A man suspected of sending more than a dozen suspicious packages containing what authorities described as potentially explosive devices to Democratic political leaders, including Los Angeles Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, was arrested Friday in Florida.
Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, was arrested in Plantation, Florida. According to media reports out of Florida, Sayoc, reported to be a registered Republican, has a history of arrests, including making a bomb threat in 2002.
In conjunction with the arrest, a white van — decorated with pro-Trump stickers and images of some Democrats with targets on them — was seized by federal authorities and towed away.
He was arrested in connection with 13 devices mailed to Democratic figures, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Two of the packages were also sent to Waters — one that was intercepted at a congressional mail facility in Maryland and another that prompted an evacuation of a postal service facility in South Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles facility near Central and Florence avenues was evacuated Wednesday afternoon. Los Angeles police, along with federal authorities, descended on the scene, and the suspicious item was rendered safe at around 7 p.m.
Federal authorities said the Los Angeles package was similar to those sent to other Democrats on the East Coast. The packages were all plain manila envelopes, with a return address of the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, a fingerprint found on one of the packages addressed to Waters matched Sayoc. He also said there is “a possible DNA connection” between Sayoc and samples taken from two of the recovered devices.
“Each device consisted of roughly six inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, some wiring and what is known as `energetic material,’ which is essentially potential explosives and material that gives off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock or friction,” Wray said. “Though we’re still analyzing the devices in our laboratory, these are not hoax devices.”