Redefining ‘going postal’

Cesar Sayoc charged in wave of suspected pipe bomb packages mailed to prominent critics of Donald Trump

A sharp-eyed postal employee in Sacramento reportedly spared U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris a fright last week. The worker was credited with intercepting one of the more than a dozen suspected pipe bomb packages that an ardent admirer of Donald Trump allegedly mailed to terrorize the president’s critics.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., was formally charged Monday in federal court with five crimes stemming from his alleged role as the person responsible for mailing 14 potentially explosive packages to prominent Democrats and CNN. One of those prominent Dems was Harris, whose Sacramento district office was the intended recipient of one of the suspicious packages, the FBI and county Sheriff’s Department announced on October 26. But the package never reached its target. Instead, Harris’ office said in a statement, “a trained postal employee identified the package at a Sacramento mail facility and reported it to the authorities.”

The Sheriff’s Department says its communications center received a call around 7:45 a.m. that Friday. Authorities evacuated nearby homes and blocked roads as explosive ordinance detail technicians from four agencies worked to neutralize the device, a release from sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton said.

Sayoc reportedly had a list of more than 100 potential targets, according to law enforcement officials cited by NBC News. Sayoc, who The New York Times reports began railing against Democrats and immigrants on social media in 2016, billed himself as a promoter of Native American heritage. But he was neither of those things. Sayoc, who was of Italian and Filipino descent, was working as a pizza delivery driver and male dancer at the time of his arrest, according to relatives and employers interviewed by multiple news outlets.