South Carolina men sentenced for conspiracy to kill one's ex-wife with mail bomb

Two South Carolina men — one of whom was already imprisoned — were sentenced to federal prison on Wednesday for conspiring to kill the ex-wife of one with a mail bomb.

Michael Young Jr., 32, and Tyrell Fears, 23, were both sentenced for their roles in a drug conspiracy at the Broad River Correctional Institution, where Young was serving a 50-year sentence for trying to kill his ex, and murdering her father more than 20 years ago.

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Young, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina, used a contraband cellphone to run a marijuana operation with drugs from a supplier in California and the Dark Web. Once Young bought the drugs, they were sent to a conspirator's home and picked up by a man named Vance Volious to redistribute, prosecutors contended.

While running the drug scheme, Young and Volious plotted to kill Young's wife, according to officials. Young, in February 2017, used his cellphone in prison to access the Dark Web and began talking with an undercover FBI agent he thought was a foreign explosives dealer.

Prosecutors said that Young "paid for a mail bomb to be sent to a conspirator’s residence ... and for the reshipment label addressed to his ex-wife to be sent to Volious’ house."

In June 2017, Fears "obtained the labels from Volious, armed the mail bomb, and was surveilled by the FBI delivering the inert explosives package" to a U.S. Post Office — where an inspector recovered the device.

Young and Volious were convicted in April 2018 for conspiracy, transport of an explosive with the intent to kill, mailing a nonmailable explosive with the intent to kill, and carrying an explosive during the commission of another felony.

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Young was sentenced to 43 years in prison. Fears, who pleaded guilty to carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony and conspiracy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Volious will be sentenced at a later date for his role in the scheme, prosecutors said.