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Convicted Child Molester Charged With Molesting, Plotting Murder-For-Hire Of 12-Year-Old
Chandler John Cardente allegedly offered an undercover detective $200 cash and $1,500 in tattooing equipment to kill his alleged victim in another case.
A registered sex offender in Rhode Island is now facing federal charges for allegedly trying hire someone to kill his alleged victim.
Chandler John Cardente, 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday on three charges: interstate murder-for-hire; enticement of a minor; and committing a felony offense involving a minor while being a registered sex offender. Authorities alleged that he tried to have a 12-year-old girl killed while he was state prison facing charges that he'd sexually abused her, according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment, filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Rhode Island, states that Cardente allegedly sexually abused the 12-year-old girl in 2021 and wanted to “eliminate her as a witness” ahead of his indictment in the case.
Cardente has been accused in that case of posing as a 17-year-old and picking the victim up at her middle school in Burrillville — about 25 miles northwest of Providence — according to CBS Providence affiliate WPRI.
The child’s parents reported her missing when she failed to come home from school.
Federal authorities allege that Cardente “communicated repeatedly” with the child via social media beginning on Dec. 3, 2021. Then, according to the release, Cardente allegedly lured the girl away from her school to “engage in sexual activity” and had sexual contact with her on Dec. 10, 2021.
Rhode Island Police had said the pair’s correspondence went as far back as July 2021.
Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch said at the time that, on Dec. 10 — a Friday — the child waited for school to be dismissed before cutting across the school’s soccer field and walking into the woods, according to WPRI. She then met Cardente at his car, parked on a state highway.
Cardente, already a convicted child molester, allegedly kicked the girl out of his car around 9:30 p.m. — seven hours after allegedly picking her up — when he learning the police were looking for him. She was found early on Saturday morning, curled up along the side of a road in Warwick, some 30 miles south.
“Cardente was subsequently arrested and detained in state custody,” feds stated in Wednesday’s release. WPRI reported that he was being held on probation charges in December, but was facing charges of kidnapping and sexual assault.
On Feb. 4, while in a state prison on those charges, Cardente allegedly made a phone call and asked the recipient kill the alleged victim for him, according to charging documents reviewed by Oxygen.com. Cardente allegedly offered the would-be hitman $200 in cash, plus $1,500 worth of tattooing equipment, in exchange for the minor’s death.
Cardente allegedly said in the phone call that the girl needed “to end up dead” because she was “a witness.”
According to WPRI, the person on the other end of the call was actually an undercover detective with the Rhode Island State Police. And, during their conversation, the detective offered Cardente an opportunity to change his mind about the hit.
“I’m going to go to sleep, so I’m fine with it,” Cardente allegedly said. “I just need it done before I get indicted.”
Cardente, who had been living in Cranston, has a history of child sex abuse convictions, as listed with the Rhode Island Sex Offender Registry. They include first-degree child molestation, third-degree sexual assault and multiple sex offender registration violations.
In 2014, when Cardente was 19, he was accused of sexual contact with a 13-year-old, according to NBC Providence affiliate WJAR. In that case, authorities said he also posed as a 17-year-old while talking to the victim online.
At the time, Cardente was already facing two child molestation charges, though two additional sex crime charges had been dismissed.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in the current case against Cardente, including Homeland Security, Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ Special Investigations Unit, and local authorities in Burrillville, Warwick, and Cranston.
If convicted of the charges, Cardente faces life behind bars.