Registered sex offender found guilty in plot to place bombs in Target stores

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A federal jury has found Mark Barnett, 50, of Ocala, Florida, guilty of planning to place bombs in Target stores.

Barnett was found guilty of attempted arson, possession of an unregistered destruction device and making an unregistered destruction device on Monday.

He faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

Investigators say he planned to hide the bombs inside stuffing mix, breakfast bars and pasta.

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His goal was to make Target shares drop, so he could buy them cheap, and then make money when the shares rose again.

According to testimony, Barnett offered a source $100,000 to plant bombs inside Target stores along the east coast of the United States.

Barnett purchased the bomb components and assembled at least 10 devices, which he disguised inside the package of the grocery items.

He then delivered the devices to the source with instructions to put them on Target shelves from New York to Florida.

The source however promptly surrendered the devices to authorities.

Barnett was arrested on Feb. 14, 2017.  He is a registered sex offender who had been conditionally released from state prison in 2013 following multiple felony convictions for sexual assault, kidnapping and grand theft.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17.

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