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Press Release

Indianapolis Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison After Four Armed Robberies of Victims Lured Using Dating App

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Demetrius Banks, 25, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to court documents, between May 15, 2021, and May 21, 2021, Banks used an online dating application, Grindr, to arrange to meet four different men at their residences. Banks contacted Victim 1 on May 15, 2021, through Grindr and arranged to meet Victim 1 at his apartment in Indianapolis. Shortly thereafter, Banks arrived at Victim 1’s apartment. Victim 1 opened the door and Banks entered the apartment. Victim 1 left Banks in the living room for a few minutes and when he returned Banks brandished a semiautomatic pistol. Banks utilized Victim 1’s cellular telephone to wire himself $500 through an online Cash App account. Banks also stole a television, two laptops, an iWatch, an iPad, and approximately 30 pieces of jewelry. Banks threatened Victim 1 before fleeing in his vehicle. Banks pleaded guilty to the charges pertaining to this robbery.

Banks committed very similar robberies of three additional victims. On May 15, 2021, Banks met Victim 2 at the victim’s apartment, brandished a pistol, and pushed his way into the apartment. Banks demanded money from Victim 2 and stole his cellular telephone.

On May 16, 2021, Banks met Victim 3 at the victim’s residence. Banks wore a mask over the lower portion of his face and brandished a pistol. Banks entered Victim 3’s home, demanded money from him and led him to the bedroom at gunpoint. A struggle over the firearm ensued and during the fight the pistol discharged twice. One round struck the wall and the other hit Victim 3’s television. Banks fled the residence with his firearm. Officers responded to the scene and immediately noticed Victim 3’s injuries. Officers identified at least two bullet holes in Victim 3’s residence and recovered a .380 caliber shell casing.

On May 21, 2021, Banks arranged to meet with Victim 4 at his residence. When Victim 4 answered, Banks brandished a semiautomatic pistol and pushed his way into the residence. Banks ordered Victim 4 at gunpoint to lay face down on the bed. Victim 4 complied while Banks stole his cellular telephone, a laptop, several pieces of jewelry, and Apple AirPods. Banks threatened to kill Victim 4 before leaving the residence.

Law enforcement officers identified Banks as the robber through investigation. Banks was arrested and transported to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for questioning. Banks admitted to using Grindr to meet Victims 1-4. Banks initially denied he committed the robberies, but later admitted to committing all four.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.

The FBI investigated the case. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Stinson ordered that Banks be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence D. Hilton who prosecuted this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated September 29, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses