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Cesar Sayoc, Package Bomb Suspect, Is A Florida Trump Supporter – Live Updates

Cesar Sayoc fast facts:

  • Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested Friday in South Florida. He has a lengthy criminal history.
  • At least 14 explosive devices were found and authorities are still searching for more.
  • The bombs were addressed to prominent Democrats and vocal opponents of President Trump.
  • None of the homemade devices exploded; FBI Director Chris Wray said they are not "hoax devices."
  • Sayoc faces five federal charges and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Following a nationwide manhunt, federal authorities have arrested a 56-year-old Florida man accused of sending a series of explosive devices to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump. The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, was arrested Friday and charged with five federal crimes. He faces up to 48 years in prison.

Sayoc is accused of sending at least 14 homemade bombs to politicians, including former President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others. According to a criminal complaint, investigators said packages sent to his intended targets included their photos with red X's through them.

A fingerprint and a cellphone signal helped lead investigators to Sayoc, who has openly and aggressively threatened Democrats online. Sayoc has an extensive rap sheet and has been an outspoken supporter of Mr. Trump.

Following his arrest, Sayoc was brought to an FBI office in South Florida where he was fingerprinted and processed, a law enforcement source told CBS News. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

Follow package bomb investigation updates below:

Sayoc's former boss says "he spewed a lot of hatred"

A woman who was Cesar Sayoc's boss at a pizza restaurant in South Florida said he showed up on time and that people liked him. She also said: "He spewed a lot of hatred."

"He was definitely not right in the head," said the woman, Debra Gureghian, who manages the restaurant.

She said that while he was an attentive employee, he often expressed extreme political views, CBS News' David Begnaud reports.

"He was real racist. He was vile. You know, anti-everything. But I really don't know who I was talking to nightly," she said.

Sayoc was "a loner" and formerly a stripper, cousin says

Lenny Altieri, Cesar Sayoc's cousin, told The Associated Press that Sayoc had been a stripper. Altieri also said, "I know the guy is a lunatic," and added, "He has been a loner."

Sayoc described himself online as a booker as well as a promoter for burlesque shows.

Recently, he worked as a DJ and doorman at Ultra Gentlemen's Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to CBS affiliate WPEC. He worked there for about two months, said Stacy Saccal, the general manager.

She said he seemed normal and that he didn't cause any problems.

"It's scary to see someone four times a week, four days a week, and who you talk to often, that they would be capable of doing something like that," said Saccal.

Sayoc was at the club on Thursday. Scott Meigs, a fellow DJ who says he was Sayoc's friend, said Sayoc volunteered to work for him that night so he could spend time with his son.

Imon Karim, an owner of a security company in West Palm Beach, said he met Sayoc after a meeting with the Ultra owners weeks ago. Karim said text messages he received from Sayoc after they exchanged numbers were odd and endless, WPEC reported.

"This guy was sending me stuff on how to persuade me how to vote, he was actually sending me the ballots," he said.

Twitter: "We made a mistake" not suspending Sayoc tweet

In a tweet late Friday, Twitter said it "made a mistake" in not suspending a tweet sent from an account that belonged to package bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc.

Political commentater Rochelle Ritchie tweeted earlier Friday that she had reported a user for making threats against her after she appeared on Fox News. She tweeted a screenshot of Twitter's response, which said that the company found "no violation of Twitter Rules against abusive behavior."

That account is one that belonged to Sayoc. After Ritchie's tweet went viral, the company responded by saying that "tweet clearly violated our rules and should have been removed."

"We are deeply sorry for that error," it said.

Sayoc was a prolific poster and tweeter. He is a registered Republican who frequently lashed out at high profile politicians, actors and businessmen. He posted videos of himself at Trump rallies.

Retired cop who arrested suspect in 2002 says he's "not well"

A Miami police investigator who arrested Cesar Sayoc for threatening to blow up a Florida Power and Light building in 2002 told CBS Miami he was not surprised when he heard Sayoc was arrested in connection with the recent spate of package bombs.

"Unfortunately, in law enforcement things like this can come back up," said the retired investigator, who spoke on condition his name not be released.

"I obviously think this person is not well," he said.

According to a 2002 police report, Sayoc called a representative at Florida Power and Light, threatened to blow up the building and said it would be "worse than September 11." He also said something would happen to the representative if they cut his electricity.

"There was nothing significant that stands out about that case," the former bomb squad investigator said.

"We were getting a lot of calls right after 9/11," he said, adding the complaint also came in the midst of the anthrax mail threats that were terrorizing elected officials. "Normally the bomb squad gets a couple of calls a month. Back then [in 2002] we were getting fifteen a day."

The investigator, along with an agent from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, drove to Sayoc's apartment in Hallandale Beach to arrest him. The police report listed Sayoc's occupation in 2002 as "Dry Cleaner."

The investigator said the arrest went smoothly and that Sayoc was cooperative. He eventually pleaded guilty to the bomb threat charge and was sentenced to one year probation.

Now a private security consultant, the former bomb technician said soon after Sayoc was arrested Friday morning he started getting phone calls from former law enforcement colleagues. "I remembered the name, but not the picture," he said.

The former Miami police investigator said it was impressive, but not shocking, that federal agents made an arrest in the package bomb case so quickly. "The investigative tools available for law enforcement now are amazing," he said. "There are always leads available."

Trump rally crowd chants "CNN sucks"

At a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, President Trump criticized the media for its coverage of Cesar Sayoc's arrest.

"Political violence must never, ever be allowed in America and I will do everything in my power to stop it," Mr. Trump said, calling for an "end to the politics of personal destruction." He added that "the media has a major role to play, whether they want to or not."

The crowd then chanted "CNN sucks," while Mr. Trump looked on.

"The media has tried to attack the incredible supporters of our movement," he said, segueing to discussing his administration's accomplishments. "We want honest coverage from the media. That's all we want." He also repeated his claim that he was a "nationalist," not a "globalist," but he wants "to help the globe."

Mr. Trump began the rally by addressing Sayoc's arrest, applauding the FBI, the Secret Service, and state and local law enforcement. "We love our police, and we love our law enforcement," he said.

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