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Florida Man Plotted to Bomb Target Stores, Gets 40 Years in Prison

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on October 19, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some criminal plots are interesting to explore, like in Ocean's Seven. And some are downright irrational and twisted, like Mark Charles Barnett.

Barnett, a 50-year-old registered sex offender from Florida, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after plotting to place bombs in 10 Target stores throughout the eastern seaboard by hiding bombs in food packages that would be placed by a hired accomplice. Why? Because he wanted to make money by buying Target stock after the stock price dropped from the bad news. The way Barnett saw it, "If someone has to die so that I can make some money, so be it."

Barnett's Bombs Could Have Done Serious Damage

Trial evidence showed Barnett bought bomb parts and assembled at least ten bombs, which he concealed in dry food boxes, such as instant potatoes, pasta, and stuffing mix. He offered someone $10,000 to place the hidden bombs in various Target stores. But instead of placing the bombs, that someone told the federal officials, and Barnett was subsequently arrested. According to officials, the bombs were strong enough to cause substantial property damage, and potentially even personal injury or death.

How Many Shares Are We Talking?

Understandably, someone so twisted may not be able to come up with a rational plan. Why not short the stock prior to the bombing? Or if you want to stick with traditional models, where will you come up with the money to buy the stock so as to get the gains? That's a lot of buying on margin for someone that is looking to "make some money". And, of course, to "make some money", he will have to first pay off the $10,000 accomplice and the bill for the bomb parts. And what about taxes on the gain? But let's not digress into a rational discussion of such an irrational plot.

Barnett was ultimately convicted on federal charges of attempted arson, possession of an unregistered destructive device and making an unregistered destructive device. Add this on to his prior convictions of multiple felony convictions for kidnapping, sexual assault, and grand theft, and you've got one heck of a criminal rap sheet.

Criminal plots are no laughing matter. If someone asks you to participate, think twice before becoming an accomplice, and contact local law enforcement. Thankfully in this case someone did. And if you made the wrong choice, and ended up aiding and abetting, call a criminal defense attorney today.

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