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Federal Grand Jury Indicts 28-Year-Old Registered Sex Offender For Allegedly Enticing a Minor And Launching a Murder-for-Hire Plot to Kill the Victim

A federal grand jury handed down a three-count indictment that charges a 28-year-old registered sex offender with allegedly enticing a 12-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity and later launching a murder-for-hire plot while incarcerated at a state prison where he was being held on related state charges in an alleged scheme to stop her from being a witness, United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha—announced on Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Chandler John Cardente of repeatedly communicating with the Rhode Island minor via social media before having sexual contact with her on December 10, 2021. He was arrested in state custody.

 The indictment goes on to read that while held at the Adult Correctional Institutions, Cardente talked on the phone with another person. During these communications, the suspect expressed his intent that the girl be murdered and offered $200 in cash and equipment worth $1,500. Cardente allegedly told the other person that the victim needed “to end up dead” because she was “a witness.” 

The grand jury indictment charges Cardente with the enticement of a minor; committing a felony offense involving a minor while being a registered sex offender; and interstate murder-for-hire. A federal indictment is merely an accusation until a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty, reported.

Enticement of a minor is punishable by a statutory penalty with a maximum of life in federal prison, with a minimum mandatory term of incarceration of ten years; committing a felony offense involving a minor while being a registered sex offender is punishable by a consecutive term of ten years of imprisonment to any sentence imposed for enticement of a minor and interstate murder-for-hire is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to ten years imprisonment.

The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; the Burrillville, Warwick, and Cranston Police Departments; Rhode Island State Police; and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Special Investigations Unit.

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