Disturbing life of US ‘pipe bomber’
CESAR Sayoc, the man arrested in connection to the string of pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and outspoken Trump critics this week, has an extensive criminal record, it has been revealed.
Federal authorities took Sayoc, 56, into custody on Friday (local time) in Florida in connection with the mail-bomb scare that earlier widened to 12 suspicious packages.
He was arrested at an auto-parts store in the city of Plantation, about 30km north of his home in the South Florida city of Aventura.
Law enforcement officials have since confirmed, according to the New York Times, that Sayoc is a registered Republican who has a lengthy history of criminal convictions.
Public records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, obtained by CNN, reveal that Sayoc's criminal history dates back to the early 1990s, with his rap sheet including felony theft, drug and fraud charges.
Among them is a third-degree grand theft charge in 1991, several felony charges for possession of a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid in 2004, and a battery conviction in 2013.
But most notable among the string of convictions is a 2002 arrest in Miami for threatening to "discharge a destructive device".
The online records do not provide details about the case, CNN reports, but they show that Sayoc pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation.
In the other convictions, Sayoc appears to have pleaded no contest to some offences while prosecutors appear to have dropped charges in others.
At the time of his last arrest in 2015, the New York Times reports, Sayoc was described as being 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds with brown eyes, black hair and a scar on his left arm. His occupation was listed as "manager".
Public records also reveal that he was born in Brooklyn, New York and he filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012.
According to his now-deleted Facebook page, in which he went by Cesar Altieri Randazzo, he is a graduate of North Miami Beach Senior High who went on to study business, finance and economics at the UNC Charlotte and pre-veterinary care at Brevard College in North Carolina.
His account, which was cited by News Corp Australia before it was taken down, was predominantly filled with extremist right-wing propaganda, including wild conspiracy theories, anti-Muslim, anti-Clinton and anti-Obama messages, and disturbing images of beheadings and people being set on fire.
Interestingly, Sayoc had more than 2500 Facebook friends on his profile.
Sayoc's LinkedIn page states he works in the entertainment industry as a promoter, booking agent and choreographer of a male stripping show as well as burlesque shows in the Miami-area.
A lawyer who had represented Sayoc in prior legal matters, Ronald Scott Lowy, told CBS News that he felt Sayoc "wasn't always in his right mind."
Mr Lowy said he represented Sayoc in a "bizarre" case in which he was accused of making a threat that included a false identification card or driver's license.
Mr Lowy told CBS News that Sayoc "wanted to look younger" so he had his date of birth altered.
The lawyer added that his former client always "expressed emotions about the institutions of America" and "felt oppressed by them, but not necessarily in a political way". However, it was noted that Sayoc made those statements more than a decade ago.
Mr Lowy also said Sayoc was proud of his heritage, which he described as American Indian.