By Lucinda Shen
February 17, 2017

Buy low, sell high, so goes the investing adage.

But rather than waiting for markets to hit the right conditions, a Florida man allegedly tried to tank Target’s stock by setting off homemade explosives in several of the superstore’s East Coast locations. according to a Thursday criminal complaint filed by Department of Justice prosecutors in a federal court.

A registered sex offender, 48-year-old Mark Charles Barnett offered an unnamed affiliate $10,000 to place 10 operational homemade explosives in 10 Target stores in Florida, Virginia, and New York, the complaint alleges. The explosives, which were capable of causing “serious injury and death to nearby persons,” were expected to be placed on shelves while disguised as food products.

“Once the boxes had detonated inside of Target stores, Barnett theorized that the company’s stock value would plunge allowing him to acquire shares cheaply before an eventual rebound,” the complaint read.

But instead of doing as instructed, the unnamed affiliate turned in the explosives to federal officials, and worked with law enforcement in the investigation.

At one point during the investigation, Barnett told the affiliate to “start at Syracuse and work your way back down [to Florida],” the complaint alleged, saying that Barnett added: “Put one in each state, I guess.”

The events occured over the first few weeks of February, according to the filing.

Barnett is also on probation for kidnapping, multiple counts of sexual battery with a weapon or force, and grand theft. He was charged with possession of a firearm that has affected interstate or foreign commerce, according tho the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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