A suspect has been arrested for mailing of 13 suspicious packages containing IED-type devices to prominent political opponents to President Trump. The suspect is 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Savoc Jr of Aventura, Florida.
According to a joint FBI and DOJ press conference earlier today a fingerprint and traces of DNA led the FBI to Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. The suspect is now charged with with five federal crimes, including mailing an incendiary device and threatening a former president. [Full Indictment Here] He faces up to 48 years in prison according to the DOJ.
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Mr. Sayoc left a fingerprint on one of the devices sent to U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, and DNA from two other devices links him to the attacks.
Director Wray outlined during his remarks that the devices consisted of PVC pipe, clocks, batteries, wiring and “energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction”. The FBI director went out of his way to state: “these were not hoax devices.”
Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr, 56, has a long criminal record including being arrested at least 10 times according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. One arrest in 2002 was for making a bomb threat to Florida Power and Light (FPL). His most recent encounter with law enforcement was for a 2015 probation violation.
Sun Sentinel News reported that Mr Sayoc was taken into custody Friday morning at an AutoZone auto parts store in Plantation, Florida. FBI agents and other law enforcement officers in the parking lot of the AutoZone then examined Mr. Sayoc’s white van which was covered with pro-Trump and pro-Republican stickers. The officials covered the van with a blue tarp, loaded it onto a truck and drove it away.
Several pictures of the van appear on social media from people in/around the area who took pictures due to the unique nature of it:
Unlike most FBI investigations of recent reference, this time there was apparently no effort to scrub the social media history of Mr. Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. from the internet; and multiple accounts liked to the suspect were quickly identified by media and independent research.
His twitter account was “@hardrock2016” [now suspended] and showed him attending at least one Trump rally, as well as the inauguration in DC. There are also older pictures from when he lived in New York, NY:
Initially Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated Mr. Sayoc could face up to 58-years in prison under the indictment. However, that statement was later corrected by DOJ spox to be a maximum of 48-years was possible from the current charges.
This is particularly curious given the very carefully worded statement from FBI Director Christopher Wray about the nature of the device(s): “energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction.” While Director Wray went to great lengths to state the devices were “not a hoax“, if the device was an actual explosive device the charges for each of the incidents would equal a life-term.
The terminology: “energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction“, could literally mean just about anything from CoffeeMate powered coffee creamer, to any other powered combustible.
As former federal proseuctor Andrew McCarthy noted, if the mailed IED devices were “functionally explosive” they would fall under the category “weapons of mass destruction” [defined here by U.S. code] and the indictment would include 18 US Code 2332a [SEE HERE] The absence of this charge infers the devices were not functionally explosive.
The pattern within the indictment in combination with the comments from the DOJ and FBI seems odd; and, in my humble opinion, rather political in nature from the perspective of FBI Director Christopher Wray (whom I think is extremely sketchy).
Here’s the indictment (Also in pdf form here):