A man in Florida is under arrest, accused of trying to blow up Target stores on the East Coast. Even more unbelievable is his reason why.
Mark Charles Barnett planned a series of bombings of Target stores in Florida, Virginia, and New York. He planned to buy up Target stock when the prices fell in response to the bombings. He then planned to resell the stock when prices went back up as the company rebounded.
Barnett is a registered sex offender in Florida, and could spend 10 years in prison if convicted. This was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Mark Charles Barnett, 48, was charged in a criminal complaint filed Thursday with possession of a firearm affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon.
A team of federal, state and local officials arrested Barnett Tuesday in a parking lot in Ocala. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he’s still being held. Jail records don’t say whether he’s hired a lawyer.
According to an affidavit, Barnett offered to pay another man $10,000 to place at least 10 “improvised explosive bombs” disguised in food-item packaging on store shelves from New York to Florida.
The criminal complaint said Barnett delivered the items to the other man on Feb. 9. He also provided a bag of gloves, a mask and a license plate cover.
But the other man went to authorities. He handed over 10 food boxes — for breakfast bars, stuffing and pasta — that contained black powder bombs, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.
Special Agent Dewane L. Krueger of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told the newspaper that he and other ATF agents were told last month that Barnett wanted to recruit someone to deliver packages to multiple locations.
The complaint said an explosives expert determined the bombs were capable of causing property damage, serious injury or death to anyone who was near the item if it exploded. Federal agents searched Barnett’s house in Ocala and found components consistent with those used to create the explosive devices.
ATF officials said Barnett made statements about the stock market and said that he planned to make money from his investments. They said his plan was to buy stock at lower prices and resell it at a profit once prices rebounded after the explosions.