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Rochester woman who helped suspected arsonist husband escape pleads guilty

The two were arrested in Mexico months after the civil unrest in the Twin Cities.

A Rochester woman who helped her husband — a suspected arsonist — flee to Mexico following the civil unrest after George Floyd was killed has pleaded guilty. 

Mena Dhaya Yousif, 23, pleaded guilty on Thursday to being an accessory after the fact to arson of multiple St. Paul businesses in May 2020, the U.S. Attorney's Office says

Court documents say Yousit and her husband, Jose Angel Felan Jr., 35, went to several businesses on University Avenue in St. Paul on May 28, 2020, where Felan is accused of setting fire to the Goodwill store, the Gordon Parks High School, and the 7 Mile Sportswear store. 

Then over the next week, Yousif helped Felan as he fled from Minnesota to Texas and then to Mexico. During their travels, Yousif assisted in her husband's escape by destroying evidence and providing false information to law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney's Office says. 

In the weeks following the arsons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in St. Paul offered a reward for their capture. And in July, a Texas man was charged, accused of helping them evade capture. 

Law enforcement in Mexico arrested Yousif and Felan in February. The U.S. Attorney's Office said they were detailed on Feb. 15 in Mexico for immigration violations after the U.S. Marshals Service located them. They were brought back to the U.S. to face the charges against them. 

Felan was charged earlier this year via superseding indictment with three counts of arson.

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