The leader of a gang suspected of multiple home invasions across the country, including North Texas, from 2011 to 2014 that targeted those of Indian and Asian ancestry, was sentenced Monday.
Chaka Castro, 44, was sentenced to 37 years in prison after being found guilty of one count of racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations (RICO) conspiracy, four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and four counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
These charges are in connection to home invasions that took place Dec. 5-7, 2014, in Allen, Flower Mound, Coppell and Southlake.
Castro, of Houston, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Laurie J. Michelson of the Eastern District of Michigan, who presided over the trial.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Castro generated a list of robbery suspects in various states – Texas, Georgia, New York, Ohio and Michigan – and would assign a crew to those locations. Then the crew would carry out the robberies with a similar MO and then later “returned proceeds from the robberies to Castro.”
According to an indictment, the suspects that carried out the robberies were Johnisha Ann-Marie Williams, who was 19 at the time, Juan Fernando Olaya, 34, Rodney Ray Granger, 19, and Octavious Dejon Scott, 22.
“They disguised their appearance with clothing and bandanas so that victims of their robberies would have difficulty identifying them,” the release stated. “They would openly carry and brandish firearms to gain control of the victims and then immediately corral the victims, including children, into one location in the home. At least one robber would then restrain the victims with duct tape and threats of violence, as another partner would ransack the home in search of cash, jewelry and electronics to steal. The group organized their trips to involve multiple home invasion robberies over a series of days.”
Police believe multiple suspects were involved with the Coppell home invasion, which occurred Dec. 5 in the 500 block of Abbey Court; three invasions in Allen on Dec. 6 – the 1400 block of Rio Grande Drive, the 300 block of Wrotham Lane and the 1200 block of Phillip Drive – and the Flower Mound robbery, which took place Dec. 7 in the 5600 block of Suncrest Drive.
Several suspects were indicted for their suspected roles in the robberies within days.
Williams was arrested Dec. 7 at the scene of the Flower Mound invasion. Scott was arrested by the U.S. Marshals East Texas Fugitive Task Force on Dec. 11. Olaya and Granger were also arrested by Carrollton police on Dec. 8.
Allen and Carrollton PD arrested Castro on Dec. 8 while serving a search warrant at a Carrollton residence. Allen PD spokesman Jon Felty said Castro was found to be in possession of stolen property.