Skip to main content

Brooklyn Park man gets prison sentence for arson during 2020 riots

Samuel Elliot Frey pleaded guilty to setting fire to a St. Paul health store.
Samuel Frey

A man who set fire to a business in St Paul's Midway area during the 2020 riots has been sentenced for his crimes.

Samuel Elliot Frey, 21, pleaded guilty last summer to conspiracy to commit arson at the Great Health and Nutrition store, where he was caught on surveillance camera starting a fire with hand sanitizer and flaming paper. 

He was working with at least two co-conspirators, one of whom — 21-year-old McKenzy Ann DeGidio Dunn — was sentenced to three years of probation last May, a news release says. 

On Friday, federal judge Judge Nancy E. Brasel sentenced Frey to 27 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release and $33,826.64 in restitution for the fire damage.

According to MPR, Frey's prison term is shorter than the norm for people federally convicted of arson in connection with 2020's civil unrest — as Brasel weighed the defendant's youth, his "otherwise minimal criminal record" and "mental health challenges that resulted from childhood trauma."

However, Brasel told Frey that he "caused great damage to the cause of peaceful protest everywhere" and to “democracy itself,” MPR notes.

He's one of several people to be charged at the federal level for arson during the riots, which followed the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. 

These include four men who were involved in the fire that burned down  the police department's Third Precinct, and a man who set fire to a Sprint store after traveling 400 miles from Illinois. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Minneapolis' Khâluna named in Eater's 2022 'Best New Restaurants'

The restaurant, opened in 2021, is known for its Laotian cuisine.

ambulance, crash

3 pedestrians struck by drivers Monday in Minnesota; 2 dead

The victims involved a 39-year-old man and two 74-year-old men.

snow, plow

Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

Life Link

Worker suffers serious injury in rooftop fall in rural Minnesota

The man only fell a few feet, but suffered a serious leg injury.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.

tap-gf9a40b157_1280

Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.

PicketSignsNurseStrike

Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 7.34.26 AM

Man dies after shooting on St. Paul's East Side

It happened on the same night a man was fatally shot by police in the nearby Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.

Related

Screen Shot 2021-07-21 at 11.49.44 AM

Man pleads guilty to setting fire to St. Paul health store during 2020 riots

The 20-year-old set fire to hand sanitizer in the Midway store.

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 10.37.21 PM

MN man sentenced for setting fire that killed his daughter

Jamey Marie Newport, 22, died on July 23, 2019.

riot

Minneapolis man pleads guilty to arson that destroyed business during riots

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty Sept. 25 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Garrett Ziegler

Long Lake man gets 5 years for firebombing courthouse during May riots

The 25-year-old and an accomplice threw Molotov cocktails into the Dakota County courthouse.

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 8.42.59 AM

Federal charges filed for arson at St. Paul school, rental car company

Charges were filed against a 19-year-old from Maplewood, and a 31-year-old Minneapolis man.

Wells Fargo

Wayzata man gets prison for arson of Wells Fargo during riots

Marc Bell Gonzales was sentenced in U.S. District Court Wednesday.