Daniel Jenkins, 22, of Dallas, Texas, has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges in connection with his involvement in a scheme targeting gay men for violent crimes using the gay dating app Grindr. Jenkins is the fourth and final defendant charged in the scheme to plead guilty.
From the Justice Department:
Jenkins pleaded guilty to one hate crime count, one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking, and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators used Grindr, a social media dating platform used primarily by gay men, to lure gay men to a vacant apartment and other areas in and around Dallas for robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and hate crimes over the course of approximately a week in December 2017.
Jenkins admitted that he and his co-conspirators held victims against their will; pointed a handgun at victims and took their personal property, including their vehicles; and traveled to local ATMs to withdraw cash from the victims’ accounts.
Jenkins further admitted that he and his co-conspirators physically injured at least one victim and taunted the victims based upon the co-conspirators’ perception of the men’s sexual orientation.
In March 2019, Michael Atkinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping charges in connection with this case. In December 2019, Daryl Henry and Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime and other charges in connection with this case. Sentencing for these three defendants is set for June 23.
At his sentencing, scheduled for October 6, Jenkins will face up to 26 years in prison.