CRIME

Florida man accused of planning to bomb Target stores to lower company's stock

May 16, 2016: A newly constructed Target store is shown in San Diego, Calif.

May 16, 2016: A newly constructed Target store is shown in San Diego, Calif.  (Reuters)

A Florida man is accused of planning to bomb Target stores along the East Coast in an attempt to buy cheap stock in the company, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Mark Charles Barnett, 48, of Ocala, was charged with possession or possession of a destructive device affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Barnett is a registered sex offender in Florida.

The Justice Department filed a complaint alleging Barnett built at least 10 explosive devices and paid another man $10,000 to place the bombs on store shelves. The man also received a mask, a license-plate cover and a bag of gloves. Officials said the other man went to authorities.

Officials said bomb-making materials were found in Barnett’s home as well.

According to the complaint, Barnett thought the explosions would cause Target stock prices to drop, allowing him to buy cheap shares in the company before it rebounded.

Barnett faces up to 10 years in federal prison. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail for nine parole violations, the Sentinel reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.