Texas hate crime co-conspirators lured gay men in Dallas to rob, mistreat them.
Daniel Jenkins, 22, of Dallas, Texas has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The Texas man also pleaded guilty to other charges in connection with his involvement in a plot to “target gay men for violent crimes,” according to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including kidnapping, carjacking and the use of a firearm.
Jenkins admitted that he and others used the social media site Grindr to entice gay men to meet at certain locations around Dallas in order to rob them, targeting the men because of their sexual orientation. The hate crimes occurred over the course of a week in December 2017. Jenkins admitted the men were held their will, and that he and others pointed a handgun at victims and took their personal property. According to court documents, Jenkins told authorities that one of his co-conspirators had attempted to use an “object to sexually assault one of the victims.” Co-conspirators, he said, also “wiped human feces on at least two victims.”
“The Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Division are committed to confronting the scourge of hate-based violence gripping communities across our nation,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “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.”
“These defendants brutalized multiple victims, singling them out due to their sexual orientation,” added Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah of the Northern District of Texas. “We cannot allow this sort of violence to fester unchecked,” “The Department of Justice is committed to prosecuting hate crimes. In the meantime, we urge dating app users to remain vigilant. Unfortunately, predators often lurk online.”
“Investigating hate crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “We are committed to the pursuit of offenders and holding them accountable for perpetrating these harmful crimes. 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.”
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 also pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime and other charges. Daniel Jenkins’ will be sentenced on October 6 and the co-conspirators will be sentenced later this month. Jenkins faces a sentence of up to 26 years behind bars.