Rochester woman pleads guilty in St. Paul arson fires during George Floyd unrest

A Rochester, Minn., woman charged with helping her husband flee to Mexico after he allegedly set multiple fires in St. Paul in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last May pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

On Thursday, Mena Dhaya Yousif, 23, pleaded guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact.

Yousif assisted her husband, Jose Angel Felan Jr., 35, in fleeing to Texas before the couple crossed the border into Mexico.

“Yousif traveled with Felan and assisted his escape by destroying evidence and providing false information to law enforcement,” according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office for Minnesota.

The couple was arrested in February 2021 by Mexican law enforcement and returned to the U.S.

Felan pleaded not guilty in April to three felony counts of arson. Felan is alleged to have “maliciously damaged and destroyed” a Goodwill retail store, the Gordon Parks High School and the 7 Mile Sportswear store, all on University Avenue in St. Paul, on May 28, 2020.

A third co-defendant, Mohamed Hussein Abdi, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit arson for his role in a fire at Gordon Parks High School. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled for Yousif.

According to the plea agreement, the guideline range for a person with Yousif’s criminal history could face 18 to 24 months in prison as well as at least one year to a maximum of three years of supervised release.

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