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Man accused of plot to bomb several Target stores so company’s stock would tank and he could get rich

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OSCALA, Florida - Federal agents have arrested a Florida man accused of planning to bomb several east coast Target stores, with the hope of getting rich.

Mark Barnett, 48, is accused of filling empty pasta and cereal bar boxes with gunpowder and an ignition source, which he allegedly hoped to place on store shelves.

Authorities reportedly found those same homemade bomb materials in Barnett's shed behind his home.

Federal documents state Barnett hoped ten explosions in ten Target stores from Florida to New York would cause Target's stock to drop so he could buy cheap shares, then eventually sell when values rose again.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives got involved when the person Barnett allegedly recruited to plant the bombs instead contacted authorities.

Agents set up a sting operation and reportedly got recorded phone conversations between that person and Barnett.

Documents state Barnett warned his believed accomplice to be careful because the bombs could "take your hand off," though authorities say they were strong enough to kill a person.

Investigators say Barnett also gave the person gas money and gloves.

According to WESH News, Barnett is a convicted sex offender, so neighbors say they were not surprised by his arrest.

"That boggles my mind. My wife, since she does 90 percent of our shopping, could've picked up one of those packages. It's scary, it's worrisome," neighbor Phillip Hendricks told a reporter.

Target released a statement, praising law enforcement for apprehending the suspect.

Barnett is being held without bail in the Marion County jail. If convicted, he could spend ten years in prison.