Mark Barnett took a page out of “Fight Club” and thought up of an idea to manipulate Target’s stock prices. Fortunately authorities discovered his plan before he got a chance to go through with the plot.
Prosecutors are accusing the Ocala man, 48, for plotting to plant multiple explosives. The bombs were to be disguised as food items and placed on shelves in the Target stores along the US’ east coast.
“Barnett theorized that the company’s stock value would plunge after the explosions, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares of Target stock before an eventual rebound in prices,” said the office of the U.S. Attorney’s for Florida’s Middle District in a press release Thursday.
Planning and Reaching Out
According to authorities, Barnett built ten bombs, and is registered as a sex offender. Earlier this month, he asked a fellow probationer to assist him in planting the bombs in stores throughout New York, Florida, and Virginia, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities stated that Mark Barnett offered around $10,000 to the probationer as ”easy money” to assist him in carrying out the bombings.
Allegedly, the bombs had been disguised as pasta packages, breakfast bars, stuffing mix, and the like.
“Barnett told the [confidential source] not to let the box bounce around or they would explode,” stated the complaint.
When the source asked Barnett if the devices could be fatal, he replied, “No, they’ll just take your hand off.”
Barnett is a registered sex offender in Florida registered on the Sexual Offender Registry.
His new plot to bomb Target stores was sabatoged by the man Barnett trusted with the supplies, who went to the police, investigators say. They also recorded a meeting on Valentine’s Day between the source and Barnett.
Investigators later searched Barnett’s home, where they found “components consistent with those used to create the explosive devices.”
Barnett was charged after violating his probation, as well as possession of explosives. He may face up to a decade in prison.