State

What do clown masks and a glowing-eyed toy have to do with SC bomb investigation?

An investigation into multiple bombs found in the Upstate has turned up a number of odd findings, including a teddy bear with glowing eyes, clown masks, glow sticks and a buried ottoman.

After an Anderson County man was arrested on a federal gun charge last weekend, FBI agents say they believe he is connected to multiple explosive devices found throughout the county in recent weeks, Fox Carolina reported.

Wesley Dallas Ayers, 27, is charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, a federal crime, WSPA reported.

He was arrested Saturday after authorities searched several properties on Travis Road, where Ayers lives, in Anderson, according to Fox Carolina.

In addition to a pair of unregistered guns, Fox Carolina reported that agents found an array of odd items in their search, including clown and animal masks; items with Arabic writing; a buried ottoman filled with supplies used in numerous explosive and hoax devices recently found in the area; and a photo of the White House on fire with a reference to jihad, which is an Arabic term for the fight against enemies of Islam.

In addition to the supply-filled ottoman, investigators also noted another connection between Ayers and the reported bombs: Ayers has a tattoo of a red-eyed teddy bear, matching a teddy bear with glowing red eyes outfitted with a pipe bomb that was found in the area Feb. 15, Fox Carolina reported.

Deputies have investigated 30 to 40 reports of suspicious packages in the area in the past month, WYFF reported. Many of those reports were just harmless trashed items, according to WYFF, but several were sent to an FBI lab for further investigation.

A new dog, Joris, joined the Richland County Sheriff's Department recently. He will become one of two bomb-sniffing dogs on the K-9 unit.

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