A former local resident with a dozen prior arrests in Marion County was jailed on drug and other charges after being caught driving a stolen car in Ocala.
Michael William Kiernan, 37, whose current residence is listed as in Port Charlotte, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, felony possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug equipment, and driving with a suspended license (third or subsequent offense).
Kiernan lived in Ocala at time of 11 of his previous 12 arrests on charges of burglary, theft, passing bad checks, domestic battery, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, using a firearm while under the influence, and criminal mischief, according to jail records.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy received an alert recently about a possible stolen 2015 white Chrysler traveling north on 58th Avenue. The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the 5800 block of East Silver Spring Boulevard, and Kiernan was removed from the vehicle along with a female passenger, according to the sheriff’s office report.
Once the car was confirmed as stolen out of Northport, Kiernan said he was under the impression he was allowed to operate the vehicle. The deputy checked with Northport Police and found that the owner of the vehicle said a man named “Michael” stole it from her home on July 23, the report said.
Kiernan provided his driver’s license and a computer check showed it was suspended for failure to pay multiple fines. Kiernan also has two previous convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was placed under arrest, according to the report.
An inventory search of the vehicle turned up a black sunglasses case in the center console that contained two clear pipes and a clear baggy containing a rock-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. Also found inside the vehicle was a Newport cigarette that contained a small cigarette that tested positive for THC content, the report said.
Kiernan said he did not steal the vehicle and that the meth was not his. He admitted the marijuana cigarette was his. Kiernan did not make any further comment. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released on $8,000 bond. Kiernan will appear in Marion County Court on Sept. 1.