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Fla. Man Charged With Plotting to Put Explosives in Target Stores

"Barnett theorized that the company's stock value would plunge after the explosions, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares of Target stock"

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    A Florida man is accused of plotting to put explosives in Target stores in an attempt to get stock prices to drop so he could buy stocks, prosecutors say.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017)

    A Florida man is accused of plotting to blow up Target stores along the East Coast.

    Federal prosecutors say Mark Barnett, 48, paid a man $10,000 to put at least 10 explosive devices, disguised as food items, in Target stores from Florida to New York. 

    Barnett's plan was ruined after the man he paid to assist him surrendered the explosive devices over to police.

    According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Ocala, Barnett was charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon."

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    "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," the complaint said.

    NBC News reported that Barnett — a registered sex offender on probation for multiple felony kidnapping, sexual battery and grand theft counts — made the bombs at home and gave them to the individual, along with a bag of gloves, a mask and a license-plate cover, to complete the job, authorities alleged.

    Barnett is currently in custody at the Marion County Jail. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.