Florida Man Charged in Target Bomb Plot

by: Alan McBride
Updated: 2/18/2017 5:54:28 AM EST
OCALA, FLA. -- Authorities say Ocala resident Mark Charles Barnett faces charges of possession of a firearm or destructive device affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon.

That has to do with an alleged plot to bomb Target stores.

According to the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, Barnett offered a confidential source $10,000 to place improvised explosive bombs in Target retail stores along the east coast of the United States.

Investigators say Barnett created at least 10 of the explosive devices, disguised in food-item packaging, which Barnett delivered to the confidential source earlier this month.

Authorities say Barnett then asked the source to place the explosive devices on store shelves from New York to Florida.

According to officials, Barnett had apparently been hoping that the bombs would cause Target's stock price to tumble, and would give him the chance to purchase stock at fire-sale prices.

He never got the chance to test the idea, since investigators say their confidential source promptly handed over the explosive packages to the authorities.

Officials say the explosive packages could have caused real damage, and they noted that a search of Barnett's house turned up materials consistent with those that could have been used to make the devices.

If convicted, Barnett faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Barnett is currently in custody at the Marion County Jail on state charges for violating his terms of probation.