Minneapolis man pleads guilty to arson of St. Paul car rental agency

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald on Friday announced the guilty plea by White on one count of arson.

A Minneapolis man charged with arson of a St. Paul car rental agency that took place during the Twin Cities riots in late May has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Matthew Scott White, 32, was charged in late June, about a month after a wave of riots spread across the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald on Friday announced the guilty plea by White on one count of arson. Alpha News previously reported that White had been charged following his arrest on June 29, 2020.

According to the allegations against White, on May 28 an Enterprise Rent-A-Car building on University Avenue in St. Paul was completely destroyed due to fire. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) subsequently examined the scene and determined that the fire was caused by arson and originated from within the structure.

While inside the building, White and a juvenile accomplice maliciously started a fire inside a back office. White then fueled the fire by throwing papers and other flammable items onto the flames, according to White’s guilty plea.

White entered his guilty plea before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and will be sentenced at a later date.

White’s sister, Jessica White, was also charged in June with one count of conspiracy to commit arson related to the same fire. However, her charge was ordered dismissed by US Magistrate Becky R. Thorson last month.

The ATF and other authorities continue to seek suspects related to the May arsons and looting as well as arsons that were committed in late August following the false report of an officer-involved shooting in Minneapolis.

Anyone with information on the identification and/or whereabouts of any of the suspects is asked to contact ATF. The preferred method for reporting information is by emailing ATFTips@atf.gov or submitting information via www.ReportIt.com.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.