Mail bombing suspect was dancer, had arrest record in Minnesota

- A man arrested on suspicion of sending multiple mail bombs to prominent Democrats throughout the country has an arrest record in Minnesota and was part of a local traveling dance group. 

Federal authorities took 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Sayoc of Florida into custody Thursday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced authorities are charging Sayoc with five federal crimes including the mailing of explosives. Sayoc faces up to 58 years in prison.

MINNESOTA CRIMINAL HISTORY

In 1995, Sayoc was charged in Minnesota with theft by swindle and drug possession.

According to the Hennepin County criminal complaint, in January of 1995 Sayoc went to multiple nutrition stores in the Twin Cities area, including the Southdale Center in Edina and the Mall of America in Bloomington. He would buy liquid and pill products from a nutrition store, but then later return the items. After checking the items, store workers found he replaced the pills with beans and the liquid with water. Sayoc returned $568.30 of altered merchandise.

A worker at Natures Food Center in Bloomington called police when Sayoc returned to the store. Officers arrested him and during the drive to the jail, Sayoc "continuously thrashed" in the back seat and kicked the passenger seat. Officers also found him in possession of .5 grams of crack cocaine.

In 2005, Sayoc was later booked on a warrant. At the time he was living in Plymouth, Minn. According to court records, the case was later dismissed because the drugs were destroyed in 1997 and hadn't been tested by the city chemist.

"MEN OF STEEL"

According to David Crosby, a Hopkins man, Sayoc also joined a male dance group called the "Men of Steel" in the early to mid-2000s in Minnesota. Crosby was also a performer in the group. 

The group traveled the country performing, so Crosby got to know Sayoc as they drove in a van and stayed in hotels together. He said he was a "nice guy" but noted that he would occasionally "blow up" when he grew angry. 

"Emotionally, I'm pretty floored by it," Crosby said. "I'm just glad no one got hurt by it." 

Crosby told Fox 9 Sayoc was on steroids when he knew him and had a quick temper, but he was more intimidating than violent. 

"No matter who you support, I don't condone violence," Crosby said. "I don't think this is cool. I don't think it's funny. I don't think it's cute. I'm the kind of guy if you do the crime, you gotta do the time." 

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