Florida man arrested in connection with pipe bomb packages

by and

  • Photo via FBI
The FBI has confirmed that a man in Florida has been arrested in connection with the series of homemade explosive devices sent to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed to reporters Friday morning that a man in Plantation, Florida, was taken into custody. Multiple news agencies, citing law enforcement agents, are now confirming that the suspect, Cesar Sayoc Jr., is 56 years old and has an Aventura address.

He also has ties to New York and a criminal history.

A trail of DNA evidence led authorities to Sayoc, who was arrested at around 10 a.m. at an AutoZone in Plantation at 801 S. State Road 7, reports the Miami Herald.
Sayoc's van was also taken into custody. A Twitter user who said they saw the van at a stoplight back in April posted photos showing the vehicle covered in a variety of right-wing political bumper stickers, including decals advocating for the Republican Party; rifle scope images over the faces of Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and filmmaker Michael Moore; and another sticker showing a massive portrait of President Donald Trump on the left side window. Another sticker said, "CNN Sucks."

Officials will be holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET to discuss further details.
President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott have been briefed on the issue. Trump tweeted that he will be addressing the new developments while speaking at a Young Black Leadership conference this afternoon.

Just a couple of hours before today's arrest, in an early Friday morning tweet President Trump referred to the terrorist acts as "this bomb stuff" and inferred that the attacks were a false flag designed to slow down Republicans' momentum leading into the midterms.

"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!" said Trump. 

Gov. Scott also tweeted about the matter, thanking the local law enforcement and condemning the attempted bombings. "I have been briefed by FDLE on developments regarding the attempted bombings. ANY attempt to harm others is disgusting & has no place in Florida or our country. I appreciate the hard work of law enforcement to bring swift justice to whoever is responsible for these cowardly acts," tweeted Scott.

Plantation is within U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz's district. 

On Wednesday, a suspicious package was sent to the office of Wasserman Schultz hours after other top Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama, were also sent crude pipe bombs.

On Friday, two more packages containing explosive devices were found, NBC News reports. One addressed to U.S. Sen. Cory Booker was found in Florida, while another found in New York was addressed to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Earlier this week, packages were also sent to liberal billionaire philanthropist and Democratic backer George Soros, actor Robert De Niro and the CNN bureau in New York. 

No one has been physically injured by the explosive devices, which are being considered an act of domestic terrorism.

The package sent to Wasserman-Schultz was originally intended for former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. However, the address for Holder was incorrect, and Wasserman-Schultz's office in Sunrise was the return address.

This story is breaking news. Check back here for updates.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly
Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.