‘Needed somwhere to shoot my Uzi’ – Gun found in rat cage after search, 2 arrested

Published 10:01 am Friday, February 17, 2017

Two women face felony charges after one shot an “Uzi” on a Lansing Township property without permission and deputies later found a stolen weapon.

Jennifer Ann Elizabeth Spaeth, 26, and Francia Adriana Perez, 24, were both charged with felonies for fifth-degree drug possession and receiving stolen firearms. Both appeared in Mower County District Court on Thursday with Perez pleading not guilty, while Spaeth is yet to plea.

According to court records, the Mower County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 23000 block of 515th Avenue in Lansing Township at 9:50 p.m. on Feb. 3 after a man was watching TV, heard a popping noise he thought was fireworks and then saw a man and a woman in the back yard.

Email newsletter signup

The reportee approached the two, who were leaving and getting in a car, and he recognized the woman as Spaeth.

But Spaeth mistook the reportee for her brother and told him she “needed somewhere to shoot my Uzi.”

Spaeth and the man left.

The reportee called deputies, who searched the area and found six spent .223 caliber shell casings behind the garage.

Deputies, with the help of the Austin Police Department, soon tracked down Spaeth in Austin at a residence on the 600 block of First Avenue Northwest, where Perez let deputies search the main floor and common areas of the house but said she needed to put away her pet rat first.

Officers uncovered: several marijuana pipes and drug paraphernalia, three grams of marijuana, 4.17 grams of methamphetamine, a marijuana grinder, brass knuckles, an Uzi case, a Bushmaster AR-15 .223 caliber rifle, a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and a magazine for the .223 caliber rifle.

They also found a Walther Uzi .22 caliber pistol and ammunition inside a rat cage, which Perez had told them not to disturb claiming the rat was sick and dying of cancer.

The ammunition in the Uzi matched the spent shell casings from Lansing Township.

Spaeth admitted to police that she fired the shots at a tree on the Lansing Township property, but she wouldn’t identify the man with her.

Deputies seized the weapons and ran the serial numbers. The AR-15 came back as stolen from Zumbrota, Minnesota. Spaeth and Perez were arrested.

Spaeth is next due in court March 2 for an initial appearance, while Perez is scheduled for a June 26 trial.