COLUMBIA, South Carolina — A jail inmate serving a 50-year sentence for killing his father-in-law, has been convicted of trying to murder his ex-wife with a package bomb he had bought on the dark web from behind bars.
Michael James Young, Jr., 32, had hatched the elaborate plot while serving time in a maximum security prison in South Carolina for a 2007 shopping mall shooting in which he wounded his wife and killed his father-in-law when he got in the way. Young pleaded guilty in 2011.
The bomb plot to get back at his ex-wife began when Young was able to get a cell phone and get onto the dark web — a secretive part of the Internet where illicit activity occurs, such as drug dealing, gun-running and the exchange of child pornography.
Early last year, Young made contact with a person he thought was a European arms dealer, but was, in fact, an undercover FBI agent. “Let me ask you this … could u possibly booby trap a box? So that as soon its opened … boom? Just curious,” Young asked.
Through the exchange, Young arranged for the purported arms dealer to send a package bomb to friend’s home in Irmo, South Carolina. A second pal, Vance “Dank” Volious received a shipping label with Young’s ex-wife’s name and address on it.
The person who received the bomb and Volious, then handed the package and address label to Tyrell Fears, who brought it to the post office and mailed it. The whole exchange was monitored by the FBI, and after Fears posted the package, he, Volious and Young were all arrested.
In addition to the bomb plot, Young had similarly used his contraband cell phone to operate an illicit marijuana dealing operation with Volious.
At the time of their arrests, the State newspaper reported that it was believed that Young wanted his ex-wife dead so she couldn’t testify against him if he were to win a retrial on his original conviction.
He and Volious face 45 years in prison when they are sentenced in the bomb plot. Fears pleaded guilty last year.