October 26, 2018 10:36 PM
Court records show the man in custody in Florida in connection to mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats, media outlets and celebrities had brushes with the law in Minnesota.
Cesar A. Sayoc, 56, was charged in 1995 with fifth-degree possession of crack cocaine and theft by swindle of over $500. Those charges were dismissed in September 2005.
The criminal complaint from 1995 states police officers in Edina and Bloomington were dispatched to various nutrition centers where they were informed a male - later identified as Sayoc (also listed as Savoc in court records) - had been purchasing vitamins, then returning them filled with beans and taking a refund.
The complaint goes on to state that after he was arrested he "continuously thrashed around the back seat" of the squad car. Once he was secure in jail, the officer reported checking on the floor of the squad car and finding a rock of suspected crack cocaine under the seat where he had been sitting,
The 2005 dismissal order reads as follows: "The State of Minnesota hereby dismisses the above-captioned case on the grounds: The drugs were destroyed in 1997 and never brought to the City Chemist."
Court records list a Plymouth address for Sayoc. But he also has a lengthy criminal and court record in Florida. The Associated Press reported he was convicted on theft, stolen property and traffic charges, and in 2002 on a threat to "throw, place, project or discharge any destructive device."
David Crosby of Hopkins told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he and Sayoc danced in a male dance group in the early 2000s in Minnesota.
Crosby said Sayoc was a "nice guy," but added that his personality would go from "zero to 100" and he'd explode.
He was sentenced in August 2002 for threatening to throw a bomb in a conversation with a Florida utility representative, according to Ronald Lowy, a Miami attorney who represented him. Dade County court records showed Sayoc served a year's probation after a judge signed a discharge certificate in November 2002.
Lowy told the AP that Sayoc "made a verbal threat when he was frustrated at a lack of service." Lowy said Sayoc showed no ability at the time to back up his threat with bomb-making expertise.
The lawyer said Sayoc was a bodybuilder then, and displayed no political leanings except for plastering a vehicle he owned with Native American signs.
Court records also show that Sayoc was convicted in the 1990s in Broward County on grand theft and stolen property charges and in 2004 on a felony charge of fraudulent refunds and misdemeanor of tampering with physical evidence.
According to the AP, Savoc is an amateur body builder and businessman whose online resume describes him as a promoter and booking agent for male stripper and burlesque shows. He was born in New York City and attended college in North Carolina before moving to the Miami suburbs in the late 1980s.
He is a registered Republican with social media accounts containing memes supporting Trump, denigrating Democrats, and promoting conspiracy theories about George Soros, the billionaire political donor who was the first targeted this week by a package bomb.
At the auto parts store in Plantation, Florida, where Sayoc was taken into custody, authorities towed away a white van covered with stickers supporting Trump and criticizing media outlets that included CNN, the news channel also targeted by a mail bomb this week.
"They are going to look at all the information and evidence they've gained. So far, they've probably already got a search warrant on his the van, they'll look for lists of names, names he's been crossing off, envelopes he was in the middle of addressing and we have a good idea of some of the people he might be targeting," retired FBI Agent Michael Tabman said about what current agents are probably doing behind the scenes. "We're going to back track everything he did, look at all his communications, his travels, you can never have too much evidence."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Updated: October 26, 2018 10:36 PM
Created: October 26, 2018 12:33 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company