Wesley Dallas Ayers, 27, is serving 30 years in prison for placing teddy bear bombs on roads across South Carolina, in hopes that people would find them.
A man and his daughter drove past one of Ayers' teddy bear basket bombs on a rural highway. The man got out of his car to investigate the object when it exploded. He suffered minor burns on his leg when the device exploded on him. When authorities got on the scene, they found a piece of paper that referenced Osama Bin Laden in Arabic writing. Days later, another teddy bear basket was spotted on a bridge... and then ANOTHER in a black box with a pro-Islamic State letter in it. More bombs were reported around the area.
Local police got a tip from a resident in the area who knew someone that was a bomb-building enthusiast. Authorities raided Wesley Ayers' home and found 2 guns, a bomber vest, components used to build bombs, which were very similar to the ones found, along with copies of the Arabic letters similar to the ones found at the location of the bombs. His computer contained terrorism propaganda which may have helped him become radicalized.
During the court hearing, Wesley's lawyer stated that his client was hooked on methamphetamines, had a 5th-grade education, and was angry about breaking up with his girlfriend, his first relationship. Wesley pleaded guilty to the weapons of mass destruction charges in October of 2018 and is currently serving 30 years in prison.
Locations where the Wesley Ayers' bombs were found