Eight individuals have been charged in connection with 50 burglaries that targeted Asian homes in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, The New York Times reports.
The eight defendants were charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Law enforcement officials say they targeted homes in heavily populated Asian communities and looked for signs that the home was Asian-owned. From 2016 to 2019 they stole jewelry, weapons and thousands of dollars in currency from the United States and Asian countries from 50 homes across four states.
“These defendants allegedly carried out a brazen conspiracy based on stereotype and opportunity,” Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. said in a statement. “It is fitting that these arrests come at a time when society is raising awareness regarding crimes against our Asian-American citizens.”
If found guilty, the defendants could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of money involved in the offense.
Several defendants were granted bail on Tuesday. It is unclear when a trial will begin.
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