GREENVILLE, SC (WFXG) - Anderson, S.C. man Wesley Dallas Ayers, 27, was sentenced in federal court for using, attempting to use and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction.
Ayers was also sentenced for possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime and the use of an explosive device during the commission of a felony.
United States District Judge Henry M. Herlong, Jr., of Greenville sentenced Ayers to 361 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
Ayers admitted that between the months of Jan. 24 and Feb. 24, 2018, he constructed, and then placed, three explosive devices throughout various areas in Anderson County. On Jan. 30, 2018, a device was placed at the intersection of Travis and Martin Roads in the county which then detonated injuring one individual. Two other devices, which Ayers also placed in other locations were intercepted and rendered by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Within the same time frame Ayers placed three other hoax devices, which resembled explosives but did not contain any blasting agent. The defendant also left threatening messages that he had more powerful devices in store for further use.
Ayers was soon arrested after a month-long investigation with the combined efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and countless law enforcement agencies from around the State of S.C.
DNA and other forensic evidence associated Ayers with other devices found as well.
Judge Herlong found that sentencing Ayers to over thirty years was justifiable considering all the dangerous and lethal devices found. He also emphasized that only by the efforts of law enforcement and sheer fortune Anderson citizens were not seriously harmed or killed.
The case was was prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney D. Josev Brewer of the Greenville office. While investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with other local, state and federal enforcement agencies.
Ayers is not being offered parole in the federal system.