A Florida man was found guilty and sentenced by jury this week, after police uncovered a plot to bomb several Target stores up and down the East coast. Mark Barnett, 49, thought he was going to gain financially from a drop in the company’s stock price.
Mark Barnett was charged with five counts of attempted arson, possession of a destructive device and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Barnett is already a registered sex offender in the state of Florida, and he faces up to 10 years in prison.
A witness told the court that Barnett had offered him money, to drop off boxes full of explosives in several Target locations.
The Daily Mail reports:
An indictment filed Wednesday in federal court in Ocala charges 49-year-old Mark Barnett with five counts of attempted arson, possession of a destructive device and unlawful possession of a weapon.
A team of federal, state and local officials arrested Barnett on February 14 in a parking lot in Ocala.
Barnett, a registered sex offender in Florida, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
A criminal complaint says the convicted felon offered a friend $10,000 to place packages of food filled with explosives at Target stores along the East Coast in February.
The criminal complaint said Barnett delivered the items to the other man on February 9.
He also provided a bag of gloves, a mask and a license plate cover.
The friend instead 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.
Authorities say Barnett hoped to buy Minnesota-based Target stock after the price plunged.
Barnett was being held at the Marion County Jail and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Online court records showed no attorney listed for him.
Special Agent Dewane L. Krueger of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said that he and other ATF agents were told in January 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.