You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Wabasha County Brothers Sentenced To Prison For Violent Home Invasion Robberies, One Resulting In Victim’s Death

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of LENNIE DWAYNE BROOKS, 34, RANDY LORENZO BROOKS, 24, and AUTUMN MARIE NICHOLS, 21, to prison for their roles in a string of violent home invasion robberies. Senior Judge David S. Doty sentenced LENNIE BROOKS to 365 months in prison, RANDY BROOKS to 240 months in prison, and NICHOLS to 120 months in prison. On November 5, 2019, co-defendant ESPERANZA CARDENAS, 30, was sentenced to 50 months in prison.

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald stated, “Lennie and Randy Brooks carefully planned and carried out multiple violent home invasion robberies, one resulting in the death of a victim. Although nothing can replace the lost sense of safety and security of one’s home or the loss of a loved one, today’s sentencings offer some measure of justice for the victims.”

“After more than a year of investigation and court proceedings, the Brooks brothers’ victims have justice,” said Special Agent in Charge William Terry Henderson, of the ATF Saint Paul Field Division. “ATF has worked closely with the victims in this case to provide status updates, resources, and support to help recover from the traumatic experiences resulting from the brothers’ violent crime spree. No one deserves what these people went through, and our hope is that peace can be found in the finality of this sentencing. We are grateful to our many law enforcement partners whose efforts led to the apprehension of those responsible for these crimes and ultimately for the success of this case.”

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed in court, LENNIE and RANDY BROOKS, on three separate occasions that are chargeable under the Hobbs Act, committed violent home invasion robberies and, in one incident, caused the death of a robbery victim. On October 6, 2018, LENNIE and RANDY BROOKS broke into a private residence located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota while NICHOLS waited in the getaway car. RANDY BROOKS held two victims at gunpoint while LENNIE BROOKS searched the house for money and valuables. During that time, one of the victims went into cardiac arrest, however neither defendant called for medical help nor did they allow the second victim to call for help. The defendants stole approximately $50,000 in cash, which was the business proceeds of the Shuang Hur Asian Markets located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The defendants admitted that the victim who went into cardiac arrest died as a direct result of the home invasion.

On September 23, 2018, LENNIE and RANDY BROOKS broke into a private residence located in Ellendale, Minnesota while CARDENAS waited in the getaway car. RANDY BROOKS held two victims at gunpoint while LENNIE BROOKS searched the house for money and valuables. The defendants stole approximately $40,000 in cash, which was the business proceeds of the Holland Auction Company located in Ellendale, Minnesota.

On August 16, 2018, LENNIE and RANDY BROOKS broke into a private residence located in Waite Park, Minnesota. RANDY BROOKS held two victims at gunpoint while LENNIE BROOKS searched the house for money and valuables. The defendants stole approximately $180,000 in jewelry and gemstones, which belonged to Trisko Jewelry located in Waite Park, Minnesota.

The Hobbs Act, passed by Congress in 1946, prohibits actual or attempted robbery affecting interstate or foreign commerce “in any way or degree.”

This case was the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), Eden Prairie Police Department, Steele County Sheriff’s Office, Woodbury Police Department, Cottage Grove Police Department, St. Paul Police Department, Minneapolis Police Department, Winona Police Department, Wabasha Police Department, Prior Lake Police Department, Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office, Winona County Sheriff’s Office, Waite Park Police Department, Owatonna Police Department, Nisswa Police Department, Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, Red Wing Police Department, Mason City Police Department, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Albert Lea Police Department. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), an initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen prosecuted the case.

 

Defendant Information:

LENNIE DWAYNE BROOKS, 34

Zumbro Falls, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), 3 counts

Sentenced:

  • 365 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $288,483.72 in restitution to victims

 

RANDY LORENZO BROOKS, 24

Wabasha, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), 3 counts

Sentenced:

  • 240 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $288,483.72 in restitution to victims

 

AUTUMN MARIE NICHOLS, 21

St. Paul, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 120 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $50,000 in restitution to victims

 

ESPERANZA CARDENAS, 30

Conger, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 50 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $238,483.72 in restitution to victims

 

###

 

Additional news available on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated December 3, 2019