Rochester man pleads guilty to arson of Minneapolis pawn shop during 2020 riots

An alleged photo of Montez Lee, 25, of Rochester, who has been charged with arson. He is seen here outside the pawn shop investigators say he set ablaze. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

A Rochester, Minnesota man pleaded guilty Thursday to arson of a Minneapolis pawn shop during the riots last year.

Montez Lee, 26, was federally charged with arson last June for his role in starting the fire that destroyed Max It Pawn Shop on East Lake Street. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, on May 28, 2020, Montez Lee, 26, and others broke into the pawn shop. Surveillance video showed Lee pouring a fire accelerant around the pawn shop and lighting the accelerant on fire.

destroyed Max It Pawn

Max It Pawn Shop was destroyed in the Minneapolis riots following George Floyd's death. (FOX 9)

A second video showed Lee standing in front of the burning pawn shop and Lee could be heard saying, "[expletive] this place. We’re gonna burn this [expletive] down."

Lee will be sentenced at a later date.