© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Florida Man Arrested In Pipe Bomb Deliveries Has Lengthy Local Arrest Record

The suspect arrested Friday morning by federal authorities in connection with several pipe bombs delivered across the country to prominent critics of President Trump has been identified as Cesar Altieri Sayoc.

The FBI says the 56-year-old South Florida man, whose van is reportedly covered with pro-Trump, anti-Democrat and anti-media stickers, is from Aventura and was taken into custody at an auto parts store in Plantation. Sayoc is a Republican who registered to vote in 2016.

Sayoc will be facing up to 58 years in prison for five federal charges he is facing, including threatening a former president and illegal mailings of explosives, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a press conference.

In 2002, Sayoc told a Florida Power and Light call operator that "FPL will get what they deserve and will be worse than 9/11," according to court documents. He was arrested for a felony following that call, for which he received probation.

Credit via Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
via Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office

Sayoc additionally has a lengthy arrest record dating back to 1991 for other felonies; battery (2013, adjudication withheld); grand theft (1991, pleaded guilty, and 2013, adjudication withheld); illicit sale and possession of steroid drugs (2004, not prosecuted); ID fraud (2004, pleaded guilty).

A civil suit was also brought against Sayoc in 1994 by a woman that appears to have been his grandmother for domestic abuse.

He also had a home foreclosure in Fort Lauderdale in 2009. 

In 2012, Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in Broward County. He listed his personal property as being worth $50. Sayoc "lives with his mother, owns no furniture," reads the filing.

Sayoc was born in Brooklyn, Ny., according to information he gave to the Broward County Sheriff's Office in past arrests.

On Twitter, Sayoc posted a short video of himself smiling at a Donald Trump rally. Using the same account, Sayoc identified himself as a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and as an employee of Hard Rock Live, which is owned by the tribe.

"We can find no evidence that Cesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri Sayoc, Ceasar Altieri Randazzo (Facebook) or Julus Cesar Milan (Twitter) is or was a member or employee of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, or is or was an employee of Seminole Gaming or Hard Rock International" the Tribe said in a statement issued on Friday. "At this time, we cannot verify if he is or was an employee of a vendor company."

In a tweet, President Trump thanked federal and local authorities. "I want to applaud the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of New York, the NYPD, and all Law Enforcement partners across the Country for their incredible work, skill and determination!" he tweeted.

An examination of Sayoc's Twitter account shows he frequently mentioned Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. His campaign isssued a statement saying: "Our top priority is ensuring our campaign, our volunteers, and our public events are safe, and we have taken strong security precautions."

"We have no evidence that any of our offices have been targeted, but we are in close contact with the authorities as this situation develops," said the statement issued by the Gillum campaign. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis took to Twitter to express his outrage at the threats of violence and asked that "the person responsible for these bombs needs to be in a place where mail can’t be sent."

This is a breaking news story. We will update as more information becomes available. 

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
Daniel Rivero is part of WLRN's new investigative reporting team. Before joining WLRN, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series "The Naked Truth," and a digital reporter for Fusion. He can be reached at drivero@wlrnnews.org
More On This Topic