Florida Man Charged in Connection With Mailed Explosive Devices

The president spoke in North Carolina shortly after a suspect was arrested for allegedly putting 14 pipe bombs in manila envelopes and sending them to Trump's most vocal critics, including former president Barack Obama, former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro and others.

A 56-year-old Florida man was charged Friday in the nationwide mail-bomb scare targeting prominent Democrats. He faces up to 48 years in prison if convicted.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, speaking at the same news conference, said at least 13 IEDs were sent in the packages, and each mailing included 6 inches of PVC pipe, a small clock and potentially explosive material.

None of the bombs exploded, but Wray said "these are not hoax devices".

"I've been told by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that this is their highest priority and they're on top of it", she said.

Authorities are still investigating whether other people were involved and did not rule out the possibility of further arrests or more explosive devices in the mail.

That break allowed authorities to narrow their search, which - combined with DNA and fingerprint samples left on a package sent to Rep. Maxine Waters and cell phone geolocation information - led to Cesar Sayoc, even as new devices were being found in NY and California.

On Friday, Ritchie wrote: "Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn't find it that serious".

Sayoc was no stranger to law enforcement, racking up several arrests for larceny, fraud and drug possession.

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In 2013, Sayoc was again arrested in Broward County for felony auto theft, with an accompanying charge for felony battery and resisting a merchant. The white van he drove to deliver pizzas was covered in disturbing images, she said, so the restaurant required him to park it on the side where it could not be seen. Federal authorities took Cesar Sayoc into custody on October 26, 2018, and confiscated his van, which appears to be the same one. Those who saw him in the neighbourhood, unmistakable in a white van plastered with Trump's image and political stickers, described him as unsettling and troubled.

Another Twitter post references the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose return address was used for the packages containing pipe bombs.

The most recent bomb connected to Sayoc was addressed to major Democratic donor Tom Steyer. Kamala Harris of California said investigators were looking at a package sent to her office.

"We must never allow political violence to take root in America - can not let it happen", Mr Trump said to cheers at the White House just before Mr Sayoc was detained. "We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially not political violence", said Sessions.

"As you know the suspect has been captured - great job - and is now in federal custody", Trump said as crowds waved signs behind them.

Earlier Friday, he complained that "this "bomb" stuff" was taking attention away from the upcoming election and said critics were wrongly blaming him and his heated rhetoric.

The Clapper and Brennan packages were marked care of CNN, a television network often critical of the administration and long provoking Trump's ire.

Law enforcement officials said they had intercepted a dozen packages in states across the country.

An employee at George Soros' home in Bedford, New York, found an object that resembled an explosive in the compound's mailbox and called the police.

  • Sonia Alvarado