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NU women faces charges from March cases

NEW ULM — A 39-year-old New Ulm woman faces three felony charges including receiving more than $5,000 worth of stolen property stemming from a March stolen vehicle and stolen property case in New Ulm and Blue Earth County.

Two counts of felony possession of ammunition or firearm, liable for crimes of another and one count of felony receiving more than $5,000 worth of stolen property, were filed against Thea M. Spillane, 322 State St. N., in Brown County District Court May 3. A first appearance was set for 8:30 a.m., June 1.

According to court documents, the Blue Earth County Sheriff contacted New Ulm Police March 8, regarding a stolen vehicle and stolen property located at 322 State St. N.

On March 5, a Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Deputy took a stolen vehicle report from a man who said he drove his blue 2003 Chevy Cavalier to the corner of State Highway 68 and 549th Avenue in Blue Earth County, walked down to the river to check out fishing, left the keys in the ignition and many fishing items in the car.

Law enforcement was informed all fishing equipment from the stolen vehicle was removed and placed in a garage at 322 State St. N. The stolen car was picked up by Smallwood in Hanska and drove it to Mankato.

After executing a search warrant at a New Ulm storage unit, the man’s fishing equipment was recovered.

Law enforcement was familiar with the 322 State St. N. address rented by a witness and his girlfriend, Spillane. A search warrant was drafted and executed March 16, 2021, for the stolen fishing items.

During search warrant execution, law enforcement searched a detached shed used as a garage and found a glass methamphetamine pipe and what appeared to be two handguns and ammunition in plain view. A second search warrant was authored and executed later that day.

In the residence, law enforcement found a Jennings Nine -CA handgun with black handle with silver backing and silver slide with a magazine full of 9mm bullets.

Spillane said the handgun belonged to her. Her boyfriend is a felon convicted of a crime of violence.

Other items found in a master bedroom safe in the residence included six vintage bills including four one-dollar bills, a two-dollar bill, and a five-dollar bill. Spillane said the safe and bills belonged to her. A nylon GF handgun holster was found on an east living room couch.

The boyfriend’s garage contained property from area burglaries including DeWalt tools with the victim’s company name on it, yellow metal railroad boxes, a white truck box with fuel additive, a welder, tanks, Bobcat filters, and maul handles all allegedly stolen from the victim.

The boyfriend waived his Miranda rights and said people bring him stuff and sometimes pay him to keep items.

The victim said the value of the stolen items was $12,075.

Items found in Spillane and the witness’ garage included 9.22 grams of suspected methamphetamine, .23 grams of suspected marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a disassembled, inoperable, vintage handgun.

In a related case, two felony receiving stolen property charges and a misdemeanor charge were filed in Brown County District Court May 3 against Kristian L. Smallwood, 28, 312 Payne St. N., New Ulm. She failed to appear at a May 3 hearing and an arrest warrant was issued.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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