Texas Predator Jailed For Using Grindr To Beat And Rob Gay Men
A man in Texas has been jailed for 23 years for using the Grindr dating app to lure homosexual men into violent ambushes where he beat and robbed them with three pals.
The criminal, who has been jailed following an FBI investigation, has been named as Daniel Jenkins, 22, and he was sentenced on Wednesday afternoon (13th October) for federal hate crime charges, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.
He along with three other people used the gay dating app Grindr to target homosexual men in the Dallas area to physically and verbally abuse them after having lured them to a location.
The criminals also stole some of their victims’ vehicles and travelled to nearby ATM machines to force them to withdraw cash from their bank accounts.
The District Attorney’s Office released a statement yesterday (13th October) which said that Jenkins “was sentenced to a federal prison term of 280 months for his involvement in the scheme to target gay men for violent crimes”.
The prison term of 280 months equals just over 23 years.
A previous statement released in June said that Jenkins had “pleaded guilty to one hate crime count, one hate crime conspiracy count, kidnapping, carjacking, and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. He is the last of four defendants to plead guilty to charges stemming from a scheme that targeted gay men on the dating app Grindr”.
Acting US Attorney Prerak Shah is quoted as saying: “These defendants brutalised multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation. We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked.”
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division added: “The Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Division are committed to confronting the scourge of hate-based violence gripping communities across our nation.”
She added: “We denounce hate-based violence in all of its forms, including violence targeting individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We will continue to diligently investigate and prosecute violent, bias-motivated crimes to the fullest extent.
“As noted by Attorney General Garland, we stand ready to use every tool in our arsenal to address the rise in hate and we will work to hold perpetrators of hate-motivated violence accountable.”
In this latest statement, Clarke said: “This sentence affirms that bias-motivated crimes run contrary to our national values and underscores the Justice Department’s commitment to aggressively prosecuting bias-motivated crimes, including crimes against the LGBTQI community.
Acting US Attorney Chad Meacham for the Northern District of Texas is also quoted in this latest statement as saying: “This defendant singled out victims based on their perceived sexual orientation, then viciously assaulted them. The Department of Justice will not tolerate these sorts of heinous, hate-based attacks.
“We will continue to pursue justice for victims of bias-motivated crimes, wherever they occur.”
In the June statement, FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said: “Investigating hate crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. We are committed to the pursuit of offenders and holding them accountable for perpetrating these harmful crimes.”
He added: “No one should have to live in fear of violence because of who they are, where they are from or what they believe. We will continue working with our law enforcement and community partners to detect and prevent violent incidents motivated by hate or bias.
“We also urge the public to report any suspected hate crimes to the FBI and local law enforcement.”
The District Attorney’s office also said that Jenkins’ co-conspirators pleaded guilty in March and December 2019 to federal hate crimes and other charges.
His co-conspirators were named in the latest statement as Michael Atkinson, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, and Daryl Henry. Atkinson was jailed for over 11 years, Ceniceros-Deleon was sentenced to 22 years in prison, and Henry was jailed for 20 years.
Jenkins entered a guilty plea on 2nd June this year.
This latest statement specified that Jenkins had been facing a maximum sentence of 26 years behind bars under the plea agreement.
The investigation was carried out by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office at a federal level and a separate criminal investigation was undertaken by the Dallas Police Department.