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St. Paul man arrested for burning down of Minneapolis police precinct

Branden Wolfe
Branden Wolfe

Accused of arson in federal court.

Posted: Jun 8, 2020 4:32 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A federal charge has been filed against a St. Paul man for the burning down of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald says Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, is accused of aiding and abetting arson. He is scheduled to make his initial appears in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

The Third Precinct was overrun during protests on May 28 and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson, with investigators identifying multiple fires being started in the building.

On June 3, St. Paul police officers were called to a home improvement store in St. Paul about an individual, later identified as Wolfe, wearing body armor and a law enforcement duty belt and carrying a baton was trying to get into the store. Store employees said WOLFE had been working as a security guard at the store but was fired earlier that day over social media posts about stealing items from the Third Precinct.

Police arrested Wolfe and say they found him wearing multiple items stolen from the Third Precinct, including body armor, a police-issue duty belt with handcuffs, an earphone piece, baton, and knife. Officers say Wolfe’s name was handwritten in duct tape on the back of the body armor. Law enforcement says it recovered items belonging to the Minneapolis Police Department, including a riot helmet, 9mm pistol magazine, police radio, and police issue overdose kit, from Wolfe’s apartment.

According to the criminal complaint, Wolfe admitted to police that he was inside the Third Precinct the night of the arson, took property from the building, and pushed a wooden barrel into the fire. Investigators say Wolfe also identified himself in multiple witness photographs capturing him in front of the Third Precinct holding a police baton, with smoke and flames visible in the background. Wolfe reportedly admitted to knowing that pushing the wooden barrel into the fire would keep the flames burning.

The ATF and FBI urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information specifically related to the Third Precinct fire or other business fires in the Twin Cities can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com. In addition to fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5342) or submit images or videos at FBI.gov/violence.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 768112

Reported Deaths: 8639
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1533481923
Ramsey63323978
Dakota56954525
Anoka53854520
Washington33598331
Stearns28397253
St. Louis23627358
Scott21603160
Wright21301171
Olmsted18125120
Sherburne15480115
Carver1361255
Clay1023599
Rice9966131
Blue Earth964559
Crow Wing9467109
Kandiyohi834397
Chisago833563
Otter Tail8020105
Benton7472111
Beltrami652879
Mower645440
Douglas627590
Goodhue619485
Itasca615382
Winona611254
McLeod593770
Steele585225
Isanti569274
Morrison556066
Becker532762
Polk510778
Freeborn487642
Nobles480852
Lyon454856
Carlton445566
Nicollet433352
Pine427031
Cass423144
Mille Lacs415367
Brown409947
Todd398836
Le Sueur385332
Meeker356253
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Martin326236
Wabasha29516
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Roseau263827
Fillmore243212
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Sibley210612
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Murray134311
Pipestone133327
Stevens124511
Lake109121
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Norman8729
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Lincoln7825
Grant7819
Kittson60822
Red Lake5899
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Traverse5125
Lake of the Woods4714
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
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Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
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Page249328
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Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
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Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
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Mitchell164043
Union162637
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Monona108738
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Osceola94017
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Taylor79713
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