Mark Charles Barnett, 48 year old male, was arrested this week for making at least 10 explosive devices and then hiring a man to plant them in several Target stores in VA, FL and NY. His goal was get rich by bombing the stores to drive the stock prices down so that he could buy a lot of shares at a low value only to sell them once the stock prices return to their normal value.
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.
Luckily for everyone involved, his partner went to the police. According to Special Agent D.L. Krueger of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, they were informed last month of Barnett’s plans to find a recruit to bomb multiple locations. These bombs were capable of causing serious injury, death and property damage. When Barnett’s house was searched in Ocala, Florida, evidence consistent with the components to create explosive devices was discovered. This was not his first offense. He is a previously convicted felon and a registered sex offender. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
“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.