Suspect revealed to be half-Filipino with extensive criminal record in Florida
THE U.S. Justice Department has formally charged 56-year-old Filipino-American Cesar Alteri Sayoc on Friday, October 26, after authorities arrested him in Plantation, Florida following a nationwide investigation on improvised explosive devices that were sent to liberal political leaders starting earlier this week.
Sayoc faces five federal charges and a total of 48 years of prison. The charges include attempting to kill a former president, assaulting federal officers, and illegally mailing explosives.
The criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, said that in the packages that included the improvised explosive devices, or “IEDS,” were photos of potential targets with red “X” marks on them.
Three of the potential political targets were former president Barack Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Other targets were billionaire George Soros, and actor Robert De Niro.
Investigators said they were able to trace Sayoc from DNA found on an envelope containing a bomb sent to Waters, and which matched DNA samples taken from Sayoc in an earlier Florida arrest.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a press conference on Friday that the homemade explosives that were discovered or intercepted this week were “not hoax devices.” He added that the bombs contained “energetic materials” that were packed into PVC pipes.
When asked about the allegedly targeted political figures being of the Democratic Party, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Sayoc “may have been a partisan… appears to be partisan, but that will be determined as the case goes forward.”
President Donald Trump in a White House statement, condemned the bomb scares, and praised law enforcement agencies in their efforts.
“These terrorizing acts are despicable and have nor place in our country,” said Trump. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America. We cannot let it happen.”
Fil-Am with extensive criminal record
Following the FBI’s announcement of Sayoc’s arrest, information about the bomb suspect began to emerge, revealing Sayoc as a half-Filipino registered Republican with a long criminal background dating back to 1991.
Lenny Altieri, a retired chef in Florida and a cousin of Sayoc’s mother Madeleine Altieri, told the New York Times that Sayoc was raised by his grandparents after having problems with his mother. Altieri said that Sayoc’s father was from the Philippines.
Altieri also told the New York Times that Sayoc once worked as a male stripper in South Florida nightclubs and was obsessed with bodybuilding. She said the last time she saw Sayoc was at a family gathering about six years ago, and that his political thinking “must have happened after Trump came along.”
Sayoc, who was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1962, described himself on his LinkedIn page as a “promoter, booking agent for live entertainment, owner and choreographer.”
He also claimed on his LinkedIn that his grandfather, Col. Baltazar Zook Sayoc, was an expert of the Philippine martial art Kali, who helped fight the Communist Party in the Philippines, and who “built all hospitals in Philippines islands.”
He also reportedly claimed to be a former professional soccer player and cage fighter in his bio on Twitter which has since been suspended.
Court documents show that Sayoc was first arrested on a felony theft charge in Florida back in 1991, and on charges of domestic violence in 1994.
Sayoc was also arrested in 2002 on charges of making bomb threats, according to public records.
A string of arrests followed with most recent ones prior to Friday’s arrest, being on theft and battery charges in 2013, and for stealing $58 worth of items from a WalMart in 2015.
Court documents also show that Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, three years after his home was foreclosed on in 2009.
Sayoc was also revealed to be an ardent Trump supporter who frequented Trump rallies while donning a red Donald Trump “MAGA” hat, and frequently tweeted conspiracy theories and memes about liberal public figures and CNN.
Among his tweeted conspiracy theories were that Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg was a protestor paid by Soros, that Waters was a “poverty pimp” who took money from Russians, and that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) took money from elderly people.
Sayoc was reportedly active on his now suspended Twitter account this week, tweeting about Democratic nominee for Florida governor Andrew Gillum, while investigators were looking into the bomb scares.
Upon Sayoc’s arrest, authorities impounded his white van which was covered in political images and stickers of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, along with a sticker that read “CNN Sucks.”