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Robber Who Demanded Millions From Couple After Injecting 'Deadly Virus' into Them Arrested 17 Years Later

Man Demanded Millions From Couple, Injected 'Deadly Virus' into Them: Cops
Source: UNSPLASH

The last perpetrator has been arrested from a 17 year old home invasion in Connecticut, officials said.

Jun. 28 2024, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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The last perpetrator in a 17-year-old home invasion, in which a couple was injected with a substance that the attackers claimed to be a deadly virus, has been arrested. The attackers had demanded millions of dollars in exchange from the couple for an antidote for the virus, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Stefan Alexandru Barabas, a Romanian native, recently appeared in U.S. District Court in Connecticut and pleaded guilty to his part in a 2007 home invasion faux-virus scheme, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut stated.

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Police received digital evidence from a witness, which reportedly showing that Owens received money and drugs to commit the murder, police said.

Shortly before midnight on April 15, 2007, Barabas and his co-conspirators, Emanuel Nicolescu and Alexandru Lucian Nicolescu, broke into a home in South Kent, Connecticut, wearing masks, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated. All three of the assailants were armed with knives and airsoft guns during the invasion, Front Page Detectives reported.

Michael N. Kennedy was the fourth accomplice. He provided transportation to the three men and dropped them near the crime scene, People reported.

"The intruders bound and blindfolded two adult victims and injected each with a substance the intruders claimed was a deadly virus," the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

“The intruders ordered the victims to pay $8.5 million or else they would be left to die from the lethal injection. When it became clear that the victims were not in a position to meet the intruders’ demands, the intruders drugged the two residents with a sleeping aid and fled in their Jeep Cherokee.”

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A Good Samaritan was able to intervene and pull the attackers off the victim.

The stolen jeep was located the next morning in a parking lot in New Rochelle, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

A week after the home invasion incident, an accordion case was retrieved from the shore of Jamaica Bay. From the case, the officials retrieved a stun gun, a 12-inch knife, a black plastic Airsoft gun, a crowbar, syringes, sleeping pills, latex gloves, and a laminated telephone card with the South Kent address of the victim.

Three years later, investigators got a break in the case when one detective was able to connect the dots between a partial Pennsylvania license plate that a witness recalled on the night of the home invasion near the victims' estate and a car registered to Kennedy. Officials then discovered that Kennedy was a former roommate of Emanuel, who in the past had been employed by one of the victims.

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Barabas has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion.

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Cellphone data revealed that Emanuel made a call from the same area after the jeep was abandoned, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated. Emanuel's DNA matched the DNA investigators found in the stolen vehicle.

The detectives also found that Kennedy’s father was a professional accordion player. Witnesses came forward and identified the knife in the accordion case, noting that the knife was given to Emanuel by his father-in-law.

“The investigation revealed that Emanuel Nicolescu and Kennedy worked with Barabas and Alexandru Nicolescu to commit the crime,” the U.S. Attorney's Office, said.

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Investigators said they found receipts showing the suspect purchased a saw with exchangeable blades.

“Barabas’ co-conspirators planned the home invasion, which included the research and purchase of implements necessary for the crime, such as two-way radios, stun guns, and imitation pistols. On the night of April 15, 2007, Kennedy drove Barabas, Emanuel Nicolescu, and Alexandru Nicolescu to a location near the South Kent home, and then picked them up the following morning in New Rochelle at the location where the intruders abandoned the stolen Jeep,” the U.S. Attorney's Office, said.

The victims of the home invasion were identified to be philanthropist Anne Bass and her partner Julian Lethbridge during the conviction of Barabas' co-conspirators, News-Times reported.

All four suspects fled the country during the investigation, PEOPLE reported. Emanuel Nicolescu was arrested in 2011, and after a year was found to be guilty of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to DOJ. He was sentenced to 240 months.

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Alexandru Nicolescu was arrested from the UK in 2013, People reported. He pled guilty to attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. He was sentenced to 121 months in prison.

Kennedy returned to the US and pled guilty to attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. He was given a 48-month sentence.

Barabas has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion. He is set to be sentenced in September, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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