Wabasha County Brothers Admit to Deadly Home Invasion
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Two brothers, both residents of Wabasha County, have pleaded guilty to federal charges connected to several violent home invasions and robberies, including one that resulted in the death of a victim.
The US Attorney’s Office for Minnesota says 33-year-old Lenny Brooks of Zumbro Falls and 24-year-old Randy Brooks of Wabasha both admitted to 3 counts each of interference with commerce by robbery, which is a criminal charge under the Hobbs Act. Prosecutors say, two co-defendants, 20-year-old Autumn McNichols, and 29-year-old Esperanza Cardenas, also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery.
United States Attorney Erica MacDonald stated, “These criminals admitted to a string of violent home invasions that ended in the tragic and senseless loss of life. Small business owners should never have to fear for their lives or the safety of their property, especially in their own homes. I commend the collaborative efforts of the many law enforcement agencies involved in this case that led to today’s guilty pleas. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to clearing the streets of violent criminals and ensuring the safety of all Minnesotans.”
Court records show the two brothers admitted to 3 violent home invasions in Eden Prairie, Waite Park, and Ellendale. In the Eden Prairie case, Randy Brooks held 2 occupants of a home at gunpoint while his brother searched the residence for cash and valuables. While that was taking place, one of the victims suffered a fatal heart attack and neither men called for medical help or allowed the other victim to call for help before they fled with approximately $50,000. Prosecutors say a similar home robbery in Ellendale resulted in the theft of $40,000 and the home invasion in Waite Park near St. Cloud netted them about $180,000 worth of jewelry and gemstones. In all 3 cases, the money and the merchandise were from businesses owned by the victims.
The first reports concerning the investigation into the Brooks Brothers surfaced in late December when federal agents raided a residence near Zumbro Falls and several other properties in Wabasha County. Several days later, a federal Grand Jury issued an indictment against the 2 men.
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