A Monticello man is facing federal charges for his alleged role in setting a Minneapolis bank on fire during the unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers.
Alexander Steven Heil, 24 of Monticello, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit arson.
According to allegations in the information, Heil, on May 28, 2020, joined and engaged with other individuals in conduct designed to accelerate a fire in a Wells Fargo Bank building located at 3030 Nicollet Avenue South in south Minneapolis.
Specifically, the 3-page charging document states that Heil “knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed...to commit arson on property used in interstate commerce” in violation of Title 18, United States Code 844(i), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
According to the charging document, Heil gathered with others at 3030 Nicollet Ave. S. where he allegedly placed a traffic cone into an existing fire for the purpose of accelerating the fire in the Wells Fargo building. Heil is also accused of manipulating the existing fire in the entrance to the bank for the purpose of accelerating the fire, the charging documents state. Heil is also accused of throwing an additional unknown object into the existing fire for the urpose of accelating the fire in the Wells Fargo building.
The charges were announced Friday, Aug. 21, by United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division, according to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Minnesota District office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A summons to appear in court was issued on Monday, Aug. 24. Heil will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 before Judge Eric C. Tostrud. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter is prosecuting the case.
Marc Bell Gonzales, 29, of Wayzata, was charged along with Heil with one count of conspiracy to commit arson. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Gonzales is charged with allegedly pouring gasoline onto the bank property for the purpose of accelerating the fire and conspired with Heil to commit arson on the bank property.