U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Friday that Cesar Sayoc, the suspect in at least 13 suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats and others, is in the custody of the FBI and has been charged with five federal crimes.
Sayoc faces up to 58 years in prison if found guilty, Sessions said at a press conference announcing the charges.
“We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially political violence,” he said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the news conference that fingerprints on a package sent to Congresswoman Maxine Waters were confirmed to be that of Sayoc and warned that there could be other packages
FBI agents arrested a 56-year-old man in Florida on Friday suspected of sending more than a dozen parcel bombs to high-profile critics of U.S. President Donald Trump days ahead of congressional elections, authorities said.
Agents who took Cesar Sayoc into custody in Plantation, near Fort Lauderdale, also hauled away a white van that was plastered with pro-Trump stickers, the slogan “CNN SUCKS” and images of Democratic figures with red crosshairs over their faces.
Announcing the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest to a cheering audience at the White House, Trump said such “terrorizing acts” were despicable and had no place in the United States.
“We must never allow political violence to take root in America – cannot let it happen,” Trump said. “And I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it and to stop it now.”
According to public records, Sayoc is a registered Republican and has been arrested numerous times over the years including one case in which he was accused of making a bomb threat.
Four more suspicious packages were found on Friday, according to officials and media reports, bringing the total to 14. None of the devices has detonated, and no injuries have been reported.
The intended recipients of packages discovered on Friday included Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Democratic U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California and Democratic donor Tom Steyer.