Miami, Fl. – Federal prosecutors have charged 23-year-old twin brothers Devon Cooke and Donavan Cooke, of Miami Gardens, with carjacking and kidnapping after they allegedly abducted and assaulted a man in an attempt to collect ransom money.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the criminal complaint affidavit unsealed today, the Cooke brothers’ victim drove to the twins’ home in Miami Gardens on September 15, 2020, to collect money. When the victim arrived, the Cooke brothers -- already on house arrest for murder and attempted murder charges -- are alleged to have assaulted the victim, snatched his car keys, and dragged him out of the car and into their house. According to the complaint, the brothers bound the victim to a chair, wrapping his arms and legs with duct tape. The complaint states that the brothers beat the victim, used a knife to cut his face and toes, and wrapped a dog leash around the victim’s neck, choking him to the point of unconsciousness.
The complaint also alleges that the Cooke brothers threatened to kill the victim if he did not come up with ransom money and that a witness heard the victim plead for his life. With one of the brothers alleged to have been holding a gun to the victim’s head, the victim made a phone call. He instructed the person who answered to collect cash, a Rolex, and other jewelry from the victim’s room, place it in a bag, and drive to a location the Cooke brothers selected. While that person did as the victim asked, an armed accomplice of the Cooke brothers arrived at the defendants’ home, loaded the victim into his car, and transported the victim to the exchange spot, according to the complaint. Once there, the victim fled the car and the Cooke brothers’ accomplice drove off with the ransom.
An investigation led law enforcement officers to the Cooke twins. Inside their home, FBI agents found duct tape, a dog collar, ammunition, and other items.
The Cooke brothers are in federal custody. They made their initial appearance today in Miami federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Becerra, who detained them for a future hearing. Each brother faces up to 15 years in federal prison on the carjacking charge, and life in prison on the kidnapping charge.
FBI Miami and its FBI Miami Violent Crime Task Force investigated the case, in collaboration with the Miami Gardens Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dayron Silverio and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gilfarb.
A criminal complaint contains allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty.
You may find related court documents and information on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case no. 20-mj-03653.