Target Stores Bombing Attempt, Florida Man Gets Arrested
Feb 18, 2017 09:59 PM EST
The Justice Department has charged a Florida man who plotted to bomb Target stores along the East Coast of the U.S. He then planned to buy cheap stock after the company's stock price would plummet.
48-year-old Mark Charles Barnett from Ocala, Florida, was charged with making explosive devices, hiring a man to plant them, and attempting to blow up Target stores. The federal complaint alleges the former convicted felon over camouflaging the bombs as food items and placing them in Target stores from New York to Florida, along the East Coast of the U.S.
Target is the second largest store retailer in the U.S. after Walmart. The government explained that Barnett wanted to exploit the company's stock value that would plunge after the explosions so that he may cheaply acquire shares of Target stock before the rebound in price takes place.
According to the US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, Barnett has been charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon". He paid $10,000 to a man to place the bombs on the shelves, and gave him at least 10 explosives devices on Feb. 9, including a bag of gloves, a mask and license-plate cover, which would be used to cover up the man's identity, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors described the man to be a confidential source who went to the authorities, handed over the bombs, and explained Barnett's plan. "Target commends the law enforcement agencies responsible for apprehending this individual," a company Target spokeswoman told ABC News.
Bomb-making materials were also found in the felon's home which include rocket igniters, M-5000 explosives, and battery sources. The items could have caused fatal property damage and serious injury or death to those in Target stores if the explosions happened, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Barnett is currently held under probation in the Marion County jail, who could be faced with a 10 years sentencing in federal prison if convicted. He is already wearing a court-ordered GPS monitor for a number of previous offenses, including abduction, multiple counts of sexual assault using force and weapon, as well as grand theft.