A 22-year-old Texas man involved in a plot to use Grindr to kidnap and rob gay men has been sentenced to 23 years in prison

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© Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images Grindr app. Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images

  • A Texas man involved in a Grindr plot to kidnap and rob Grindr users has been sentenced.
  • Daniel Jenkins is the last of four men to receive a sentence for the scheme, which began in 2017.
  • The four lured at least nine Grindr users to their apartment and held them at gunpoint at an ATM.

A Texas man has been sentenced to more than 23 years in prison for targeting, kidnapping, and robbing gay men, according to the Department of Justice.

Daniel Jenkins, 22, is the last of four men to be sentenced. He and the other three men were involved in a 2017 plot to “lure” at least nine Grindr users to their apartment, where they held them at gunpoint, the DOJ release says. The Grindr users, under duress, then drove to nearby ATMs to withdraw cash from their accounts.

They created fake Grindr profiles to attract “men they perceived to be gay to a location to rob them,” the release says.

Once the men showed up at their apartment, Jenkins “took their personal property and assaulted them, causing at least one victim physical injury,” according to the DOJ. “Jenkins admitted that he knew that members of the conspiracy used gay slurs and taunted the victims, and that at least one member of the conspiracy attempted to sexually assault a victim. Jenkins also admitted to participating in the carjacking of at least one victim.”

All four men pleaded guilty. Jenkins was the last to do so, the DOJ release says, pleading guilty earlier this year in June. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking; one related to a hate crime; and another count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Jenkins “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,” said Acting US Attorney Chad Meacham for the Northern District of Texas. “Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, bigots often lurk online. We urge users of dating apps like Grindr to remain vigilant.”

The other three men – Michael Atkinson, Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon, and Daryl Henry – were sentenced earlier this year. Atkinson was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, Ceniceros-Deleon 22 years, and Henry 20.

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