Charges: Cash, stolen gun found after man shot at driver on snowy I-35

The 27 year old from Forest Lake has been charged with gun crimes.
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Trinidad Garcia

The driver who was arrested after firing at a passing vehicle in snowy conditions on I-35 on Friday has been charged with gun crimes.

Trinidad Garcia, 27, of Forest Lake, was allegedly driving his BMW north on I-35 near Wyoming Saturday when he opened fire on a white Ford F150 that had passed him.

The bullet struck the passenger side door of the Ford, which was being driven by 44-year-old Michael Swonger and who told police he heard a "pop" before something hit his vehicle.

He was driving home from work at the time, traveling at around 45mph due to the snowy conditions. After the shot was fired, he said the blue BMW "sped past him, started driving erratically, lost control, and went into the ditch."

Parked just a few hundred feet down the road was a State Trooper, with Swonger pulling his truck in front of his squad car, with a Wyoming PD officer arriving at the scene shortly after.

Swonger told police he had no idea who the driver of the BMW was, and said there had been no interaction between him and the blue vehicle before the shooting, which police said "appeared random."

Police approached the crashed BMW and told Garcia, who said he had a gun in his front pocket, to get out slowly before arresting him.

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Inside his car they found a shoebox "containing $11,481 in different denominations of cash."

They also found a handgun that had been reported stolen from Inver Grove Heights in November 2018. Garcia has previous convictions for 2nd degree assault in 2012, and 3rd degree assault in 2018, offenses that make him ineligible to possess firearms.

The only comment Garcia made to police as he was being arrested was that he was on his way to Canada.

The stretch of I-35 around Wyoming saw several dozen cars spin out in treacherous conditions on Friday afternoon.

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