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AG Jeff Sessions says Cesar Sayoc has been charged with 5 federal crimes, faces 58 years in prison

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces that Cesar Sayoc, who is suspected of being behind the bomb scares, has been charged with five federal crimes and faces 58 years in prison. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice announced that Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of being behind the bomb scares that have gripped the country this week, has been charged with five federal crimes.

Sayoc, 56, is suspected of sending at least 13 suspicious packages to prominent Democrats, including former presidents. According to law enforcement, the packages contained crude pipe bombs. It is not clear how many, if any, of the devices that have been sent would have been actually capable of exploding when they reached their potential targets.

Some experts have suggested, based on an examination of X-rays of the devices, that they would not have been capable of exploding at all.

Sayoc, if convicted, could face 58 years in prison.

What did Sessions say?

During a Friday news conference, held just hours after law enforcement arrested Sayoc in Florida, Sessions staunchly denounced violence of any sort — and specifically political violence.

"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," Sessions warned. "We will find you. We will prosecute you."

"We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially political violence," he added.

Sessions noted that investigators were not certain of Sayoc's motive in reportedly sending the devices to the Democratic leaders and supporters, but noted that Sayoc "appears to be partisan."

A van purported to belong to Sayoc was towed on Friday. The van had countless stickers, decals, and other labels on the windows, and appeared to paint Democrats and liberals in a negative light.

What did the FBI say?

During the news conference, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that investigators reportedly discovered Sayoc's fingerprints, as well as possible DNA samples, on two of the explosive devices. Wray noted that the prints matched those found on a package sent to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif).

Wray also added that the devices were "not hoax devices."

Sayoc was charged with interstate transportation of explosives, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers.

You can read more about the background of the incidents, as well as details on Sayoc's Friday arrest, here.

You can also watch a replay stream of Friday's news conference in the video player below.

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