A 32-year-old inmate from Lexington, Kentucky, was sentenced to 43 years federal imprisonment on Monday for attempting to purchase a bomb over the dark web. The prisoner, known as Michael Young, purchased the bomb over the internet from his prison cell and arranged for it to be delivered to a certain address in Florida via mail.
FBI reports show that he obtained a cell phone illegally which he used to access the internet and purchase the bomb from the dark web. The action-triggered bomb was intended to kill his ex-wife the moment she opened it.
Young was previously serving a 50-year-sentence for one account of attempting homicide and another account of actual homicide. He earned this sentence in 2007 when he shot and heavily wounded his then wife Shauna Clark in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Columbia. At the same time, he murdered Clark’s 49-year-old father, Robert L. Bell, when he tried to protect his daughter. Young and his spouse had a difficult marriage that had led to their separation. Clark had also remarried and was currently living with her new family in Florida.
Four years later, he was found guilty of murder and given a five-decade penalty. At the time, his defense lawyer, John Delgado, informed the judge handling his case that Young was filled with remorse for his actions. Delgado stated on Young’s behalf that he had learned his lesson and was a changed person.
Recently, Young was presented in a federal court before Michelle Childs, District Judge of the South Carolina court. FBI agents testified against him in court saying that Young used the contraband phone to make a deal with a man thought to be a weapons trader from Russia. The agents said that the seller, named Marcus, was one of their own who went on the dark web in an undercover mission aimed at catching darknet criminals.
The two exchanged emails for a couple of months before Young made Marcus promise to arrange the delivery of an explosive via mail. At the time, Young was marketing marijuana online from his prison cell using the contraband phone while his friends from outside prison would deliver the product to their customers. Young arranged for one of his conspirators to send the explosive to Florida.
A fake bomb was manufactured at the FBI lab with some traces of explosive powder which were not potentially harmful to anyone. It was then mailed to one of Young’s conspirators who took it to the Irmo mail office for it to be sent to Florida.
Soon afterward, the FBI deployed 40 of its agents in cars and Cessna aircraft to keep track of Young’s out-of-jail conspirator. He was then apprehended and interviewed by FBI concerning the explosive.
The FBI also produced evidence showing that Young was obsessed with getting rid of his ex-wife.
Will Lewis, the U.S. Deputy Attorney, asked Judge Childs for the maximum possible sentence to be given to Young due to the extent of his crime. She stated that it was very brutal and inhumane for him to set up such a scheme and he deserved to be severely punished for it.
Clark’s mother also attended Monday’s court proceedings with the intention of reading a statement written by her daughter concerning the case. According to the statement, Clark and her family had suffered great emotional trauma after learning that any of her family members would have died had they opened the package. She added that her children love opening packages and they would probably be dead had the bomb been real. The event, she said, was very devastating to her family. She, therefore, requested the judge to give Young a very harsh sentence.
Judge Childs granted their request and gave Young another 43 years in jail. She says that while making her judgment, she considered that Young had been convicted of an attempt of murder and one homicide, but even then, he still went on to plan to murder his ex-wife. He is meant to serve his latest sentence after he completes his previous 50 year sentence, which will be in 2057.
Young spoke briefly in court, saying that he was sorry for what he had done and that he takes full responsibility for his actions.