DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Andrew M. Luger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ben Petok

Wisconsin Man Indicted for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

James Frei charged in Ramsey County for robbing a Wal-Mart and pointing gun at St. Paul Police Officer

United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger today announced an indictment charging JAMES RYAN FREI, 34, with illegal possession of a firearm.1 FREI is expected to make an initial appearance on July 16, 2015, before Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn.

According to the indictment and documents filed in both state and federal court, on June 21, 2015, FREI attempted to steal a wireless speaker from a St. Paul Wal-Mart. The defendant was momentarily stopped and questioned by St. Paul Police Officer Michael Tschida as the defendant tried to leave the Wal-Mart. However, FREI pointed a handgun at Officer Tschida’s head before running to a pickup truck outside and recklessly driving away. The defendant led police officers on a high-speed chase, during which he repeatedly pointed a gun at the pursuing squad cars, sped through red lights and drove against traffic on Snelling Avenue. The chase ended when FREI crashed into a parked car and attempted to flee on foot.

According to the indictment and documents filed in both state and federal court, FREI was ineligible to possess firearms in Minnesota because of felony convictions from Oklahoma for robbery with firearms and assault, battery with a dangerous weapon, and escape. FREI also has been convicted in Wisconsin for burglary and escape.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.

Defendant Information:

Tomah, Wis.

      • Felon in possession of a firearm, 1 count


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1 The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

St. Paul Field Division