MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man who allegedly sent pipe bombs through the mail to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump is set to appear in federal court Monday afternoon.
From social media posts which have since been deleted, it appears 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc was an aspiring bodybuilder, entrepreneur and avid Trump supporter.
“He’s done everything from trying to operate a laundromat, to being a DJ, a bouncer, a dancer, a pizza man, you name it,” said Ron Lowy, an attorney representing Sayoc’s family. ”Though his views and political rhetoric seemed off-putting, people ago knew him said he wasn’t capable of violence.”
His former boss Debra Gureghian, who manages New River Pizza in Fort Lauderdale, said she didn’t think this would happen.
“Never in a million years did I think this would play out,” she said.
In 2002, the family’s attorney, Ron Lowy, represented Sayoc in a felony case.
He said the 56-year-old was arrested after he threatened to blow up Florida Power and Light if they cut off the electricity to his laundromat.
Records show he threatened to make it “bigger than 9/11.”
“The judge looked at him, look at the prosecutor, and they saw this wasn’t an individual who doesn’t have that capacity and they put him on probation,” Lowy said.
Sayoc is said to have only developed his affinity with Trump over the last few years, according to a New York Times article.
His Facebook and Twitter show a drastic change in personal interest over the years, from posts about food and women to an obsession with the President of the United States.
Despite the questions surrounding Sayoc’s mental health, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said threats of any nature will not be shielded by first amendment rights.
“I firmly believe in the first amendment, but anybody who uses the first amendment to threaten or commit an act of violence, will not be tolerated,” she said.
Sayoc faces five federal charges in connection with the mail bomb plot that spurred a weeklong, coast-to-coast investigation and spread fear of election-season violence with little precedent in the U.S.