Hate-fueled Robbery and Kidnapping Spree Ends in Federal Convictions for Miami Man
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
MIAMI – A 21-year-old Miami man who carjacked, kidnapped, and robbed five victims has pled guilty in South Florida federal court to 17 counts of violence. Stevenson Charles faces up to life in prison.
As part of his guilty plea, Charles admitted that from October 23 to November 6, 2022, he targeted gay men on Grindr, a social networking application for gay and bisexual people. In October 2022, Charles invited a man he met online to Charles’s Miami home for sex. After the man arrived, Charles pulled a gun on him. Charles then had the victim drive to two automated teller machines, withdraw over $1,000, and give it to him.
The following month, Charles invited a man he met on Grindr to a Miami location for sex. When the man arrived, Charles pulled a gun on him and demanded his cellular telephone. Charles scrolled through the pictures on the victim’s phone, some of which showed the victim with other men. Charles hit the victim with a gun several times, saying that he would kill everyone like the victim. Then, Charles forced the man to drive him to retail pharmacy stores, where Charles purchased items with the victim’s credit card.
Also, in November 2022, Charles met a different man on Grindr and arranged to meet him in Dania Beach for sex. Once there, Charles pulled a gun on the man and told him that he hated gay people and believed they should be punished. Charles forced the victim to drive to a home in Aventura, where the victim had been living with a couple. When they arrived, Charles pointed a gun at the couple and demanded money from them. Charles then forced the group into the victim’s car and instructed them to drive to automated teller machines, withdraw over $1,500, and give it to him.
Charles had the group drive back to the Aventura home, where he stole the couple’s phones. Charles left with the man he had met on Grindr, instructing the victim to drive to their initial meeting spot in Dania Beach. When they neared a secluded area by some railroad tracks, Charles shot the man several times, including once in the head. Despite the injuries, the victim was able to call 911 and survived. Law enforcement officers located Charles in Georgia and arrested him.
U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck will sentence Charles on April 24, in Miami. Charles faces up to life in prison and may be subject to a hate crime enhancement under the federal sentencing guidelines.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and acting Special Agent in Charge Maged Behnam of FBI Miami announced the conviction.
This was a joint investigation between the FBI Miami Field Office, the City of Miami Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Aventura Police Department, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elena Smukler and Dayron Silverio of the Special Prosecutions Section are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 22-cr-20596.
Public Affairs Unit
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
Updated April 19, 2023
Project Safe Neighborhoods