Florida man planned to bomb Target stores for stock market play: Police

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Feb. 17, 2017 at 7:52 AM
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Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Federal investigators accuse Mark Charles Barnett of conspiring to bomb Target stores in Florida, New York and Virginia to make a quick buck on the stock market.

In a criminal complaint, investigators said Barnett, a 48-year-old registered sex offender on probation from Ocala, Fla., who is forced to wear a court-ordered GPS monitor, allegedly offered an unidentified family member $10,000 to place bombs in several Target stores.

Barnett was arrested on charges of possession of a firearm (destructive device) that has affected interstate or foreign commerce.

Barnett allegedly filled food-item boxes such as stuffing mix, breakfast bars and pasta with gunpowder and put those items inside of 10 cardboard boxes. Barnett then allegedly placed those boxes into a work trailer on his property and gave the family member other material support and instructions on how to detonate the explosives.

"Once the boxes had detonated inside of Target stores, Barnett theorized that the company's stock value would plunge allowing him to cheaply acquire shares before an eventual rebound," investigators wrote in a criminal complaint.

When asked if the boxes could kill the family member, Barnett said: "No, they'll just take your hand off."

Barnett was previously convicted of felony offenses including kidnapping, grand theft and multiple counts of sexual battery with a weapon or force.

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