A Florida man with a long criminal history was charged with five federal crimes on Friday in the nationwide mail-bomb scare targeting prominent Democrats who have traded criticism with President Donald Trump.
It was a first break in a case that has seized the national conversation and spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the US.
Justice Department officials revealed that a latent fingerprint found on one package helped them identify their suspect as Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida.
The criminal complaint charges Sayoc with illegally mailing explosives, illegally transporting explosives across state lines, making threats against former presidents, assaulting federal officers and threatening interstate commerce.
Court records show Sayoc, an amateur body builder with social media accounts that denigrate Democrats and praise Trump, has a history of arrests for theft, illegal steroids possession and a 2002 charge of making a bomb threat.
The development came amid a nationwide manhunt for the person responsible for at least 13 explosive devices addressed to prominent Democrats including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.
In Washington, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cautioned that Sayoc had only been charged, not convicted. But he said, “Let this be a lesson to anyone regardless of their political beliefs that we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation and outright violence to further an agenda. We will find you, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”