Four Texas men were charged with a federal hate crime and conspiracy charges on Wednesday.
Anthony Shelton, 19; Nigel Garrett, 21; Chancler Encalade, 20; and Cameron Ajiduah, 18, were all named in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury. The indictment charged the four men with conspiring to cause bodily injury to persons because of the sexual orientation of their victims.
According to the indictment, from January 17 to February 7, the defendants broke into homes in Plano, Frisco, and Aubrey. For each of the four home invasions, the defendants used Grindr, a social media dating platform for gay men, pretended to identify as a gay man and arranged to meet the victim at the victim’s home.
Once the defendants got into their victim's home they would restrain the victim with tape, and make derogatory statements about the victim being gay. The defendants carried a firearm during each home invasion and stole the victim’s property and car.
Because of these crimes, the defendants are charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, carjacking and possession of a firearm. The hate crime counts carry a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison.