Sunday June 16, 2019
Home U.S.A. How The FBI C...

How The FBI Caught A Suspect With a DNA and a Fingerprint

Sayoc was taken into custody near an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida, north of Miami.

0
//
bomb
Cesar Sayoc, who was arrested during an investigation into a series of parcel bombs, is escorted from an FBI facility in Miramar, Florida, Oct. 26, 2018 in a still image from video.. VOA

In the hours before his arrest, as federal authorities zeroed in and secretly accumulated evidence, Cesar Sayoc was in his element: spinning classic and Top 40 hits in a nightclub where he’d found work as a DJ.

As he entertained patrons from a dimly lit booth overlooking a stage at the Ultra Gentlemen’s Club, where Halloween decorations hung in anticipation of a costume party, he could not have known that investigators that very evening were capitalizing on his own mistakes to build a case against him.

He almost certainly had no idea that lab technicians had linked DNA on two pipe bomb packages he was accused of sending to prominent Democrats to a sample previously collected by Florida state authorities. Or that a fingerprint match had turned up on a separate mailing the authorities say he sent.

FBI, bomb
The FBI released this poster, Oct. 25, 2018, asking for the public’s assistance in finding the people responsible for sending suspicious packages to multiple locations across the United States. VOA

 

And he was probably unaware that investigators scouring his social media accounts had found the same spelling mistakes on his online posts — “Hilary” Clinton, Debbie Wasserman “Shultz” — as on the mailings he’d soon be charged with sending.

Wealth of clues

In the end, prosecutors who charged Sayoc with five federal crimes Friday say the fervent President Donald Trump supporter unwittingly left behind a wealth of clues, affording them a critical break in a coast-to-coast investigation into pipe bomb mailings that spread fear of election-season violence. The bubble-wrapped manila envelopes, addressed to Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and intercepted from Delaware to California, held vital forensic evidence that investigators say they leveraged to arrest Sayoc four days after the investigation started.

“Criminals make mistakes so the more opportunities that law enforcement has to detect them, the greater chance they’re going to be able to act on that, and that appears to be what happened here,” said former Justice Department official Aloke Chakravarty, who prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case.

First package

But it wasn’t always clear that such a break would come, at least not on Monday when the first package arrived: a pipe bomb delivered via mail to an estate in Bedford, New York, belonging to billionaire liberal activist George Soros. That same day, Sayoc, still under the radar of law enforcement, retweeted a post saying, “The world is waking up to the horrors of George Soros.”

bomb
The gate is closed at the entrance to a house owned by philanthropist George Soros in Katonah, N.Y., a suburb of New York City. VOA

Additional packages followed, delivered the next day for Clinton and Obama and after that to the cable network CNN, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic targets of conservative ire.

Each additional delivery created more unease. But together they also provided more leads for the FBI, which mined each pipe bomb for clues at a laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.

A breakthrough

As the packages rolled in, technicians got a breakthrough: a fingerprint and DNA left on a package sent to Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat and one of the intended pipe bomb recipients, and DNA on a piece of pipe bomb intended for Obama. The FBI said it had identified no other possible matches on the evidence it had examined.

Besides that, the FBI said, his social media posts that traffic in online conspiracy theories, parody accounts and name-calling include some of the same misspellings as were noticed on the 13 packages he was charged with sending.

FBI, Bomb
Officers watch over the scene outside the Time Warner Center, Oct. 24, 2018, in New York. Law enforcement officials say a suspicious package that prompted an evacuation of CNN’s offices is believed to contain a pipe bomb. VOA

The clues, authorities say, led them to a 56-year-old man with a long criminal history who’d previously filed for bankruptcy and appeared to be living in his van, showering on the beach or at a local fitness center.

As the FBI worked around the clock, and as Americans were busy debating the hard-edged political climate and whether Trump had fanned the flames with his rhetoric, it was business as usual for Sayoc as he took to Twitter to denigrate targets like Soros. That was not uncommon for the amateur body builder and former stripper whose social media accounts are peppered with memes supporting Trump and posts vilifying Democrats.

‘We don’t talk politics’

On Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. as law enforcement grew ever closer, descending on a postal sorting facility in Opa-locka, Florida, Sayoc was working as a disc jockey at a West Palm Beach nightclub where he’d found work in the last two months. There, he spun his music from inside a small dimly lit booth overlooking a stage with performers dancing below. Autographed photos of scantily clad and nude adult entertainers were plastered across the walls like wallpaper.

“I didn’t know this guy was mad crazy like this,” said Stacy Saccal, the club’s manager. “Never once did he speak politics. This is a bar. We don’t talk politics or religion in a bar, you know?”

bomb
Cesar Sayoc appears in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in this Aug. 31, 2005, handout booking photo obtained by Reuters. VOA

But Scott Meigs, another DJ at the club, had a different experience.

He said Sayoc had been talking about politics to everybody at the club for the last two weeks, preaching the need to elect Republicans during the November elections.

“I just figured he was passionate about the upcoming elections,” Meigs said.

The next morning, Sayoc was taken into custody near an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida, north of Miami. Across the street, Thomas Fiori, a former federal law enforcement officer, said he saw about 50 armed officers swarm a man standing outside a white van with windows plastered with stickers supporting Trump and criticizing media outlets including CNN.

Also Read: Twitter Releases Tweets Showing Attempts Of Influence On U.S. Politics From Foreign Countires

They ordered him to the ground, Fiori said, and he did not resist.

“He had that look of, ‘I’m done, I surrender,”’ Fiori said. (VOA)

Next Story

When Can You Claim Against The Police?

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly

0
london, climate change
Police arrests protestors at Oxford Circus in London, Friday, April 19, 2019. The group Extinction Rebellion is calling for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. VOA

The police force are there to protect the general public from crime and make sure that those who need to be arrested are. Of course, it is possible for a police officer to make a mistake or to go against the rules and this is something which needs to be addressed.

Here, we are going to discuss some of the events that can lead to a claim against the police. Keep reading if you think that you have been treated unfairly and are considering your grounds for a claim.

Wrongful Arrest

Have you been wrongfully arrested? Police officers need to have reasonable grounds to be able to make an arrest lawfully but if they didn’t have this when you were arrested, then you might be able to make a claim against them. Claims against the police officers who have unlawfully arrested you and taken your freedom can often lead to financial compensation. Of course, you will need to get in contact with a solicitor who can put this request through for you and ensure that you were in fact wrongfully arrested.

Assault By Police Officer

No one deserves to be assaulted by a police officer and so if you have been a victim of an assault by a member of the police force then you might be eligible to make a claim against them. In this situation, the claim depends on whether the police officer used more force than was reasonable against you. This type of claim can be difficult to make as there is often very little proof on an event like this.

Columbine High School
School police officers look on as students leave Columbine High School, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. (Representational image).VOA

If there are any CCTV cameras that have captured the event or witnesses then you might be able to make a claim against the officer who assaulted you.

When Can You Not Claim?

It is also important to note the times where you can complain against a police officer but you will not necessarily receive any sort of financial compensation for it. This includes times when a police officer has made a false statement, they have caused loss of your property or they have used their position for private benefits. On top of this, you’ll find that you can make a complaint against an officer who has failed to attend the scene of a crime promptly if they are on duty and were asked to do this.

Also Read- A Quick Guide to White Collar Crime

Final Verdict

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly. There is a big difference between making a claim and making a complaint, so you need to understand this before moving forward.

If you have been wrongfully arrested or have been assaulted by a police officer, you should make sure that get in touch with a solicitor who can help you to get the justice that you deserve. Follow our advice and you should be able to respond in the right way to the situation in the future.