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By Chuck Johnston
Four Texas men are accused of posing as a gay man to lure victims via a popular gay dating app and then assault them, according to a federal grand jury indictment.
Anthony Shelton, 19, Nigel Garrett, 21, Chancler Encalade, 20, and Cameron Ajiduah, 18, face charges including hate crimes and could face a sentence of life in prison if found guilty in the attacks carried out in Dallas suburbs, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The group allegedly used the Grindr app and pretended to be a lone gay man, who arranged to meet at the victims’ homes. But four men showed up at victims’ homes and assaulted them, restrained them with tape, and made derogatory comments about their sexuality, court documents said. The accused were armed during each home invasion and stole property including a car, according to court documents.
There were four home invasions between January 17 and February 7, 2017, in Plano, Frisco and Aubrey, all suburbs of Dallas.
The defendants have been charged with 18 federal counts, including conspiracy, kidnapping, carjacking and possession of a firearm. The hate crime distinction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.