An Ohio man, who is a self-described "incel," pleaded guilty to planning to carry out a mass shooting of women at a university, federal prosecutors announced.
Tres Genco, 22, of Hillsboro, Ohio, was charged by a grand jury last year with one count of attempting to commit a hate crime. He pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Justice Department said. The plea agreement filing is sealed.
Genco "admitted he plotted to commit a hate crime, namely, a plan to shoot women at a university in Ohio," the DOJ said in a press release.
The charge is punishable by up to life in prison "because it involved an attempt to kill," the DOJ said.
Genco identified as an incel, or "involuntary celibate," and had active online profiles that supported the incel movement -- an online community of predominantly men who harbor anger toward women and advocate violence in support of their belief that women unjustly deny them sexual or romantic attention to which they believe they are entitled, according to the DOJ.
According to the indictment, on Jan. 15, 2020, Genco conducted surveillance at an unnamed Ohio university and searched online topics, including "how to plan a shooting crime" and "when does preparing for a crime become an attempt."
As part of their investigation, law enforcement agents discovered a note they say was written by Genco indicating his hope to "aim big" and kill up to 3,000 people, the DOJ said. The note referenced the same date as a 2014 mass shooting committed by known incel Elliot Rodger that killed six people at the University of California, Santa Barbara, according to the DOJ. In other writings, Genco stated he would "'slaughter' women 'out of hatred, jealousy and revenge…'' the DOJ said.
Officers who responded to a call at Genco's home in March 2020 found a firearm with a bump stock attached in his car and a semiautomatic pistol in a heating vent in his room, according to the DOJ. As part of his plea, Genco admitted to possessing both firearms "in furtherance of his plot," the DOJ said.
"Genco formulated a plot to kill women and intended to carry it out. Our federal and local law enforcement partners stopped that from happening," U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker said in a statement. "Hate has no place in our country -- including gender-based hate -- and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute any such conduct."
Attorneys for Genco did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.
John Cohen, the former Acting Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement to ABC News that there has been an "uptick in violence by individuals motivated by a broad array of extremist ideological beliefs and personal grievances" in the U.S.
"Local officials working closely with community organizations and federal agencies to employ threat assessment and management strategies represents the best hope for stemming this type of violence," he said.