Four Texas Men Indicted on Federal Hate Crime and Conspiracy Charges for Assaults Based on Victims’ Sexual Orientation
A federal grand jury returned an eighteen-count superseding indictment against Anthony Shelton, 19; Nigel Garrett, 21; Chancler Encalade, 20; and Cameron Ajiduah, 18, charging them with conspiring to cause bodily injury to persons because of the sexual orientation of those persons, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Dallas Division announced.
According to the indictment, from Jan. 17 to Feb. 7, 2017, the defendants committed home invasions in Plano, Frisco, and Aubrey, Texas. For each of the four home invasions, the defendants used Grindr, a social media dating platform for gay men, to falsely identify as a gay man and arrange to meet the victim at the victim’s home. Upon entering the victim’s home, the defendants assaulted the victim, restrained the victim with tape, and made derogatory statements about the victim being gay. The defendants possessed a firearm during each home invasion, and they stole the victim’s property, including his motor vehicle.
For these crimes, the defendants have been charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, carjacking and possession of a firearm in furtherance of these crimes. The hate crime counts carry a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment merely establishes probable cause, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the ATF, the Plano Police Department and the Frisco Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Batson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Saeed Mody of the Civil Rights Division.