What we know about Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man suspected of mailing more than a dozen bombs

October 26, 2018 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Detroit Free Press

The Florida man arrested Friday and expected to be charged in connection with the mailing of more than a dozen bomb-like devices to prominent Democrats around the country has a criminal record,including a felony charge in 2002 for threatening to “throw, project, place, or discharge any destructive device.” 

Cesar Altieri Sayoc, 56, a registered Republican from South Florida, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Florida as a child, records showHe’s a 1980 graduate of North Miami Beach High School whose last known address was Aventura in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Sayoc has been identified by law enforcement authorities as being responsible for the mailings of bomb-like devices to top Democrats, including former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, according to an FBI complaint released Friday afternoon.

The latest package, found Friday, was addressed to liberal billionaire activist Tom Steyer who has spent millions calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In a statement, Steyer confirmed the packaged mailed to him was intercepted at a mail facility in Burlingame, California.

Sayoc has been charged with five federal counts, including interstate transport of explosives, and faces a maximum 48 years in prison if convicted.

Sayoc was arrested Friday morning in PlantationFlorida, near an auto store.

Here’s what we know about him:

He has an extensive criminal record:

Online records show that Sayoc has a string of arrest records that date back to 1991 for alleged theft and drug offenses, along with traffic infractions. As recently as May 2015, he was arrested in Palm Beach for an alleged retail theft. He was found guilty in October 2015, the records show.

In 2002, according to online court records from Miami-Dade County, Sayoc was charged with threatening to “throw, project, place, or discharge any destructive device.” The records don’t detail the specific circumstances of the incident but a destructive device is described in the statute as a “bomb, grenade, mine, rock, missile, pipebomb or similar device.” Sayoc eventually was placed on one-year probation for the second-degree felony.

Daniel Lurvey, a Miami-Dade defense attorney, represented Sayoc in two theft cases in 2013 and 2014. He described Sayoc as a pretty normal guy who didn’t seem the type to mail suspected pipe bombs.

“If I went down my list of clients and you said pick the Top 20 that you think might be capable of this, he wouldn’t even be close,” Lurvey told the Naples Daily News. “Something was going on, but if you sat with him and spoke with him you wouldn’t walk away thinking he was a violent guy or be concerned for your safety.”

Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Daniel Aaronson said he represented Sayoc in several criminal cases, including one in which the defendant was accused of stealing a suit from a retail store and was charged with battery after being tackled by a store detective. Aaronson said he stammered audibly when he first learned Friday that Sayoc had been arrested and charged in the bomb investigation.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever represented anybody that was more respectful towards me and more polite than he was,” Aaronson said in a telephone interview. “It is so out of my belief that he could do something like this. It’s not one of these things where I would say to you, ‘I was waiting for something like this to happen.’ It’s the complete opposite. I would never think he would do violence to another person.”

He filed for bankruptcy in 2012

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy, in June 2012. At the time, he was living with his mother and owed more than $20,000 to creditors, mostly banks,records show.

His total employment income the year before was just over $7,500. And he had collected about $16,000 in unemployment between 2009 and 2010, according to the bankruptcy records.

Sayoc also lost his Fort Lauderdale home in a foreclosure in September 2009, according to court records. He filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2012. The court records in that case state he had just $4,175 in assets, including a 2001 Chevy Tahoe with 285,000 miles, and $21,109 in liabilities.

More: Trump praises law enforcement for apprehending suspect in suspicious package case

More: Man in custody in relation to the 12 bomb-like packages identified as Cesar Sayoc

He spewed strong feelings on social media

Sayoc is linked to Twitter accounts vilifying Democrats, particularly liberal donor George Soros (who received one of the packages) and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum.

Recent activity in what appear to be two social media accounts belonging to Sayoc paint a picture of a staunch supporter of Trump and Ron DeSantis, the GOP nominee for governor who the president has endorsed, as well as Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Other posts vilify Gillum, Tallahassee’s mayor, who is locked in a fierce batttle with DeSantis.

A Wednesday post included an anti-Gillum meme with the caption “$500,000 SOROS PUPPET” and a photo of the liberal philanthropist George Soros, who has contributed to Gillum’s campaign and had a bomb delivered to his home this week, holding a puppet meant to resemble Gillum.

Other posts criticize the Clintons and accuse David Hogg, one of the survivors of the Parkland school shooting earlier this year of working with Soros to oust Republcians from Congress.

He had trouble with businesses

Sayoc listed his employment as store manager of Hassanco Investments in Hollywood, Florida, from his bankruptcy filing. He received unemployment benefits in 2009 and 2010, the filing stated.

Online Florida business records show that Sayoc in September 2016 registered as the manager for a new Hallandale Beach, Florida, business called Native American Catering & Vending LLC. The state listed the business as inactive last month.

He also previously was the president of a Hallandale Beach company called Proud Native American One Low Price Drycleaning, the state business records show. Registered in 2001, that business was declared inactive the following year, the records show.

He made his feelings known while driving

Sayoc also drove a white van, according to the FBI complaint laying out he case against him.

The windows of SAYOC’s van were covered with images including images critical of CNN. Television stations and social media showed images of an impounded white van whose back and side windows were blanketed with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers.

CBS Evening News tweeted an image of the van:

CBS Evening News


MORE: Image taken at earlier date shows white van covered in decals of Pres. Trump, targets over the likenesses of Hillary Clinton, former Pres. Obama, filmmaker Michael Moore; it’s believed to be same van at scene of suspect’s arrest in Plantation, Fla. https://cbsn.ws/2Prh2ss 

Contributing: Ryan Mills, Ana Ceballos, Naples Daily News; Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY