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Fla. Man Plotted to Put Explosives in Target Stores: Police

"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 has been accused of plotting to blow up Target stores along the East Coast.

    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 New York.

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    The plan was ruined, however, when the man later surrendered the devices to police and turned Barnett in.

    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."

    The complaint continued: "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."

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

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    Police said Frank Wetzel, 61, was pulled over after blowing through a stop sign. Police said he started fidgeting with something next to him, making the officer suspicious. He was allegedly later found with a machete and handgun.

    (Published 6 hours ago)

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