CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 56-year-old Florida man in custody in connection with the 12 bomb-like devices addressed to prominent Democrats has ties to Charlotte.
Cesar Sayoc Jr., who was born in Brooklyn, New York, had an address in Mint Hill in the year 1999, according to public records.
A man with the same name and birth date as Sayoc was arrested in Mecklenburg County on April 10, 1999 when he was 37 for possessing a stolen vehicle. The case stems out of Matthews.
Matthews Police Department told NBC Charlotte, an officer an found a broken down vehicle on E. Independence Blvd. “which was found to have been reported stolen and the driver was identified as Sayoc.
Court records revealed the Mecklenburg County district attorney's office dismissed the charge, but the courts wouldn't tell us why.
UNC Charlotte confirms in his 20s, Sayoc attended the university for one year with an undeclared major. He also played soccer; his stats are listed in the archives.
Phil Drosdick was Sayoc’s college teammate at UNC Charlotte. He called Friday’s news “a shocker.” He described the man as a big kid and hard nose type player who liked to laugh, calling him “overall a good guy.”
Drosdick said they both grew up playing soccer in Miami then came to play in Charlotte. He said when they were in college, they talked about soccer and women, not politics.
Before playing soccer at UNC Charlotte, Brevard College confirmed Sayoc also attended school there for three semesters starting in the fall of 1980.
Criminal records showed Sayoc was arrested in 2015 in Broward County, Florida, for petty theft and probation violation.
The total number of devices reached a dozen Friday after two more suspicious packages were recovered, one in Florida addressed to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and the other in New York addressed to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
A package addressed to Clapper was recovered at a Manhattan postal facility. Like some of the previous packages addressed to prominent Democrats, the one found in New York City on Friday had the office of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the return address.
According to NBC Charlotte sister station WTSP-TV, Sayoc has a last known address in the suburb of Aventura in Miami-Dade County, Florida and he is a registered Republican. Sayoc also lived in New Jersey and Michigan.
Investigators said they were led to Sayoc, in part, through DNA evidence. Much of the overall federal investigation has focused on Florida after packages were found at a mail facility in Opa-locka, which is also in Miami-Dade County.
Authorities are still trying to figure out if the packages were actually meant to explode or just cause fear.