Man Arrested for Plotting to Bomb Target Stores
A Florida man has been charged in connection with a plot to bomb Target stores along the East Coast, with hopes that such an attack would force the retailer’s stock to plunge and allow him to cheaply buy its stock, federal investigators announced Thursday.
Mark Charles Barnett of Ocala has been charged with “possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon,” according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Thanks for keeping Florida safe FDLE Jax!
Suspect Mark Barnett was plotting to place bombs in Target stores.https://t.co/Hm8BA6sgcl
— FDLE (@fdlepio) February 16, 2017
Federal agents subsequently searched Barnett’s house and “components consistent with those used to create the explosive devices” were discovered, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. These items included rocket igniters, M-5000 explosives and battery sources.
“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 Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary, ATF Tampa Field Division. “Our Federal and State law enforcement partners played a vital role in supporting this investigation, and ATF will continue to work alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring this case to a successful resolution.”
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
The U.S. Attorney’s Office cautioned, though, “a criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.”
According to ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Barrett was already on probation and wearing a court-ordered GPS monitor for a number of felony offenses, including kidnapping, multiple counts of sexual battery with a weapon or force and grand theft.
It is unclear if Barrett has a lawyer.