Six Houston-area suspects charged in New Jersey home invasions

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Authorities say they were indicted in connection with a string of home invasion robberies that targeted the Asian-Indian community (KTRK)

Authorities in New Jersey say six Houston-area 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 as many as a dozen home invasions in three states-New Jersey, Texas and Michigan.

On the same day the local New Jersey indictments were made public, the Department of Justice revealed federal indictments against the same people.

In New Jersey, 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. The federal indictments include racketeering and federal weapons charge from crimes committed in Ann Arbor, Michigan and several Dallas suburbs.

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 La Marque, and five Houston residents - Chaka Castro, 39, who is also known as Catina Dennings; Juan Olaya, 34; Octavius Scott, 22, Johnisha Williams, 19, 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.

According to the lengthy indictment, Castro was the ringleader. She would coordinate with Olaya to generate lists of potential victims using the internet for research. Olaya would then dispatch a crew to carry out the armed robbery. They would hold families at gunpoint, tie them up and then take off with stolen items such as electronics, cash and jewelry. In many cases, it's believed Williams, pretty and disarming, would knock on the door and when someone answered, the rest of the robbers would storm the house.

They also allegedly threatened homeowners and smashed cell phones to prevent victims from calling police. There have been no reports of injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
Related Topics:
home invasionHoustonLa Marque
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