One of four Texas men accused of using
Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men, to find men to rob and
assault was sentenced on Wednesday.
Nigel Garrett, 21, received 15 years in
prison following a plea agreement, the
AP reported. The other three suspects – Cameron Ajiduah,
Anthony Shelton and Chancler Encalade – are waiting sentencing.
They also have pleaded guilty.
According to the plea agreement signed
by Garrett, the defendants used Grindr to meet their victims at their
homes. The victims were physically assaulted, bound and robbed
during the home invasion. The defendants would make homophobic
statements to the victims while brandishing a firearm. The crimes
were committed in the Texas cities of Plano, Frisco and Aubrey over a
three-week period early last year.
An 18-count indictment handed down by a
federal grand jury in May included charges of hate crimes,
kidnappings, carjackings and use of a firearm to commit violent
In a statement released in August,
acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore wrote: “The Justice
Department will not tolerate hate crimes against any individual based
on sexual orientation. Hate crimes are violent crimes, but also
attack the fundamental principles of the United States. The Justice
Department will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute
The men face a maximum sentence of
life in prison.