6 Texans Indicted in 5 New Jersey Home Invasions

Authorities in New Jersey say six Texas residents have been indicted in connection with a string of home invasion robberies late last year that targeted the Asian-Indian community.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey says a county grand jury handed up five indictments Wednesday which contain 103 counts overall.

The six defendants are accused of having various roles in five home invasions in Old Bridge, Edison and South Plainfield.

All six defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit bias intimidation, robbery and burglary for selecting the five families whose homes were ransacked at gunpoint between October and November.

Individually, some of the defendants also face counts including aggravated assault, kidnapping, theft, making terroristic threats, criminal mischief and hindering their own apprehension.

The defendants are Jakeyra Augustus, 21, of North Texas City, and five Houston residents -- Chaka Castro, 39, who is also known as Catina Dennings; Juan Olaya, 34; Octavius Scott, 22, Johnisha Williams, 19 and Justin Haynes-Johnson, 25.

Bail for each defendant was set at $1.25 million. It wasn't known Wednesday if any of them have retained attorneys.

Authorities say Castro targeted specific homes in the three communities and directed her co-defendants to commit the crimes. Scott and Olaya allegedly entered each of the homes and, at gunpoint, restrained the families and fled with stolen items.

They also allegedly threatened homeowners and smashed cell phones to prevent victims from calling police.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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