Columbia, SC (WCBD) – Michael James Young Jr., 32, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to over 43 years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to purchase a mail bomb from prison over the Dark Web.
Co-conspirator Tyrell Fears, 23, of Irmo, South Carolina, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
That’s according to a Wednesday press release from the office of United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon.
The release says that while he was in prison, Young obtained a contraband cellphone smuggled into the Broad River Correctional Institution. Young used that contraband cellphone to run a drug business distributing marijuana he obtained from a California supplier and from the Dark Web.
The release says drugs purchased by Young were shipped to a home before being picked up by co-defendant Vance Volious for re-distribution.
The press release also reveals while this drug conspiracy was operating, Young also plotted to kill his ex-wife.
According to authorities, his was not the first time that Young had tried to kill her; he was serving a 50-year sentence after having been convicted of attempting to kill her and of murdering her father in 2007.
In February 2017, authorities say Young accessed the Dark Web from prison on his contraband cellphone and started a conversation with an undercover FBI agent, whom he believed to be a foreign explosives dealer.
The press release claims Young paid for a mail bomb to be sent to a home in Irmo and for the re-shipment label addressed to his ex-wife to be sent to Volious’ house in Columbia.
Young, Volious, and a conspirator were arrested on federal charges.
The release states Young and Volious were convicted by a federal jury in April 2018 for conspiracy, transport of an explosive with the intent to kill, mailing a non-mailable explosive with the intent to kill, and carrying an explosive during the commission of another felony.
United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon says US District Judge J. Michelle Childs sentenced Young to 525 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of court-ordered supervision.
Volious will be sentenced at a later date.