ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty back in October to using weapons of mass destruction in federal court.
We reported earlier that Wesley Dallas Ayers admitted to making three bombs and placing them in various parts of Anderson County between Jan. 24 and Feb. 24 in 2018.
Ayers was arrested on March 3 and was indicted on several federal charges in April.
One of the devices he placed exploded on Jan. 30, injuring a man at the corner of Travis Road and Martin Road.
The other two bombs were found by law enforcement and rendered safe.
Ayers also placed three hoax devices which resembled explosives but did not contain any blasting agent. Some of those devices included threatening messages.
According to court documents, one of the devices included typed pages saying the January 30th incident was only the start and that the community would continue to receive these gifts until the Islamic State flag would fly high. It also includes phrases like “War has been declared” and “Tuesday was just a practice round.”
Ayers was arrested after a month-long investigation which included the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the ATF, among others.
Ayers also pleaded guilty to possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime and use of an explosive device during the commission of a felony.
On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Ayers to 361 months in prison, or 30 years. He will be on supervised release for five years after he is released from prison.
Here is a full list of bombs and other devices that were found, according to court records:
December 17: A victim reported that a bomb had exploded in her yard on Travis Road. Investigators say Ayers’ fingerprints were found on a bottle along with wires allowing them to be attached to a drone and delivered.
January 30: An explosive device in a wicker box was found be a man and his 14-year-old daughter in the road at the corner of Travis Road and Martin Road. The device detonated around 9:00pm. Investigators found an oil filter, insulated wire, screws, clothes pin, a AA battery, glow stick, and a paper that depicted Osama Bin Laden in front of the White House with flames inside and a jihadist flag overhead.
A second box was discovered by a witness less than a mile away around 6:30am near Martin Road, parts of that box were recovered from water.
February 4: A black box was found on Highway 29 with wires coming out of the top. Investigators say the hoax device had writing on the outside referencing a previous Islamic bombing plot from 1995.
Also included were three typed pages stating that the January 30th incident was only the start and that the community would continue to receive these gifts until the Islamic State flag would fly high. It also includes phrases like “War has been declared” and “Tuesday was just a practice round.”
February 15: Around 10:18pm, a small teddy bear was found in a basket with blowing eyes in the middle of Little Mountain Road. Investigators say it was found to be a live, active device powered by Sunbeam batteries.
February 18: A black box with white wires was found and determined to be a hoax. That box was found in the middle of Highway 29. Inside, investigators found two pages written in red and black marker with writing pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. It also included “The time is almost upon you!” and “We are 30 miles away but we aren’t telling you in what direction.”
February 24: A box was found at 1:55am at the corner of Travis Road and Little Mountain Road which was a wooden box with what investigators described as an attempt at Arabic looking character on it. Investigators say there was a live explosive device inside which included gunpowder in a copper pipe.
Several yards away, investigators also found a chemical device bomb with some of the same materials as previous devices. Investigators say that bomb had already gone off before the found it.