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Charges: Videos, Facebook post implicate Rochester man in arson of Minneapolis pawn shop

Max It Pawn on E. Lake St. was burned down during the May 28 riots.
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Montez Terril Lee

Montez Terril Lee

An arrest has been made in connection to an arson that destroyed a pawn shop on E. Lake St. during the May 28 riots in Minneapolis

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that 25-year-old Montez Terril Lee, of Rochester, was seen pouring liquid from a metal container inside the Max It Pawn and later shown on video standing outside the burning building with his fist raised and yelling: "F--- this place. We're going to burn this b---- down." 

Three videos that allegedly place Lee at the pawn shop, which is located just east of the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct and the Target that were looted and damaged in the chaos, were sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

Montez Terril Lee

Montez Terril Lee

According to a complaint affidavit, the first video shows people looting the shop, with Lee identified as the man pouring liquid from a container throughout the store. The video then cuts to outside the store as fire burns inside. 

The person taking the video can be heard saying "Oh, s---, you really did it!" Another video shows Lee and others joking about which restaurants they could "hit" next. 

Additionally, Lee was tagged in a Facebook post that referred to him as an activist followed by emojis of a laughing face, fire and skull, the complaint states. 

The ATF agent in charge of the case was provided the video by an anonymous source. The video was then sent to the Rochester Minnesota Police Intelligence Unit, which identified Lee in the videos. 

The ATF is now offering a total of $70,000 in rewards to help identify and convict 14 individuals suspected of arson during the riots. More information is available here

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