License plate reader alerts GPD to stolen car, resulting in 2 arrests for car theft, drugs, and stolen credit cards
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Conchita Garcia, 42, and Ronald Dwayne Johnson, 56, of St. Petersburg, were arrested yesterday at the Burger King on Newberry Road in Gainesville after a license plate reader system alerted Gainesville Police Department (GPD) that the car Garcia was driving was stolen out of St. Petersburg.

GPD officers made contact with Garcia, who was in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and Johnson, the passenger, in the parking lot of the Burger King. During a search of Garcia, methamphetamine was reportedly found in her purse. That led to a probable-cause search of the vehicle, which reportedly found that Garcia had driver’s licenses, credit cards, and checkbooks from “dozens” of other people.

Post Miranda, Garcia reportedly said she didn’t know the vehicle was stolen and that she was driving it for her sister-in-law; she also reportedly said that she collected the identification and credit cards while cleaning eviction homes.

The search of the vehicle also reportedly found a box in the middle console that contained methamphetamine, a capsule containing heroin, marijuana, and several prescription pills. In the same box, officers reportedly found a wallet with various forms of identification belonging to Johnson, along with identification and bank cards for four other people.

Post Miranda, Johnson denied knowing about the narcotics in the box and did not give any explanation for possessing identification and bank cards belonging to others.

Garcia has been charged with grand theft of a vehicle, possessing dangerous drugs, and unlawfully possessing identification cards for five or more people; she is being held on $40,000 bail on those charges. She was additionally charged with giving false identification to law enforcement, driving with a suspended license as a habitual offender, and driving with a permanently-revoked license; she is being held without bail on those charges.

Johnson has been charged with possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of controlled substances without a prescription, and possession of identification information for four or fewer people. He is being held on $35,000 bail.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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