Convict Ordered Contraband Cellphone and Mail Bomb from Dark Web to Kill Ex-Wife and Run Drug Business.
Two Columbia S.C. residents Michael Young Jr. and Vance Volious Jr. have been convicted by Judge J. Michelle Childs for a number of crimes including conspiracy, exchanging explosives with the intent of killing someone, mailing a non-mailable explosive with the intent of killing someone and carrying an explosive while carrying out another felony.
It must be noted that Young is already serving a 50-year sentence for attempting to kill his wife and for murdering her father in 2007.
According to the details shared by the United States Attorney Beth Drake, the convicted individuals 32-year old Young and 36-year old Volious were involved in drugs dealing and also plotted to kill Young’s ex-wife using a mail bomb that they bought with Bitcoin from the (now seized) Alpha Bay Market on the Dark Web.
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At the trial, critical evidence was showcased to prove that the accused were indeed responsible for committing these heinous crimes. It was also disclosed that while being imprisoned at the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDOC), Young obtained a contraband cellphone, which was smuggled into the Broad River Correctional Institution.
Using that cellphone, not only Young bought the mail bomb but also ran drugs business. He distributed marijuana after purchasing it from a supplier in California and sold them on the Dark Web. The purchased drugs were transported to Young’s home from where Volious picked them up for re-distribution.
“The case certainly brings to bare the very real and dangerous problem that is contraband cell phones in our prisons,” stated US Attorney Beth Drake.
Young shipped the mail bomb to his home in Irmo. He re-shipped labels addressed to his former wife, which were delivered to Volious’s residence in Columbia. On June 6, 2017, a fellow conspirator Tyrell Fears, who also has pleaded guilty, got the labels from Volious and armed them with the mail bomb.
Fears delivered the explosive-laden package to a Post office in Irmo. The mail bomb was luckily collected by a United States Postal Inspector. Search warrants were issued and an extensive investigation was launched which led to the detainment and indictment of all the three culprits.
According to the director of the SCDOC, Bryan Stirling, the latest convictions hint upon the fact that contraband cell phones pose a great threat when these land into the hands of prisoners. The threat is not limited to other prisoners and staff members at the SCDOC but the general public is also at risk.
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The list of agencies which were taken on-board is quite long and includes the following:
“Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, United States Postal Inspection Service, South Carolina Department of Corrections’ Division of Police Services, State Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Information and Intelligence Center, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Irmo Police Department, USC Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, and Columbia Police Department.”
The United States’ Probation Office will prepare a pre-sentence report after which the judge will impose sentence. The case was prosecuted by Will Lewis and Jay Richardson, Assistant United States Attorneys, and additional assistance was provided by Fifth Circuit Solicitor Office’s Dan Goldberg.