Federal authorities have arrested one individual in connection with suspected explosives sent to top Democrats, former senior US officials and prominent critics of President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice said on Friday.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters on Friday that Cesar Sayoc was arrested in connection with the bomb investigation. Wray said Sayoc’s fingerprints were found on a package sent to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes, including threats against former presidents and the illegal mailing of explosives. Sayoc faces up to 58 years in prison, if convicted.
The news of the arrest came not long after authorities said several more suspicious packages were found on Friday, bringing the total number of explosive devices discovered over the past week to at least 13.
Two new packages discovered on Friday included those addressed to US Senator Cory Booker and James Clapper, the former US director of national intelligence.
“This is definitely domestic terrorism, no question about it in my mind,” Clapper told CNN. “This is not going to silence the administration’s critics.”
Photos of the van confiscated at the time of Sayoc’s arrest show the vehicle plastered with pro-Trump stickers, the slogan “CNN SUCKS” and images of Democratic figures with red crosshairs over their faces. Authorities have not confirmed that the van was linked to Sayoc, who has a long criminal history, records show.
Trump said on Friday that he knows the suspect was one of his supporters, but said he bears “no blame” for the suspect’s actions.
Authorities said there could be other packages.