have any lineage or association with the Seminole. Stickers bearing the Seminole name were found on the white van authorities took into custody.
CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.
The van was also covered with various Donald Trump and MAGA stickers.
On what is believed to be Sayoc’s Twitter feed, there are hundreds of Pro-Trump and anti-Democratic memes. His last tweet, posted October 24, is a collection of memes attacking billionaire donor George Soros and Democratic Florida Governor candidate Andrew Gillum.
The meme was posted two days after a package containing a pipe bomb was found at Soros’s residence in Katonah, NY.
Many of Sayoc’s tweets and memes also include the phrase “We Entire Seminoje Tribe…” , or variations thereof:
CGTN America has also verified that, earlier in October, twitter user @RochelleRitchie received threats from Sayoc.
Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious. Well guess what it’s the guy who has been sending #bombs to high profile politicians!!!! pic.twitter.com/xBY8FMbqnq
— R O C H E L L E (@RochelleRitchie) October 26, 2018
State documents also verify, as of Sept. 30, 2018, Sayoc was a registered Republican. State corporation filings show him as an owner or manager of two businesses, Native American Catering and Vending and Ver Tech AG.
Plantation is located in the Miami area of Florida. In recent days, the investigation into this week’s wave of package bombs had focused on a mail processing facility in the area.
Peter Vincent on the latest in the US package bombs
It is believed many of the package bombs sent this week were processed at a distribution center in Opa-locka, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, said law enforcement officials Thursday.
“Our bomb squad and K-9 Unit are currently providing assistance to our federal partners at the Opa-locka mail facility as part of the ongoing investigation into suspicious packages located in other jurisdictions,” FBI spokesman Argemis Colome stated Thursday.
At a previously scheduled event at the White House, President Trump congratulated law enforcement for Sayoc’s arrest.