Law enforcement agencies in California descended on the state capital Sacramento and the city of Burlingame just south of San Francisco on Friday to investigate two suspicious packages sent to Sen. Kamala Harris and billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer.
The FBI said both packages are linked to accused mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc of Florida, who was arrested earlier in the day. Sayoc is accused of sending at least 12 other suspicious devices to CNN, Barack Obama, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters and other key Democrats earlier this week, sending local law enforcement and citizens into a state of panic.
On Friday morning, authorities intercepted a suspicious package that contained a "legitimate explosive device" at a Sacramento postal facility which was addressed to Harris.
“Earlier today, Senator Harris’ office was informed that a suspicious package, similar to those that have been sent to other elected officials, was sent to our Sacramento district office," Harris' office said in a statement. "Our understanding is that a trained postal employee identified the package at a Sacramento mail facility and reported it to the authorities. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Senator Harris is enormously grateful to law enforcement officials across the country who have worked so hard over the past week to keep our fellow citizens safe.
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At this moment, it is incumbent upon leaders across the political spectrum to take seriously the power they hold. It is the responsibility of our leaders to use their role as public figures to elevate our discourse and bring people together.”
Authorities on Friday were also investigating a suspicious package addressed to Steyer, a California billionaire, philanthropist and liberal activist. The package was found at a Burlingame postal sorting facility.
During the investigation, FBI and other agencies swarmed the Burlingame location, and cordoned off the area to allow the bomb squad access to the device.
FBI officials at around noon said there is no threat to the Burlingame postal sorting facility and the suspicious device had been removed. Video from NBC Bay Area's SkyRanger shows an ATF motorcade taking the package to the north end of San Francisco International Airport.
The device has been shipped to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for further investigation.
NextGen American and Need to Impeach, Steyer's organizations, confirmed to NBC Bay Area that a suspicious package was sent to an old office address. The package was not sent to the NextGen America San Francisco office.
In a statement Steyer confirmed the investigation, adding: "We're thankful that everyone we work with at NextGen America and Need to Impeach is safe — that's always our first priority, and will continue to be our first priority."
Steyer also added: "We are seeing a systematic attack on our democracy and our rule of law that extends much further than just one isolated terrorist in Florida. Whether it's voter suppression, voter intimidation, attacks on our free press, gerrymandering, or attempted violence — the trust and norms that are the actual basis for our civil society and political system are being eroded. It's time for the Republican Party to denounce any attacks on the rights and dignity of any American and begin to work on building the broadest and most comprehensive democracy possible for each and every American."
Department of Justice officials on Friday said mail bombing suspect Sayoc, a man formerly from Brooklyn who lived in Florida, had been arrested. He has past arrests, including for battery, theft and other offenses. Officials say DNA evidence played a role in the arrest.
A registered Republican, his social media accounts identify him as an ardent supporter of President Trump who attended many rallies — and who continued tweeting about some of his targets even after the bombs started arriving. When he was arrested, authorities seized a van festooned with stickers of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as anti-Democrat and anti-media stickers (some overlaid with crosshairs).
NBC News contributed to this report.
We're thankful that everyone we work with is safe. We are seeing a systematic attack on our democracy that extends much further than just one isolated terrorist in Florida. That's why we are running an impeachment petition to end the culture of lawlessness in our country. — Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) October 26, 2018
If you have info that could assist the #FBI's investigation of suspicious packages, call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or use https://t.co/iL7sD5efWD. If you observe suspicious activity that requires an immediate response, call 911 or contact local law enforcement immediately. pic.twitter.com/ZsFLKvXrKy — FBI (@FBI) October 25, 2018
#FBI #SF explosives technicians are on scene on at a USPS location on Rollins Road in Burlingame after receiving reports of a suspicious package. There is no immediate threat to public safety. — FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) October 26, 2018