Two brothers pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges related to three robberies last year including a home invasion and robbery in rural Ellendale. Lennie Dwayne Brooks age 33 of Zumbro Falls and his 24 year old brother Lorenzo Brooks of Wabasha entered the pleas of guilty to three counts each of interference with commerce by robbery.

The United States Attorney's Office press release states that in May, co-defendants 20 year old Autumn Marie Nichols and 29 year old Esperanza Cardenas each pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery.

In August of 2018 the Brooks brothers broke into a private residence in Waite Park and held two victims at gunpoint. The defendants stole around $180,000 in jewelry and gemstones which belonged to Trisko Jewelry of Waite Park.

In September of 2018 the brothers broke into a private residence in rural Ellendale while Cardenas waited in the getaway car. The victims were held at gunpoint and approximately $40,000 in cash was taken from the Holland Auction Company of Ellendale.

In October of 2018 the brothers broke into a private residence in Eden Prairie while Nichols waited in the getaway car. The victims were held at gun point and around $50,000 cash was taken from the Shuang Hur Asian Markets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. During the robbery one of the victims went into cardiac arrest and died.

The case is the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation which included the Steele County Sheriff's Office and Freeborn County Sheriff's Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen is prosecuting the case.