Search warrants lead to three drug arrests

Three people arrested in connection to a drug case appeared on Wednesday in Mower County District Court.

Jennifer Ann Elizabeth Spaeth, 27

According to the court complaint, members of the Southeast Minnesota Drug Task Force, assisted by the Austin Police Department, Mower County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol, stopped a 2003 Cadillac CTS at 6:12 p.m. on Monday on County Road 2 to execute a search warrant. Inside the vehicle were Jennifer Ann Elizabeth Spaeth, 27, of Austin and Cully Thomas Shierts, 20, of Clarks Grove.

Law enforcement agents searched the vehicle and allegedly found a Taurus .380 caliber pistol in Spaeth’s purse and 1.44 grams of methamphetamine in a backpack. Spaeth and Shierts were arrested and the vehicle was towed to the Mower County Law Enforcement Center, where another search allegedly revealed .380 caliber ammunition, 9mm ammunition, drug paraphernalia, a small amount of marijuana, three cell phones and $223 in cash.

Cully Thomas Shierts, 20

Law enforcement agents then executed a search warrant at 6:49 p.m. on Monday at the residence of Ryan Jiles Baldus, 27, and Spaeth in the 800 block of Eighth Avenue Southeast. Officers allegedly found the following:

• ½ gram of methamphetamine on the dining room table,

• .223 caliber ammunition in the basement,

• 9.14 grams of methamphetamine and a mirror with meth residue in Spaeth’s bedroom,

• Marijuana wax and a small amount of marijuana in Spaeth’s bedroom,

• 1.25 grams of methamphetamine on a glass plate in Spaeth’s bedroom,

• Marijuana wax and a small amount of marijuana in Baldus’s bedroom,

• A shotgun and .726 rifle in Baldus’s bedroom, and

• Drug paraphernalia throughout the residence.

No one was at home at the time of the search, but police arrested Baldus after midnight on Tuesday when he called to tell them his house had been burglarized, according to the complaint. Police allegedly found 0.36 grams of methamphetamine on his person.

Ryan Jiles Baldus, 27

Spaeth and Shierts were both charged with felony fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor illegal transport of a pistol and pistol ammunition, gross misdemeanor user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and firearm ammunition, and petty misdemeanor drug charges. Speath was also charged with felony third-degree drug possession of 10 grams or more of a narcotic, while Shierts was charged with misdemeanor driving after revocation of his license.

Baldus was charged with felony violent felon in possession of a firearm and firearm ammunition and two charges of felony fifth-degree drug possession. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A review of Spaeth’s criminal record shows a previous conviction for misdemeanor assault and a pending trial for drug and firearms charges. A review of Shierts’s criminal record shows prior convictions for misdemeanor theft and domestic assault as well as awaiting sentencing for a felony drug crime. A review of Baldus’s criminal records shows other drug convictions.

Spaeth and Shierts will appear in court again on Dec. 28. Baldus’s pre-trial is scheduled for March 23.