A second protester accused of setting police cars ablaze during the 2020 racial injustice protests in Philadelphia pleaded guilty Tuesday as part of a deal that spared him a stiff seven-year mandatory minimum sentence had he been convicted on federal arson charges.

Instead, Ayoub Tabri, 25, of Arlington, Va., pleaded guilty to one count of a lesser offense — obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder — that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The agreement is the second in as many weeks involving five defendants who faced similar charges stemming from the unrest that roiled the city in response to the police killing of George Floyd, prompting defense lawyers to say the Justice Department appears to be softening its stance toward those accused of protest-related crimes.

Still, the plea could have serious consequences for Tabri, a Moroccan immigrant who works in a D.C.-area restaurant owned by his family. The felony plea could trigger deportation proceedings because Tabri is not a U.S. citizen. He also agreed to pay $87,000 in restitution.

But as he admitted his guilt in front of U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky during a brief court hearing Tuesday, Tabri said he was fully aware of and ready to accept those consequences should they come.

As with many of the five others charged, FBI agents identified Tabri through crowdsourced video and images of the raucous demonstrations that unfolded that day.

A group of demonstrators surrounded two Pennsylvania State Police cars parked near the intersection of Broad and Vine Streets to keep protesters off I-676. The crowd surrounded the cars and began beating them with a scooter, a hammer, skateboards, a bike lock, a crowbar, and even their hands and fists.

One video of the scene posted to social media depicted a man in a black mask and T-shirt, carrying a skateboard in one hand and a lit road flare in another, tossing the flare into one of the damaged cars.

Investigators were later able to cross-reference that image with a photo Tabri posted of himself to his own social media accounts, showing him wearing the same T-shirt and posing outside City Hall earlier that day.

A video Tabri posted later, showing him picking up film prints from photos he’d taken for development, gave them his Virginia address.

According to court filings, Tabri confessed to setting the fire upon his arrest. His attorney has said he was in Philadelphia that day visiting friends.

He has remained in custody since his October 2020 arrest.

Seven others were also arrested by state and federal authorities in connection with the attack on those state police vehicles.

Six of the defendants faced vandalism charges in state court because they were not directly linked to the car fire. Most of their cases have since been dismissed.

The only other man charged federally in the incident — Lester Fulton Smith, 26, of Philadelphia — has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial in July.

Four others also faced federal arson charges for allegedly torching Philadelphia police vehicles parked outside City Hall that day.

At the time, then-U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain threatened on Twitter to pursue lengthy prison terms for them all, saying the fires they set endangered the lives of the hundreds of peaceful demonstrators at both locations. But advocacy groups have pushed back and accused the Justice Department of attempting to overpunish what they have described as a spontaneous act of protest against police brutality.

Last week, one of those defendants — Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, a 35-year-old massage therapist from Jenkintown — pleaded guilty as part of a deal similar to Tabri’s that will allow her to avoid the seven-year mandatory minimum on arson charges.

Her attorney Paul J. Hetznecker called the deal “appropriate” after condemning the previous arson charges — and the harsh sentence they carried — as a “political decision” and an overreaction to crimes he argued should have been pursued in state court.

Three other cases remain — against prominent Philadelphia activist and social studies teacher Anthony “Ant” Smith, 31; Khalif Miller, 26, of Philadelphia; and Carlos Matchett, 32, of Atlantic City. All three are scheduled for trial in June.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment Tuesday on Tabri’s plea.

His attorney, federal public defender Nancy MacEoin, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.