Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc is charged with sending explosive packages

Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc is charged with sending explosive packages, by Pete Williams.

A Florida man was charged Friday in connection with the series of bombs found this week addressed to critics of President Donald Trump, law enforcement officials said shortly after more devices were found.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, who has been arrested before, was in custody, law enforcement officials said. DNA evidence played a role in the arrest, law enforcement told NBC News. …

The break in the case came when fingerprints were lifted off a suspicious package mailed to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and two DNA samples from mailings to the congresswoman and former President Barack Obama, according to the criminal complaint.

The prints and DNA linked the packages to Sayoc, officials said.

“This is phenomenal work under the greatest pressure under an incredibly tight time frame,” Wray said. …

Sayoc has an extensive criminal past, records showed. He was arrested in 2002 for threatening to throw a bomb; he pleaded guilty and was given a special sentence in which probation is ordered but a formal conviction is not made. He was also arrested for theft in 1992 and 2014.

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and is a registered Republican, according to public records. His cousin, who asked not to be identified, said Sayoc had worked in strip clubs as a dancer and a bouncer.

“He’s always been a little bit of a loose cannon. He’s always been a lost soul,” the cousin said. “Too many steroids in his day. That stuff will melt your brain.” …

Sayoc’s Twitter feed is full of partially incoherent attacks on Democrats and the media. …

Earlier in the day, after Friday’s bombs were discovered, Trump tweeted, “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows — news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!.”

At least some of the devices sent were flawed in varying ways and would not have exploded, investigators said Thursday. But it’s unclear whether the deficiencies were intentional or the result of faulty construction, and officials urged the public to remain vigilant.