Rochester Man Pleads Guilty In 2020 St Paul Arson Case
Minneapolis (KROC AM News) - A Rochester man has pleaded guilty to his role in some of the destruction that took place in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd.
Pleading guilty in federal court Friday to arson was 35-year-old Jose Angel Felan.
A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
The US Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis earlier said Felan and his 23-year-old wife Mena Dhaya Yousif went to several businesses located on University Avenue in St. Paul. Felan was accused of setting fire to a Goodwill retail store, the Gordon Parks High School, and the 7 Mile Sportswear store. They were torched on May 28, 2020.
Prosecutors say over the course of the following week, Yousif aided and abetted Felan as he fled from Rochester to Texas, before crossing the border into Mexico. Yousif traveled with Felan and assisted his escape by destroying evidence and providing false information to law enforcement.
The two were arrested by Mexican authorities in February 2021 and returned to the United States to face prosecution. Yousif pleaded guilty last September to being an accessory after the fact and is awaiting sentencing.
From the US Attorney's office in Minneapolis:
According to court documents, on May 28, 2020, Jose Angel Felan, Jr., 35, set fire to the Goodwill retail store, the Gordon Parks High School, and the 7 Mile Sportswear store, all of which were located on University Avenue in St. Paul. Following the arsons, Felan and his wife and co-defendant Mena Dhaya Yousif, 23, fled the state. Felan and Yousif traveled by car from Rochester, Minnesota, to Texas, where Felan had family. Ultimately, Felan and Yousif fled the United States and escaped to Mexico. On February 15, 2021, following an anonymous tip, Felan and Yousif were located and detained by Mexican immigration authorities and returned to the United States.