Rochester man arrested in Mexico after arson in Minneapolis

Jose Angel Felan Jr. and Mena Yousif were picked up in Mexico after Felan allegedly burned three buildings during the Minneapolis riots and Yousif helped him escape.

Jose Felan, Jr., and Mena Dyaha Yousif (Image credit: ATF)

A man from Rochester, Minnesota, who allegedly set fire to a St. Paul school, Goodwill store and hair salon was arrested in Mexico last week.

Jose Angel Felan Jr., 34, and Mena Dhaya Yousif, 22, were arrested in Mexico by Mexican authorities for immigration violations on Feb. 15 after U.S. Marshals provided information about their whereabouts. Now, the pair has been brought home to face trial in the United States.

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said Felan “maliciously damaged and destroyed by means of fire” three properties along University Ave. in St. Paul on May 28, 2020, per a Department of Justice (DOJ) statement. Yousif is accused of helping Felan evade law enforcement.

May 28 was the day the George Floyd riots hit their crescendo in the Twin Cities, although the DOJ statement does not note this connection.

The red arrows on this map indicate the approximate locations of the fires. (Source: Google Maps/Screenshot, informed by DOJ press release)

“These two defendants, who have been on the run for more than eight months, will be returned to Minnesota to face justice,” MacDonald said.

However, there are likely hundreds more Twin Cities vandals and arsonists who have yet to be brought to justice. More than 1,500 Twin Cities buildings were damaged or destroyed in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to the Star Tribune.

Meanwhile, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) remain busy analyzing footage to identify more suspects.

“The FBI has a long memory and a broad reach,” FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Rainer Drolshagen said after the riots. “There are people out there who believe they are anonymous and may have gotten away with their crimes, but they are mistaken. We will cover every credible lead and follow their paths toward justice,” he said in a press release.

Minnesota’s statute of limitations for arson is five years. The statute for all forms and levels of vandalism as well as all misdemeanors is three years. This means that Minneapolis rioters can be charged well into 2025.