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Published On: Tue, Nov 20th, 2018

Cesar Altieri Sayoc Charged for Mailing Improvised Explosive Devices

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today that Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a/k/a “Cesar Randazzo,” “Cesar Altieri,” and “Cesar Altieri Randazzo,” was charged today in Manhattan federal court in a 30-count Indictment for offenses relating to his alleged execution of a domestic terrorist attack in October 2018, which involved the mailing of 16 improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”) to 13 victims throughout the country.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

Public domain image/Pbalson8204 at the wikipedia project

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Cesar Sayoc allegedly targeted former high-ranking officials such as President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others, as well as CNN, by sending explosive packages to them through the U.S. Postal Service.  Sayoc’s alleged conduct put numerous lives at risk.  It was also an assault on a nation that values the rule of law, a free press, and tolerance of differences without rancor or resort to violence.  Thanks to the diligent and determined work of our law enforcement partners here and across the country, it took just five days to identify and apprehend Sayoc and end his reign of terror.  He now faces justice from a nation of laws.”

Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said:  “According to court filings, Cesar Sayoc mailed 16 IEDs to more than a dozen victims throughout the country, including current and former elected leaders.  Less than five days after the first IED was discovered, he was tracked down and arrested, thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement partners.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “As alleged, Cesar Sayoc deliberately targeted 13 individuals with 16 improvised explosive devices, attempting to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation from California to the eastern seaboard.   Thanks to the seamless integration of FBI JTTFs across the country, working side-by-side with many other law enforcement agencies and first responders, his campaign of terror was brought to a rapid conclusion just five days after the discovery of the first device.  The FBI remains steadfast in our mission to protect the American public, and we will move with speed to bring justice to anyone seeking to harm our communities.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “I commend everyone involved in investigating and prosecuting this case, particularly the agents and detectives on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, which includes 56 agencies and 300 individuals – 113 of them NYPD cops.  Standing shoulder to shoulder with the FBI, the ATF, the U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the New York State Police, and others, we said from the outset that we would identify and bring to justice the person allegedly responsible for these acts.  We could make that promise because of our proven history of effective partnership.  The public’s vigilance also greatly assisted this investigation and helped lead to today’s 30-count indictment.  What is clear is that New Yorkers are always resilient in the face of threats – we refuse to back down, and we will never be deterred.”

According to the Indictment, Complaint, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings[1]:

Between October 22 and November 2, 2018, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service recovered 16 padded manila envelopes containing IEDs allegedly mailed by Sayoc from Florida to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Atlanta, and California.  Sayoc’s alleged victims, listed alphabetically, were former Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro, Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, George Soros, Thomas Steyer, and Representative Maxine Waters.

Each of the 16 envelopes allegedly mailed by Sayoc had similar features, including the return addressee “Debbie Wasserman Shultz” at an address in “Florids,” six self-adhesive postage stamps bearing the American flag, and address labels printed on white paper with black ink in similar typeface and font size.  Each of the 16 envelopes also contained an IED.  The 16 IEDs also had similar features, including approximately six inches of PVC pipe packed with explosive material, a small clock, and wiring.  Some of the IEDs also contained shards of glass.

Preliminary analysis by the FBI has revealed forensic evidence linking 11 of the 16 mailings to Sayoc.  Specifically, latent fingerprints on two of the envelopes have been identified to Sayoc, and there are possible DNA associations between a DNA sample collected from Sayoc prior to his arrest in this case and DNA found on components from 10 of the IEDs (including one of the IEDs that was mailed in an envelope from which a latent fingerprint identified to Sayoc was recovered).

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