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Cedar Rapids man facing auto theft, drug possession charges

Drug use is at the center of the accusations facing a Cedar Rapids man who was recently arrested in an Iowa City suburb. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office alleges that a Chevy Trailblazer was stolen in Cedar Rapids. Shortly before 1 a.m., a deputy saw the vehicle parked at the Coral Ridge Mall. Officers say they found the 27-year-old defendant asleep inside.

Police claim that when they tried to speak to the man he put the vehicle in gear and tried to drive away. He ran over some stop sticks that officers had placed in front of the vehicle, which deflated two tires. He allegedly continued driving around the lot until he got stuck in some landscaping and was taken into custody.

Police claim they found a small quantity of heroin in the Trailblazer. They also claim the defendant told them he had purchased some heroin earlier and had already shot up half of it. According to police the man was previously charged with drug possession in 2007.

The man now faces a variety of charges including second-degree theft, a felony; drug possession - second offense, an aggravated misdemeanor; and eluding law enforcement officers, a serious misdemeanor. He also faces simple misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and interference with official acts.

When drug use leads an individual to a serious run-in with the criminal justice system, the consequences can be severe. But the outcome does not always have to be prison. Different forms of alternative sentencing, including drug diversion programs, are sometimes available. An experienced criminal defense attorney can often negotiate a plea agreement that will help an individual with drug dependency problems get the help they need.

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Police: Cedar Rapids man found asleep in stolen vehicle, leads officers on parking lot chase," Lee Hermiston, Sept. 8, 2016

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