Christopher M. Sanford plead guilty to a charge of interfering with housing rights of another
Mike Tobin, Public Affairs Specialist, (216) 622-3651
Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the
Northern District of Ohio, today announced that Christopher M.
Sanford entered a plea of guilty to a charge of interfering with
housing rights of another as a result of the victim’s race,
religion, or national origin. Sanford’s guilty plea was entered
before U.S. Magistrate Judge William H. Baughman, Jr., who set
sentencing for June 18, 2012, at 2:00 pm, and released Sanford on
a $20,000 unsecured bond with conditions.
Sanford, age 25, resides in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. In
pleading guilty, Sanford admitted that in the early morning hours
of December 1, 2009, he hung a plastic camel affixed to a noose
to the apartment door of an individual named in the Information
as “A.F.A.” A.F.A. is a native of Jordan, an Arab, and a Muslim.
A.F.A.’s apartment was at Stonebridge Apartments, located at 1500 Detroit Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Sanford admitted that the camel was selected because of the race, ethnicity, and/or religion of the targeted victim.
U.S. Attorney Dettelbach said, “the freedom of all Americans
to live where they wish, without fear or threats based on their
religion or race, is central to our way of life as Americans and
Ohioans. This conduct violates those core values, values that we
will continue to uphold through appropriate federal
The charge against Sanford carries maximum penalties of up to one year in prison, a $25,000 fine, and up to one year of supervised release. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James V. Moroney, following an investigation by the civil rights unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.