A suspect identified as a co-conspirator in the 2007 home invasion at the Kent estate of philanthropist Anne Bass has pleaded guilty.  Federal prosecutors say 33-year-old Michael Kennedy,  also known as Nicolae Helera, formerly of Queens, New York, and Romania, pleaded guilty in federal court in Hartford to attempted extortion and conspiracy.

Earlier this year,  a jury found Emanuel Nicolescu guilty of the same charges and possession of a stolen vehicle,  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Court documents say Kennedy took part in planning and carrying out the home invasion, in which armed intruders entered the home, bound and blindfolded Bass and her companion and injected them with a substance they claimed was a deadly virus,  demanding $8.5 million for the antidote.

Prosecutors say their investigation showed that Kennedy helped research the crime,  and bought two-way radios, stun guns and imitation pistols,  then drove the intruders to a location near the scene, and picked them up the next day when they abandoned a Jeep stolen from the estate.

Kennedy returned to the United States from Romania last month to face the charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the investigation is continuing.


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