Last week, the world watched the inevitable outcome of Donald Trump’s violent and childish rhetoric.
Over the course of the week, notable critics of Trump, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, other prominent Democrats like Robert De Niro, and CNN’s New York headquarters received pipe bombs in the mail.
Luckily, none of the amateur devices detonated, and no one was hurt. That said, the blatant domestic terror attack on people who oppose Trump was shockingly in keeping with the way the current president ran his campaign and continues to campaign to a group who affiliate with, amongst other things, white nationalism and far-right conservative values.
One of his avid supporters was arrested on Friday in connection with the bombing attempts. Here’s what we know about Cesar Sayoc:
Florida resident Sayoc’s police record proves that he’s no stranger to criminal activity, reports The Drive.
But he’s never been sent to prison, racking up felony charges in across various jurisdictions and receiving probation each time. In 1991, Sayoc was arrested and charged with third-degree grand theft for allegedly stealing a car in Broward County; he eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to two years probation.
He also has a history of making bomb threats. In 2002, he was hit with a felony charge for making a bomb threat in Dade County. He pleaded guilty and was afforded more probation. He ended up on probation again in 2013, after pleading guilty, again, to felony auto theft.
That’s only part of the picture. According to public records, Sayoc’s been arrested at least 10 times in Florida and once in North Carolina for everything from possession of a stolen vehicle to possession of anabolic steroids with intent to sell. He’s been ticketed for a host of other traffic violations: driving on a suspended license, speeding, running red lights, et cetera.
Sayoc’s social media paints a picture of a very disturbed mind:
When FBI agents arrested Sayoc on Friday, they also seized a white Dodge Ram van covered in pro-Trump stickers and conspiratorial messages, which reportedly belongs to the bombing suspect.
Sayoc’s devotion to Trump is also evident in this footage of him at a campaign rally:
Which brings us to how he was arrested. According to The Independent, The FBI tracked down Sayoc in under five days.
Mobile phone data, DNA records, spelling mistakes and a single fingerprint all played a part in leading to the arrest of Cesar Sayoc at a parking lot in Plantation, Florida.
Mr Trump said investigators had done “an incredible job” in bringing in a suspect so quickly after a string of suspicious packages were discovered at homes and offices in New York, Florida and California.
Trump, on the other hand, did an incredible job creating the kind of political and social environment that allows disturbed minds Sayoc’s to flourish.
The big break came when a single fingerprint found on a package intended for California lawmaker Maxine Waters matched a fingerprint of Mr Sayoc’s on file with Florida authorities.
A DNA sample from a device intended for former president Barack Obama similarly matched the suspect’s DNA, the FBI revealed.
The spelling errors found on the packages also corresponded with Sayoc’s online posts. Five packages were traced back to the Opa-Locka distribution centre just outside of Miami.
And mobile phone geolocation information was also used to track him to Plantation, a small city six miles outside Fort Lauderdale.
Around 50 armed officers swarmed Mr Sayoc as he approached a white van in the parking lot outside an auto parts store. They ordered him to the ground and he did not resist.
New packages addressed to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former National Intelligence director James Clapper were intercepted.
Sayoc is in custody, and investigators are still examining the material found in more than 12 packages.
Authorities have warned that despite the arrest there is a chance that there are more bombs in transit.
Looks like Sayoc’s luck in court has finally run out. There’ll be no probation this time.
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