S.C. inmate bought mail bomb off dark web to kill ex-wife

Michael Young, Jr., was serving a 50-year sentence for murdering his former father-in-law and attempting to murder his ex-wife when he was convicted of several charges this week. Photo courtesy of South Carolina Department of Corrections

April 26 (UPI) — A South Carolina prisoner was convicted this week of using the dark web to sell drugs and obtain a mail bomb to be sent to his ex-wife.

Michael Young Jr., 32, was already serving a 50-year sentence for attempting to kill his ex-wife and murdering her father back in 2007 when he got a hold of a contraband cell phone he used to access the dark web and carry out his crimes.

Prosecutors said he used the phone to purchase marijuana via a supplier in California that was sent to a residence in South Carolina, where Young’s co-conspirator, Vance Volious Jr., would pick it up and re-distribute it. Several other people have also been implicated in the drug conspiracy, including 14 South Carolina Corrections Department officers who were indicted Wednesday.

But Young didn’t stop with the drug dealing. He also wanted to finish kill the woman he attempted to kill more then a decade earlier.

“Let me ask you this…could u possibly booby trap a box? So that as soon its opened…boom? Just curious,” Young wrote to a seller on the dark web’s Alpha Bay Market.

The seller said it could be done and Young sent cryptocurrency to pay for the “box.”

“Young used Bitcoin to pay for the mail bomb to be sent to a conspirator’s residence,” prosecutors said. “He also had re-shipment labels addressed to his ex-wife to be sent to Volious’ house in Columbia. Co-conspirator Tyrell Fears — who previously pleaded guilty — obtained the labels from Volious, armed the mail bomb and delivered the inert explosives package to the Post Office in [Irmo, S.C.] on June 6, 2017.”

The mail bomb might have been delivered if a U.S. Postal Inspector didn’t intercept the package. The next day, Young, Volious and Fears were indicted.

Young and Volious were both convicted of 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.


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