Florida Keys

He was passed out in a stolen car with drugs. The next day, cops say she stole it.

Florida Keys police Monday morning arrested a man who was passed out behind the wheel of a stolen car parked with the engine running at the stop sign at the exit of a Key Largo hotel.

On Tuesday, cops announced they’ve had the woman they say stole the 2017 Chevy Sonic in custody on drug charges since Oct. 22.

Following Monday’s arrest of Tyler Drakas, 21, on grand theft auto, cocaine possession and smuggling contraband into jail charges, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Benjamin Elmore reviewed security camera footage from the Pelican Inn in Key Largo from Oct. 14, when a woman drove off with the car, which had the keys in the ignition.

Still footage from the motel’s camera appeared to match Jessenia Gonzalez, 29, of Homestead, who is in Stock Island jail, said sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt. Deputies interviewed Gonzalez in jail, where they say she admitted to stealing the car, but said Drakas gave her the keys.

Gonzalez was originally arrested on Oct. 14 after police say they found the party drug MDMA (or Molly), cocaine and three syringes in her purse. With the added grand theft of an automobile charge, her combined bond is now $76,000, according to online sheriff’s office records.

She was sentenced to 18 months probation in May 2015 after pleading no contest to stealing $460 from the Subway sandwich shop in Key Largo where she worked as a cashier in 2014.

Deputies found Drakas asleep in the driver’s seat of the Sonic at the exit to the Holiday Inn at mile marker 99.7 in Key Largo around 7 a.m. Monday.

According to his arrest report, deputies found two syringes in the car. One contained a cocaine mixture. Police also found two water bottle caps and a burnt tin soda can that also tested positive for cocaine, according to the report.

Drakas, who lives in Key Largo, is in county jail in Stock Island on a bond of $38,000. Along with cocaine possession and grand theft auto, he also faces charges of smuggling drugs into a detention facility after a baggie of cocaine fell out of his sweat pants while he was being booked into jail, according to Deputy Jacques Rozek’s report.

Drakas has been arrested on three felony charges since early 2018. He pleaded no contest to cocaine possession in March of this year. He also has a pending grand theft auto case stemming from a December 2018 arrest.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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