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Cesar Sayoc: What to know about the suspect in the mail bombs case

Cesar Sayoc pleaded guilty to 68 counts Thursday, including charges of using a weapon of mass destruction.

Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 in

Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 in connection with the bomb packages mailed to more than a dozen critics of President Donald Trump, officials said. Right, an officer examines Sayoc's van before it was removed. Photo Credit: Composite: Broward County Sheriff / WPLG via AFP

Cesar Altieri Sayoc pleaded guilty on Thursday to mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump last year.

The Brooklyn native, who has been in custody since his arrest in October and initially pleaded not guilty, admitted to 68 counts, including charges of using a weapon of mass destruction.

Sayoc, a 57-year-old former stripper and part-time pizza deliveryman, sent at least 16 explosive devices in manila envelopes to prominent Democrats, critics of Trump and CNN. 

None of the bombs exploded and no injuries were reported.

Read on to learn more about Sayoc.

Sayoc is from New York

Records show he was born in Brooklyn and previously lived in Edison, New Jersey. Sayoc was listed at an address in Bergen Beach in July of 1987, per records. Sayoc's grandmother was from Sheepshead Bay, according to an obituary published in the Fort Lauderdale Sentinel.

He was living in his van

Sayoc's last known address was in Aventura, Florida, but prosecutors said he had been living out of his white van, which was seized after his arrest in Plantation, Florida. The van was covered in pro-Trump stickers as well as stickers of some of the targets with red crosshairs, prosecutors said. 

Authorities found a fingerprint on two IEDs

Federal authorities were able to lift Sayoc's fingerprints off an improvised explosive device, and its packaging, that was sent to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) as well as an IED that was sent to former President Barack Obama, according to the criminal complaint.

"Once I knew they had a print, I was pretty confident we would be able to find the right person," FBI Director Christopher Wray had said after Sayoc's arrest.

Possible DNA connection

Sayoc's DNA, on file from a previous arrest, may be connected to DNA found on two different explosive devices that were mailed to separate locations, Wray said.

Internet searches

Sayoc researched the targets of the bombs on his personal laptop and cellphone, prosecutors said in a court filing on Oct. 30. The searches included “cnn building,” “hilary clinton and family,” “james clapper wife and kids,” “address Debbie wauserman Shultz” and “address for barack Obama.”

Registered Republican

Sayoc registered as Republican in Florida in March 2016, according to voter registration records in the state.

Lengthy criminal history

Sayoc has been arrested several times, including a 2002 Florida case in which he was accused of threatening to use a bomb. His extensive criminal past also includes arrests for grand theft, petty theft, possession of stolen property, fraudulent refunds, criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.

Anti-Democrat rhetoric on social media

Sayoc's Twitter account was filled with posts critical of Democrats, including several of the people who were targeted by the packaged bombs, per the criminal complaint. 

A bankruptcy filing

In 2012, Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in Miami, per court records. The only assets he listed were $4,174, including his 2001 Chevy Tahoe, records show. A handwritten note on the petition said he "lives w/ mom." An inquiry to the offices of Christian J. Olson, Sayoc's lawyer on the petition, was met with a "no comment." 

With Reuters and Newsday

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