ST. PAUL -- A St. Paul man was sentenced to more than three years in prison and ordered to pay $12 million for arson damage to the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct building.
Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, pleaded guilty in December to one federal count of conspiracy to commit arson. He was sentenced Tuesday, May 4, to 41 months in prison. As part of his sentencing, Wolfe must serve two years of supervised release and pay $12 million in restitution.
“Mr. Wolfe furthered the destruction that took place in Minneapolis last summer by literally adding fuel to the fire. In addition to the arson, Mr. Wolfe stole body armor, weapons, and ammunition belonging to the Minneapolis Police Department,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk in a statement. “This sentence underscores the seriousness of Mr. Wolfe’s actions and holds him to account.”
According to court documents, on May 28, 2020, Wolfe went to the Third Precinct building where hundreds had gathered following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The crowd began to chant for the building to be burnt down. Shortly afterward, a fence surrounding the building was torn down.
With the intent to accelerate the existing blaze, court documents said Wolfe then pushed a barrel into a fire located in the entrance of the building, which had been set on fire by other unidentified co-conspirators.
Court documents said Wolfe stole several items including a police vest, handcuffs, a knife and ammunition, among other things.
When Wolfe was arrested on June 3, he was wearing some of the items he took, including the police vest.
Two other men, Bryce Michael Williams, 27, and Davon De-Andre Turner, 25, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson for arson. Williams and Turner will be sentenced at a later date for their involvement in the arson of the Third Precinct building.