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Three plead guilty to their roles in series of Rochester armed robberies

STAFF REPORTS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jonathan Middlebrooks, 22, Nasir Perez, 20, and Deborah Siegel-Edelman, 21, all of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to aiding and abetting Hobbs Act Robbery. Middlebrooks and Perez pleaded guilty to five counts, Siegel-Edelman to four counts. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Defendants Middlebrooks and Perez also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm that was discharged during a crime of violence, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, stated that Middlebrooks, Perez and Siegel-Edelman took part in a series of gunpoint robberies at stores in the City of Rochester between September 3, 2017, and September 23, 2017: 
• On September 3, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Hudson Save More on Hudson Avenue, along with co-conspirators Damien Rutledge and Dylan Miller, Perez acted as a lookout at the front door and Middlebrooks removed approximately $1,420 from the store’s cash registers;
• On September 14, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the 18 Hour Store on North Goodman Street, Middlebrooks and Perez, along with co-defendants Miller and Rutledge, removed approximately $500 from the store’s cash register, while defendant Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver;
• On September 18, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Four Star Market on Lake Avenue, Middlebrooks and Perez, along with co-defendants Miller and Rutledge, removed approximately $2,650 from the store’s cash register, while defendant Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver;
• On September 23, 2017, during a gunpoint robbery of the Bronx Market on Brown Street, Middlebrooks and Perez, along with co-defendants Miller and Rutledge, removed approximately $900 from the store’s cash register, while defendant Siegel-Edelman served as the getaway driver;
• Also on September 23, 2017, Siegel-Edelman drove Middlebrooks and Perez, along with co-defendants Miller and Rutledge, to the Greyhound Express Mini Mart on Carter Street. Middlebrooks, Perez, Miller, and Rutledge entered the store, a gun was pointed at the store owner, and after a struggle between the store owner and one the robbers, a store employee removed the robber’s gun from the robber’s hand. The store employee then pointed the gun at Middlebrooks, who put his hands up, but also moved forward towards the store employee. After Middlebrooks took several steps towards the employee, the employee fired the gun, and the discharged round hit Middlebrooks in the stomach. Middlebrooks, Perez, Miller and Rutledge got back into Siegel-Edelman’s car, and she drove them away from the scene of the attempted robbery.
Charges remain pending against defendants Dylan Miller and Damien Rutledge. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  
Today’s pleas are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin P. Lyons, and the Rochester Area Major Crimes Task Force and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.
Middlebrooks, Perez, and Siegel-Edelman are all scheduled to be sentenced on August 8, 2018, before Judge Wolford.