4 Texas men accused of targeting gay men in armed home invasions, carjackings

Four men in Texas were indicted on federal hate crime and conspiracy charges Wednesday in connection with a string of armed home invasions and robberies targeting gay men.

A federal grand jury handed down the 18-count superseding indictment, which replaces a previous indictment, according to the Justice Department.

Anthony Shelton, Nigel Garrett, Chancler Encalade, and Cameron Ajiduah — all ranging in age from 18 to 21 — are accused of targeting men in Plano, Frisco and Aubrey, Texas earlier this year.

The men used the gay dating platform Grindr to pose as gay men and arrange meetings at the victims’ homes, according to the indictment. On four occasions, the men entered the victim’s home, assaulted him, taped him up, “and made derogatory statements about the victim being gay.” The defendants used a gun during each home invasion, and they stole the victim’s car.

They’ve been charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, carjacking, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of those crimes. The hate crime counts carry a maximum penalty of life behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

Dates for jury selection and a trial will be determined for three of the defendants in early August.