Brooklyn Park Man Pleads Guilty in St. Paul Arson During Last Year’s Civil Unrest
A 20-year-old Brooklyn Park man pleaded guilty Tuesday to setting fire to a St. Paul business during the civil unrest that followed after the officer-involved killing last year of George Floyd.
Samuel Frey pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Surveillance video captured Frey inside Great Health and Nutrition store, located in a strip mall on University Avenue, on May 28, 2020. The business had been broken into with shelving displaced in the store. Court documents say Frey lit a piece of paper on fire and used hand sanitizer to accelerate the flames.
Damage to the St. Paul store caused the business to remain closed for nearly two months after the fire.
A co-conspirator, McKenzy Dunn, 20, of Rosemount, pleaded to one count of conspiracy to commit arson last October. Dunn was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $31,578 in restitution.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that Frey told Dunn and a 17-year-old girl “to be untruthful to law enforcement” by saying another person had started the fire.
Brooklyn Park police joined other agencies in helping to arrest Frey, who will be sentenced at a later date.