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.
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A 20-year-old man from Brooklyn Park is the latest Minnesotan to be guilty in connection with the civil unrest and riots that followed the murder of George Floyd.

Samuel Elliot Frey, 20, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit arson at the Great Health and Nutrition store in the St. Paul Midway.

Samuel Frey

According to Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk, Frey and two co-conspirators including McKenzy Ann DeGidio Dunn, who has previously pleaded guilty herself to conspiracy to commit arson, walked through multiple businesses in the Midway area before entering the health store on May 28, 2020.

Surveillance footage shows Frey pour the contents of a hand sanitizer bottle onto a downed shelving unit, before throwing a piece of flaming paper onto the sanitizer, accelerating a fire that damaged the business.

Furthermore, in the wake of the fire, Frey spoke with Dunn and the other co-conspirator, who was 17 years old at the time, and told them to lie to police by saying another person had started the fire.

Frey is now awaiting sentencing in connection with the blaze. Dunn was previously sentenced to three years probation and $31,578 restitution.

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