Man arrested in alleged Target bomb plot

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Mark Barnett, 48, paid an unidentified man $10,000 to put at least 10 explosive devices, disguised as food items, in Target stores from Florida to NY.

Investigators used the person whom Barnett asked to do the job to get more information about Barnett's plans. He wanted the retail giant's stock to plunge after the explosions so he could buy it back at a cheaper price, the Department of Justice says.

Barnett had created explosives to be placed on the shelves in Target.

An expert from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives later determined that the bombs were functional and could cause damage.

It is unclear which Syracuse-area Target was the intended store for the explosives. Barnett is now in custody at the Marion County Jail on state charges for violating his terms of probation.

He then asked the person to place them on store shelves from NY to Florida.

According to an affidavit, Mark Barnett, 48, a previously convicted felon, of Ocala, offered a source $10,000 to place improvised explosive bombs in stores.

"Barnett created at least 10 of the explosive devices, disguised in food-item packaging, which Barnett delivered to the CS on February 9, 2017", reads the press release, citing the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint.

"The cooperation between the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies involved in this case was instrumental to quickly identifying this individual and resolving any potential threat to the public", said Charles Spencer, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.

As NBC News reported, authorties said Barnett is a registered sex offender on probation for multiple felony kidnapping, sexual battery and grand theft counts.

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