He Made 10 Bombs, Picked Wrong Person to Deliver Them

Mark Barnett handed 40 years in plot to hit Target stores
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2018 9:05 AM CDT
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Mark Charles Barnett   (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A Florida man was handed a 40-year sentence after plotting to bomb 10 Target stores along the Eastern seaboard in a twisted investment scheme. Mark Charles Barnett expected Target's stock to fall in the aftermath of the planned bombing, which would allow him to buy shares cheaply in advance of an eventual rebound, reports NBC News. "If someone has to die so that I can make some money, so be it," the 50-year-old said, per prosecutors. He was foiled when a person he offered to pay $10,000 to deliver the bombs went to police; WJXT describes the person as a "confidential source for federal investigators" and says Barnett did deliver the bombs to him. Barnett was convicted in July on charges of attempted arson, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and making an unregistered destructive device.

Before his sentencing Wednesday, experts said Barnett of Ocala, Fla., had assembled at least 10 explosive devices, which were hidden inside packages of stuffing mix, breakfast bars, and pasta intended for Target stores in Florida, Virginia, and New York. Authorities said the bombs could've caused serious injury or death in addition to property damage, with 11Alive noting they were meant to explode the moment the packages were picked up. A registered sex offender released from state prison in 2013, Barnett was previously convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault, and grand theft. (Authorities say another would-be bomber planned to target the National Mall on Election Day.)

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