Man showing off OnStar leads to drug arrest


The Associated Press

ST. AUGUSTINE -- A man showing off his OnStar system in his Cadillac Escalade found out the system worked too well.

Ralph A. Gomez, 38, was being held in the St. Johns County Jail Wednesday on $15,000 bond on charges of possession of an illegal narcotic within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gomez was showing off his OnStar system to his girlfriend, but the volume was set so low that he couldn't hear the OnStar operator. OnStar comes on many new General Motors vehicles and allows a customer to contact an OnStar representative in an emergency or to get directions.

If there is no response, OnStar contacts police.

That's what happened with Gomez on Friday night, Tom Clements, a spokesman for the St. Augustine Police Department, said Wednesday.

When police located Gomez' car, they determined there was no problem. But Clements said cocaine was clearly visible on the car's center console.

In addition to seizing $1,900 in the case, the Cadillac equipped with the OnStar system was also seized, Clements said.

There was no information available from Clements or the jail on whether Gomez has a lawyer.

Copyright 2006, Orlando Sentinel

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