MINNEAPOLIS – A Brooklyn Park man was sentenced to 27 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release and $33,826.64 in restitution for his role in the arson of the Great Health and Nutrition store in St. Paul. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Brasel sentenced the defendant.
According to court documents, on May 28, 2020, Samuel Elliot Frey, 21, and co-defendant McKenzy Ann DeGidio Dunn, 21, joined other individuals who had gathered near the Great Health and Nutrition store located at 1360 University Avenue West, in St. Paul. Frey and others arrived together to the Midway area near University Avenue and walked through multiple businesses before they arrived inside the Great Health and Nutrition retail store. While inside the store, Frey poured a bottle of hand sanitizer onto a shelving unit located on the floor. Frey then lit paper on fire and placed the flaming paper where he had poured the hand sanitizer. Frey poured on more hand sanitizer to accelerate the fire. The Great Health and Nutrition store sustained fire damage because of Frey’s conduct.
Dunn pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson and, on May 10, 2021, was sentenced to three years of probation and $31,578 in restitution. On July 20, 2021, Frey pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the St. Paul Police Department, the St. Paul Fire Department, Brooklyn Park Police Department, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division, and the FBI.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Ebert and Joseph Teirab.