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Date: 08-06-2021

Case Style:

United States of America v. Rufus E. Dennis

Case Number: 8:20-cr-00072-RFR-MDN

Judge: Robert F. Ossiter, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the District of Nebraska (Douglas County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:


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Description: Omaha, Nebraska criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with 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.

Rufus E. Dennis, 43, of Omaha, charged with 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.

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.

18:1951(a) & 2 ATTEMPTED INTERFERENCE WITH INTERSTATE COMMERCE BY WAY OF ROBBERY
(1)
18:924(c)(1)(A) USING, CARRYING, OR POSSESSING A FIREARM DURING AND IN RELATION TO A CRIME OF VIOLENCE OR DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIME
(3)
18:922(g)(1) POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A PROHIBITED PERSON
(5)
18:922(j) & 924(a)(2) POSSESSION OF A STOLEN WEAPON
(6)

Outcome: Defendant was convicted.07/28/2021 80 TEXT MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Chief Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. Instruction conference held in chambers. Defendant rests. Closing arguments. Final instructions read to jury. Jury received case at 11:22 a.m. Verdict received 2:50 p.m. Defendant was found guilty as to Count I, III, V and VI of the Indictment. Sentencing set for November 5, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Clerk file verdict. Jury Trial ended on 7/28/2021. Number of trial days with evidence 2. Defendant is remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal. No interpreter used during hearing. Courtroom deputy: Marian Lea Frahm; Reporter: Sue DeVetter; Appearance for Plaintiff: Lesley A. Woods and Donald J. Kleine; Appearance for Defendant: Andrew J. Wilson, CJA; Time Start: 9:17 AM; Time Stop: 3:39 PM; Time in Court: 1 Hour 40 Minutes. (MLF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 81 EXHIBIT LIST as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis from jury trial held on July 26-28, 2021 regarding Minutes, Filing 80 .(MLF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 82 WITNESS LIST as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis from hearing held on July 26-28, 2021 regarding Minutes, Filing 80 .(MLF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 83 ORDER ON SENTENCING SCHEDULE as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. Sentencing set for 11/5/2021 at 2:00 PM in Courtroom 4, Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse, 111 South 18th Plaza, Omaha, NE before Chief Judge Robert F. Rossiter Jr. Ordered by Chief Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr.(MLF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 84 JURY QUESTION to the Court and Court's Answer to the Jury as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis with foreperson's signature redacted pursuant to the E-Government Act - PART 1 OF 2 (JSF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 85 PART 2 OF 2 - FOREPERSON'S SIGNATURE PAGE regarding Jury Questions/Answers 84 as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. ACCESS TO THE PDF DOCUMENT IS RESTRICTED TO CASE PARTICIPANTS AND THE COURT PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 49.1(e). ALL COUNSEL OF RECORD IN MULTI-DEFENDANT CASES MAY ACCESS THIS DOCUMENT. (JSF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 86 JURY VERDICT with foreperson's signature redacted pursuant to the E-Government Act as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. Guilty as to Count I - Attempted Interference with Commerce by Means of Robbery; Guilty as to Count III - Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence; Guilty as to Count V - Possession of a Firearm; and Guilty as to Count VI - Possession of a Stolen Firearm. Defendant is remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing - PART 1 OF 2 (JSF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 87 PART 2 OF 2 - FOREPERSON'S SIGNATURE PAGE regarding Jury Verdict 86 as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. ACCESS TO THE PDF DOCUMENT IS RESTRICTED TO CASE PARTICIPANTS AND THE COURT PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 49.1(e). ALL COUNSEL OF RECORD IN MULTI-DEFENDANT CASES MAY ACCESS THIS DOCUMENT. (JSF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 88 JURY INSTRUCTIONS as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. (JSF) (Entered: 07/28/2021)
07/28/2021 89 EXHIBIT RECEIPT BY PLAINTIFF as to defendant Rufus E. Dennis. from hearing held on 7/26/21 regarding Minutes of Jury Trial 78 . (LKO) (Entered: 07/28/2021)

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