Man Accused Of Plotting To Blow Up Several East Coast Target Stores To Lower Company’s Stock Value

OCALA, Fla. (CBS/AP) — A Florida man is accused in a plot to blow up several Target stores along the East Coast in an attempt to acquire cheap stock if the company’s stock value plunged after the explosions.

Mark Charles Barnett, 48, was charged in a criminal complaint filed Thursday with possession of a firearm affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office in Florida’s middle district. Barnett, a registered sex offender in Florida, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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.

“The cooperation between the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies involved in this case was instrumental to quickly identifying this individual and resolving any potential threat to the public,” Charles Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, told the Orlando Sentinel.

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, including stores in Florida, Virginia and New York.

“The swift work of ATF special agents, explosives enforcement officers and other specialized violent crime resources foiled this individual’s plot that could have caused great harm to the public,” said Daryl McCrary, special agent in charge of the ATF Tampa Field Division.

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. “The problem with the french is, they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”

  2. Athlon Hertz says:

    Hmmm…do you really need to do that to any retail stocks these days?

  3. It is difficult to believe anybody would be stupid enough to target Target with this stock-price demolition deal when Walmart is the obvious choice.

  4. What do you expect? With that logo, it’s like they’re asking for it.

  5. IZ AD says:

    One less vote for Donald Trump.

    1. Miike Drrop says:

      ludicrous yet predictable comment. I suggest you concern yourself with the fake 100,000 Nat Guard which Schroomer is worried will round up HiLIARy’s 3 million.

      Personally I like dem odds !

      1. I suggest you both re-read the article and make comments that are actually relevant to it, instead of arguing like children over who this man voted for. Clearly he is not mentally stable.

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