An Ohio man whom federal prosecutors accused of planning to "slaughter" women and kill thousands of people in a mass shooting pleaded guilty to an attempted hate crime, authorities said Tuesday.
Tres Genco, 22, admitted targeting women at a university in Ohio in 2020, the U.S. attorney's office for Southern Ohio said in a news release.
He faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison.
According to the prosecutor's office, Genco identified as an "involuntary celibate," or incel, one of a group of men who harbor hostility toward women for denying them "sexual or romantic attention to which they believe they are entitled."
When Genco was indicted last year, he was also charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun. As part of his plea, Genco admitted possession of two firearms, including the modified Glock-style 9 mm semiautomatic pistol that was described as a machine gun in the indictment, the prosecutor's office said.
Neither the prosecutor's office nor Genco's lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment Tuesday night.
According to an indictment in the case, in 2019 Genco expressed sympathy on an incel website for a gunman who killed six people and injured 14 others at a California university campus. He also bought tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest, a bowie knife, a rifle and ammunition, the indictment said.
Investigators found a note from the summer of 2019 that listed a university and said the "KC" — understood to be a reference to "kill count" — "needs to be huge! 3,000? Aim big then," according to the indictment. The university is not named in the indictment.
The note added that Genco planned to get "arms training in BCT," or basic combat training, in Georgia, according to the indictment.
On Aug. 3, 2019, Genco drafted a document describing himself as a "socially exiled Incel" and saying he planned to "take away the power of life that they withhold from me," according to the document.
"I will slaughter out of hatred, jealousy and revenge," he wrote, the indictment says.
The same day, Genco searched online for a university and sororities in Ohio, the indictment says.
Genco left Ohio that month for Georgia, where he attended basic training until December, according to the indictment. On Jan. 15, after having returned to Ohio, he conducted surveillance at a university and searched the internet to determine "When does preparing for a crime become an attempt."
Authorities searched his car on March 12, 2020, and found body armor, a gun with a bump stock, loaded magazines and ammunition, according to the indictment.
Inside a heating vent in Genco's home, authorities found what the indictment describes as a "machine gun" — a Glock semi-automatic pistol with no serial number or identifying information, the document says.
He was arrested in July 2021, the prosecutor's office said.
In a court filing, a lawyer for Genco had pushed back against the allegation that he had a machine gun, saying the weapon was not automatic "as a matter of law."
In a separate filing, the lawyer accused prosecutors of presenting a "long series of incidents including acts such as joining the military and traveling to basic training, online internet searches, and private journal writings. What is lacking in the indictment is any direct claim that Mr. Genco actually attempted to cause bodily injury to anyone."
A sentencing date has not been set.