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Press Release

Prior Convicted Murderer Found Guilty of Attempted Home Invasion Robbery and Firearms Charges

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

Acting United States Attorney Jan W. Sharp announced that Rufus E. Dennis, 43, of Omaha, Nebraska, was convicted today in federal court in Omaha after a three-day jury trial.  Dennis was found guilty of one count of Attempted Interference with Interstate Commerce by way of Robbery, one count of possessing a firearm during and in furtherance of a crime of  violence,  and one count of felon in possession of a firearm due to his prior murder conviction and one count of possession of a stolen weapon.  Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. will sentence Dennis on November 5, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.  Dennis faces up to twenty years in prison for the attempted robbery, no less than five years and up to life for possessing a firearm in furtherance of that crime of violence, and up to ten years in prison on each of the remaining firearms charges. 

The evidence at trial showed that Rufus E. Dennis “cased” a family’s home on four separate occasions in January, 2020 while he was gathering information about the home and the family’s movements.  A single mother of two young children lived in the home, and Dennis planned to do physical harm to that woman in the presence of her elderly mother once he gained entry to the residence.   Dennis ultimately planned to “leave no witnesses behind,” and to shoot anyone who saw his face during the home invasion.  In furtherance of that plan, Dennis unwittingly attempted to buy hand guns from an undercover officer and recruited a confidential informant with the FBI to act as his lookout and getaway driver for the home invasion.  Dennis attempted to break into vehicles on the property that he believed a drug dealer was parking at the home with the hopes that the vehicles would contain drugs or drug proceeds.

On the morning of the planned home invasion, agents, investigators, and officers with the Greater Omaha Safe Streets Task Force executed a search and arrest warrant at Dennis’ residence and recovered a stolen firearm that contained Dennis’ DNA on it.  Dennis hoped to trade the rifle for a handgun with the undercover officer prior to invading the home.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bellevue Police Department, and the Omaha Police Department.

Updated August 3, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime