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Romanian Citizen Injected Victims With Fake ‘Deadly Virus’, Demanded Millions for Antidote – Crime Online

A Romanian citizen has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to a 2007 home invasion in which perpetrators injected two adult victims in Connecticut with what they said was a deadly virus and demanded millions of dollars for the antidote.

Stefan Alexandru Barabas, 38, is the last of four suspects to appear in court in the case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

The invaders told the victims that they would die if they did not donate $8.5 million, but they quickly realized that their victims could not meet those demands. They then injected the victims with a sleeping drug and fled in their Jeep Cherokee.

The Cherokee was found abandoned the next morning at a Home Depot in New Rochelle, New York. Less than a week later, an accordion case washed up in Jamaica Bay. Inside, investigators found a stun gun, a 12-inch knife, a black plastic Airsoft pistol, a crowbar, syringes, sleeping pills, latex gloves and a laminated phone card with the victims’ addresses.

Three years later, Connecticut State Police investigators linked a partial Pennsylvania license plate — seen by a witness near the victims’ South Kent estate the night of the home invasion — to a vehicle owned by Michael N. Kennedy , a dual Romanian citizen. also known as Nicolae Helerea. Kennedy, the investigator discovered that at one point he was living with Emanuel Nicolescu, who had previously been employed by the home invasion victims.

Acting on that information, investigators found cell phone records from a telephone number registered to Nicolescu on a cell tower near the New Rochelle Home Depot just minutes after the Jeep Cherokee was left there. Shortly thereafter, investigators discovered that Nicolescue’s DNA matched a sample found on the steering wheel of the Jeep.

Subsequently, investigators learned that Kennedy’s father had been a professional accordion player and that the knife found in the suitcase had been a gift from his father-in-law to Nicolescu.

From there, investigators determined that Kennedy and Emmanuel Nicolescu had worked with Barabas and Alexandru Nicolescu to plan and commit the home invasion. The four men purchased walkie-talkies, stun guns and fake pistols, and on the night of April 15, Kennedy drove Barabas, Emanuel Nicolescu and Alexandru Nicolescu to South Kent and picked them up in New Rochelle the next morning.

The four then fled the United States. Emanuel Nicolescu returned to the United States and was arrested in Illinois in January 2011. The following month, he and Kennedy were indicted. Barabas and Alexandru Nicolescu were indicted in November 2012.

Emanuel Nicolescu was found guilty in March 2012 of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Alexandru Nicolescu was arrested in the United Kingdom in 2013 and pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion in 2015. He was sentenced to more than twelve years in prison in 2019.

Kennedy voluntarily returned to the United States in 2012 and pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit racketeering. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison in 2016.

Barabas remained on the run until he was arrested in Hungary on August 16, 2022. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to disrupt commerce through racketeering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. But under the terms of a plea agreement, both sides agreed to a prison sentence of six to seven years.

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(Featured image: Stefan Alexandru Barabas/FBI)