After days of panic, a Florida man has reportedly been arrested in connection with a string of mail bombs that were sent to prominent critics of President Trump.
The suspect in the cases is 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, Jr., who faces charges on five counts related to sending explosives and threats, and up to 58 years in prison. Authorities have found a total of 13 IEDs were sent to individuals around the country, officials said at the conference. “These are not hoax devices,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
Wray said forensic evidence, including a fingerprint, was discovered on the envelopes, and connected to previous samples taken from Sayoc.
The bombs were sent to prominent Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden, as well as to CNN, Robert De Niro, and George Soros. Aerial footage this morning showed authorities in the area of the arrest towing a van with pro-Trump stickers, which were also seen by local media.
The Secret Service successfully intercepted some of the packages this week, and the FBI said it was examining recovered devices for clues.
Trump announced at a previously scheduled event today that the suspect had been apprehended after a “far-reaching” investigation. “These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country,” Trump said. He added that “them, him, her, whoever it may be” will be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”
This morning, Trump bemoaned the potential effect of the bombs on Republicans’ midterm performance, adding quotation marks around the word bomb. Right-wing conspiracy theorists online have falsely claimed that the bombs are a hoax intended to politically damage the president, leading to questions about the president’s choice of punctuation.